St Ives Town 2 Redditch United 1
Date: Saturday 10th December 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: TC Harrison Group Ltd
This was billed as the clash of two in form sides as the Ives came into the game having won 5 out of their last six in all competitions and their visitors were also on a five match unbeaten run. However it was the home side who showed their true form with a win that would have been much more comprehensive but for the heroics of giant Redditch keeper Brad Catlow.
Coming into the game in confident mood the Ives were quickly out of the traps taking the game to their opposition straight from the off. Their early reward came courtesy of the alert referee Tom Danaher who spotted a trip on Josh Dawkin by Dior Angus as the two players tussled for the ball just inside the box with the game only four minutes old. The usually reliable Jack Higgs grabbed the ball and strode up to take the spot kick. But unusually he chose to go straight down the middle and Catlow managed to block the ball with his legs and pounce on the loose ball ahead of the Ives midfielder.
Fortunately for the Ives the penalty miss was soon forgotten and Catlow’s next touch was to pick the ball out of his net less than sixty seconds later. Higgs won a challenge in midfield and fed the ball into the feet of Danny Kelly who in turn played the ball into the path of Dawkin cutting in from the right. The hard working wide man hit a crisp low drive from just inside the box that beat the Reds keeper low to his right.
This well worked goal meant that for the third game in a row the home side were in front inside the first ten minutes. They continued their high tempo game which appeared to be knocking the visitors out of their stride and forcing them into a number of errors on the rain slickened surface.
The Reds only showed flashes of their true ability and home keeper Tim Trebes was perhaps a little fortunate to get away with a missed punch as he tried to clear a shot from Gurjit Singh which had deflected into the air off the head of skipper Lee Chaffey on 22 minutes. Trebes certainly knew his luck was in as having missed the punch he fell to the ground only to find the loose ball arrived in his grateful arms.
Trebes opposite number Catlow also enjoyed some good fortune of his own six minutes later as he chose to try and punch away a fierce drive from 25 yards by Higgs and only succeeded in knocking the ball down to Dubi Ogbonna inside the box. The usually deadly front man stabbed in a shot that the prostrate Catlow was pleased to see arrive in his arms as he lay on the deck.
Ives came within millimetres of grabbing that all important second goal on the half hour. Dawkin played an excellent through ball down the right hand channel into the run of Ogbonna who went outside the covering defender and fired in a shot that took a wicked deflection off Duane Courtney and floated over watching keeper Catlow, but the ball drifted just outside the far upright.
Ives last noteworthy effort of the first half arrived ten minutes before the break as the tricky Dawkin danced his way through a posse of Reds defenders and tried to side foot the ball past the advancing Catlow, but only succeeded in planting the ball straight into his hands.
The Reds final effort of the first period came on 42 minutes as a corner was well cleared to full back Jordan Jones who brought the ball down only just inside the Ives half he took a touch, strode forward, and unleashed a thunderbolt from fully 35 yards that was fortunately straight at keeper Trebes who held on well in the greasy conditions.
The home side proceeded to start the second half exactly as they had begun the first by taking the game to their opposition and they should have doubled their advantage only two minutes after the restart. Higgs delivered the first corner of the half to the near post where the ball was knocked straight back to him. His second delivery picked out Ogbonna all on his own at the far post. But it clearly was not his day as he somehow managed to guide his header from inside the six yard box the wrong side of the post.
The same man did get the ball in the net four minutes later as he reacted first to the loose ball after keeper Catlow had failed to hang onto a rising Dawkin drive from 25 yards. But the assistant had correctly spotted that the Ives front man was in an offside position when the initial shot came in.
The Ives continued to press and young Morgan Penfold was enjoying a lot of possession on the left side. He was involved in the build up to the next opportunity as he combined well down the left with Mark Coulson before delivering the ball into Tom McGowan who in turn played in Dawkin. He was only denied by a last ditch sliding block from Jordan Cullinane-Liburd. The resulting corner was flicked on at the near post by Kelly and almost turned home at the back post by skipper Chaffey.
The second goal which had been threatened for so long finally arrived on 57 minutes as the excellent McGowan robbed Angus on the right and fed the ball down the line to Ogbonna who in turn played it into the feet of Kelly on the edge of the box. The big man again showed his slight of feet as he side stepped his marker and drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net past the despairing dive of Catlow.
Having now got two goals in front the home side began to take their foot of the gas a little and the Reds seized their opportunity to grab a lifeline. The tricky Angus found a gap on the left and fired in a low shot from the edge of the box that was turned home at close range by Luke Keen only seven minutes after the home side’s second.
As the Ives began to tire the question became could the visitors make something of this lifeline and get a point from a game they should have been dead and buried in. They had made a couple of positive substitutions and one of these Danico Johnson combined well with Coburne on the right before delivering a cross that picked out Angus at the far post. Fortunately the number eleven turned his shot wide under pressure from Harry O’Malley.
Most of the visitor’s threats were coming down the right hand side where Coburne was causing a few problems. He fed the ball into Keen on 70 minutes and the speedy striker drove on into the box before flashing a low drive across the face of goal that somehow evaded everyone.
By this point Ives defenders were having to put their bodies on the line to keep the Reds at bay. The evergreen Dan Moyes was the first to make an all important block seven minutes from time. Johnson had again got down the right and pulled the ball back to fellow substitute Reece Hales who saw his shot from just inside the box beat Trebes, but not the covering Moyes on the line.
Coulson made an equally vital stop by throwing his body in to block a well struck effort from Singh at point blank range after the rangy striker had jinked his way into the box with two minutes of normal time remaining.
Having survived the best that the visitors could throw at them Ives came close to grabbing a third as the game entered added time. Substitute Jared Cunniff broke at pace and then combined well with Kelly down the right. He in turn fed in the ever willing Ben Seymour-Shove who hit a low drive from the right hand angle of the box that keeper Catlow blocked with his legs.
The remaining three minutes of added time were played out without further scares to allow the Ives to claim a very impressive scalp and another vital three points in their quest for survival.
Once again there were a number of contenders that got a mention as potential man of the match winners by the supporters who got a vote from the impressive skipper Lee Chaffey and never say die Dan Moyes at the back through the midfield where Jack Higgs had probably his best game of the season (apart from the penalty miss), wide men Josh Dawkin and Morgan Penfold, another who arguably had his best game yet for the Ives and the silky skills and pure quality of Danny Kelly. The winner for the second week in a row was the man who yet again covered every blade of grass on the pitch and probably won more tackles than anyone else on view Tom McGowan.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Coulson, Chaffey (capt), Moyes, Higgs (Cunniff 84), Dawkin, McGowan, Kelly, Ogbonna (Bradshaw 72), Penfold (Seymour-Shove 72)
Unused subs : Jarrold
Goals : Dawkin 5, Kelly 57
Supporters Man of the Match : Tom McGowan
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Redditch United 1
Attendance : 224