Weymouth FC 1 St Ives Town< 1/h2> Date: Saturday 17th December 2016 Kick Off: 7:45pm Competition: Southern League Premier Division Ground Address: Bob Lucas Stadium,, Radipole Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XJAnother thoroughly professional performance saw the Ives glean their second excellent away point in a week from their longest trip of the season to Weymouth.
Following Tuesday nights trip to Dorchester where the squad suffered from unavailability due to injuries and work commitments it was good to welcome back an almost full squad with only long term injury absentee Scott Sinclair still missing.
The home side had a reputation as an excellent footballing side who are perhaps lower in the table that they should be due to their runs in both FA Cup and FA Trophy which means they have games in hand on all of the teams around them.
Right from the off the Terras were looking to use the full width of the pitch a spaying the ball out to their wide men at every opportunity. The first half chance arrived after only seven minutes as overlapping full back Mark Cooper delivered a deep cross from the left that Ben Thomson got on the end of at the far post. But he failed to hit the target with his header from eight yards.
The first effort on target in the game was registered by the visitors three minutes later as Tom McGowan teed up Jack Higgs and his 25 yard drive lacked venom, but did force home keeper Tom McHale to make a save low down to his right.
There followed a hearts in mouths moment for the 20, or so, travelling Ives faithful on 14 minutes as Stuart Fleetwood got within inches of getting to a Charlie Davis cross from the right as he darted across in front of keeper Tim Trebes. Fortunately he just missed out and Trebes was able to gather the dangerous head high cross.
Ives centre back pairing of Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt were dealing well with everything the Terras were throwing into the box. McDevitt did particularly well on 17 minutes as he just managed to cut out a low cross from Davis ahead of fast closing striker Stewart Yetton.
The home side continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, but were still running up against a resilient Ives back line who were ensuring that their keeper was kept well protected. But a Trebes kick under pressure on 26 minutes was well brought down by Dean Evans in the centre circle. He fed the ball out to the right where the left footed Jordan Copp picked it up, cut inside and unleashed a screamed from fully 25 yards that flew inches wide of Trebes right hand upright.
Having dealt with with the home side’s pressure Ives showed that they were very much in this game by carving out two opportunities in quick succession just after the half hour. On 31 minutes McGowan threaded through a ball on the deck that almost put Josh Dawkin clear, but keeper McHale was quickly off his line to hack the ball clear.
Two minutes later Dubi Ogbonna spurned the best chance of the first half as he timed his run to perfection to get clear onto a through ball from Danny Kelly. He drew keeper McHale to him and sidestepped around the Terras stopper, but just as he looked to slide the ball into the unguarded net covering defender Calvin Brooks nipped in to take the ball off his toe.
The home side started to get back on top again for the remaining period of the first half and Thomson went close to putting them in front on 39 minutes as he picked up a half cleared cross 30 yards from goal and strode on to the edge of the box before unleashing a pile driver which beat Trebes full length dive, but fortunately flashed just millimetres wide.
Brooks was seizing the opportunity to stride forward from defence at every opportunity and right on half time he picked up a ball on the half way line and strode forward before sliding a ball out to Fleetwood on the right. Fleetwood curled in a pinpoint cross that picked out Yetton eight yards out, but yet again the Terras striker failed to hit the target with his header.
The Ives started the second half positively and won two corners in quick succession, but both came to nothing and it was the home side who drew first blood on 54 minutes. The dangerous Copp got away down the left and delivered the perfect cross which evaded everyone in the centre of goal and was turned home eventually by Fleetwod with a stooping header at the far post.
Having fought so hard to get in front the Terras made the fatal mistake of switching off at the restart and within sixty seconds Ives were level again as Kelly took in a ball to his feet by McGowan and held the ball up perfectly before slotting through a perfect pass to put Dawkin clear. He made no mistake waiting for keeper McHale to go down before slotting the ball past him into the net.
Having got level Ives had a huge shout for a penalty turned down only two minutes later as Kelly rose highest to a Higgs corner and directed a header goalwards that clearly struck a raised hand of Evans. Referee Lee Rutter had a perfect view of the event and waved away Ives appeals. His explanation to manager Ricky Marheineke afterwards indicated that he felt that Evans was pushed by Kelly causing him to raise his hand, but no foul was awarded against the big Ives striker.
A quick free kick by Kelly on 69 minutes saw Dawkin get away on the left unfortunately his cross just evaded everyone in the centre and floated to safety. Ives good spell was coming to an end and their last opportunity of the game arrived on 76 minutes as the lively Penfold went past a couple of Terras defenders before being brought down 25 yards from goal by Stephane Zubar. Kelly lined up the free kick, but his curled effort failed to beat the wall.
The efforts expended by Ives players during two long trips in quick succession began to take their toll and the home side started to get on top as the visitors dropped deeper to defend their box. With seven minutes to go overlapping full back Cooper delivered another dangerous cross into the box that got right through to the back post where Fleetwood arriving at pace tried to repeat his earlier feat with a stooping header. But Trebes was alert to the danger and bravely plunged in to claim the ball amongst the flying boots inside the six yard box.
The visitor’s keeper had to be alert again two minutes later as he plunged to his left to turn away a stinging drive from the right hand corner of the box by Fleetwood. The resulting corner was headed over by Thomson under pressure from McDevitt.
The Terras final opportunity to claim all three points came two minutes into added time as Trebes dropped a high cross into the box under heavy pressure from Brooks. But he redeemed himself fully, by blocking the follow up effort by substitute Aaron Rodriguez and then dropping on the loose ball. Seconds later referee Rutter brought proceedings to a halt and Ives players and supporters alike were able to celebrate another valuable point from a very tough opponent.
Again there were a number of man of the match contenders, but two players really stood out as they dealt with everything that the home side threw at them throughout this game from the well directed crosses of the early period to the more desperate long ball punts as the game wore on. Centre back pairing of Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt were magnificent. The final award went to McDevitt in a split decision between the travelling faithful simply on the grounds that he got on the end of a few more of those balls into the box.
This was another huge result for the Ives coming to the impressive home of a side who were four levels higher than the visitors in the football pyramid only eight years ago, matching them for long periods of the game and earning a well deserved point. The unbeaten run moves on to six games with a big derby trip to struggling local rivals St Neots to follow on Tuesday evening.
St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Coulson, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Dawkin, McGowan, Kelly (Jarrold 90), Ogbonna (Seymour-Shove 71), Penfold (O’Malley 90)
Unused subs : De’ath, Moyes
Goals : Dawkin 55,
Supporters Man of the Match : Liam McDevitt
Final Score : Weymouth 1 St Ives Town 1
Attendance : 457