St Ives Town 2 KINGS LANGLEY 1
Date: Saturday 21st January 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Advanced Security Ltd
The Ives faithful who had ventured out on what was probably the coldest day of the season so far were rewarded with a warming start as the home side shot out of the traps to catch the visiting Kings still in the freezer.
The most decisive moment of the game came after only 53 seconds as a flowing move down the left involving Mark Coulson and Josh Dawkin saw the ball played into the feet of Danny Kelly on the edge of the box. He once again showed his class in holding up the ball under extreme pressure and releasing it perfectly into the path of Dawkin who had continued his run into the box. His low driven cross was turned home at close range by Ben Seymour-Shove giving keeper Xavi Comas no chance.
Having taken this early lead Ives continued to press and Jared Cunniff was only just beaten to a clip over the top from Seymour-Shove by keeper Comas. His hack clear went straight to Harry O’Malley on the half way line. But the full back was quickly closed down before he could attempt to embarrass the fast retreating keeper.
The Kings first foray into Ives territory did not come until 17th minute when Lewis Toomey and Steve Ward combined well down the right before the latter tried to get past Lee Chaffey 35 yards from goal. The Ives skipper thwarted the immediate danger, but picked up a yellow card for his clumsy challenge on the flying winger. The resulting free kick was pumped into the box, but home keeper Tim Trebes came positively and got a good punch on the ball to get it clear.
Ives almost doubled their advantage in somewhat fortunate circumstances on 26 minutes as Coulson and Dawkin again combined well down the left. The wingers attempted cross floated over keeper Comas and looked to be going in, but cannoned back into play off the angle of crossbar and post. The scrambling keeper took a blow for his troubles as he collided heavily with the upright in his fast retreating efforts to reach the ball. Fortunately he was able to continue after a period of treatment.
During this delay Kings made a surprisingly early substitution replacing midfielder Ollie Cox with wide man Jack Waldren. Waldren took up a position wide on the left and was involved only seven minutes later as he found space to deliver a dangerous cross that Ryan Plowright headed just past the post.
Both defences remained on top for the remainder of the first half with a long range effort from each side being the only moments of note. Jack Bradshaw fired the Ives effort well wide on three minutes before the break and Plowright replied with a 25 yard effort equally far off target right on the break.
Having taken a roasting from their management team at half time the Kings came out fired up for the start of the second period and came within inches of grabbing an equaliser only ninety seconds in. A deep cross into the box by Dean Hitchcock was flicked on by Toomey and Waldren arriving late at the far post fired his first time volley across the face of goal and inches past the far post with Trebes rooted to the spot.
Having survived that scare Ives went close to doubling their advantage only three minutes later as Seymour-Shove delivered an excellent cross from the left the Kelly met at the near post Comas did well to block his first time effort and even better to deflect away the follow up effort from Cunniff. Ives continued to press for the vital second goal and in the next ten minutes Bradshaw set up Seymour-Shove for an effort that he fired into the side netting and Kelly failed to hit the target as he got on the end of an out swinging Higgs corner from the left.
Manager Ricky Marheineke made an unexpected change on 65 minutes replacing central midfielder Bradshaw with centre back Charlie De’ath. But it was a bold move as De’ath went up front to add presence alongside Kelly and Cunniff dropped back into his more usual role in the centre. This bold move almost paid off on 70 minutes as Liam McDevitt fired a long ball out of defence that Kelly did well to keep in. He played a perfectly weighted ball into the run of De’ath who was unlucky to see his shot blocked at close range by the legs of keeper Comas.
The Kings were still battling to get back into the game and on 77 minutes two substitutes James Verney and Waldren combined well on the left for Mayo Balogun to deliver a cross that McDevitt blocked at the near post. The ball rebounded to Toomey who hit a low shot through the crowd that deflected off Plowright. Fortunately Trebes had a good sight of the effort and plunged to his left to make a good save.
The vital second goal came Ives way only one minute later as a long Trebes free kick was won in the air by De’ath and Dawkin timed his run to perfection to get clear onto the flick. Keeper Comas was quickly off his line and made an excellent block of the striker’s first effort and was hugely unlucky as the ball then rebounded off the body of Dawkin past the stranded keeper and rolled on into the unguarded net.
Having fought so hard to get two in front Ives switched off momentarily and were punished as Kings almost immediately halved the arrears. Gary Connolly delivered a very deep, maybe over hit, cross to beyond the back post where Waldren had ghosted into space. The winger cleverly got under the ball and looped his header over the exposed Trebes and inside the opposite post.
With gaps now opening up as the visitor’s pressed for an equaliser there was a chance for Morgan Penfold to grab his first Ives goal as he and fellow substitute De’ath combined well down the left before the stand in striker teed up Penfold inside the box. But rather that shoot the young striker played the ball on to Dawkin who fired the ball inches wide.
As has been their way of late Ives were very effective in playing out the remaining time without further scares including a visit to the opposition penalty area for a corner by keeper Comas. The nearest either side came to scoring was four minutes into added time when Higgs put Penfold and Dawkin clear, but again rather than shoot the youngster tried to tee up his team mate and the chance was quickly extinguished.
Not a classic, but another excellent all round performance and three more hard earned points on the road to safety. Once more a number of candidates for the man of the match accolade with all of the usual suspects in the frame. But the supporters vote today went to a more unsung hero who was involved in everything in the centre of the park and had a cracking game both breaking up opposition attacks and using the ball well once he had won it, step forward Jack Higgs.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Coulson, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Sinclair 87), Bradshaw (De’ath 65), Kelly (Penfold 78), Cunniff, Dawkin,
Unused subs : Jarrold
Goals : Seymour-Shove 1, Dawkin 78
Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Higgs
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Kings Langley 1
Attendance : 291