St Ives Town 3 Dunstable Town 1
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
The super moon may have been obscured by cloud, but there was nothing to shadow the super Ives as they turned in an excellent all round performance to claim a very valuable three points and their first win of the season against a team in the higher reaches of the table. The result was all the more satisfying as the Blues had won the reverse fixture 4-1 in September.
With a number of injuries already affecting their small squad the last thing Ives wanted were players going down sick on the day of the game, but they lost both Harry O’Malley and Jack Higgs to bugs ahead of this game which meant only three players on the bench and these included young scholar Jamie Short called into the squad for the second game in a row.
There might have been players missing under the weather, but the Ives made a one hundred mile an hour start to this game and went in front in spectacular fashion after only ten minutes. Josh Dawkin won the ball wide on the left and fed it down the line to Mark Coulson who delivered a first time ball into Danny Kelly 15 yards out with his back to goal. The big striker took the ball in with his first touch and instantly went for the overhead kick which he got spot on looping the ball over the head of stranded keeper Jack Smith and into the net.
Ives delight at going in front was soon extinguished as they gifted the visitors an equaliser only five minutes later. A cross from Vences Bola on the right arrived at the back of the box where stand in full back Jack Bradshaw got a call to head home. He tried to direct his header back to keeper Tim Trebes, but misdirected it straight onto the head of a grateful Alex Cathline who steered the ball home from six yards.
After these two early goals the game settled down with Ives matching their, on paper, more illustrious opponents all over the park and constantly harrying them into mistakes by their high tempo pressing game.
Although it was the visitors that created the next few chances none of them really troubled home keeper Tim Trebes. David Longe-King playing at right back for the Blues delivered a dangerous in-swinging cross into the box on 21 minutes. Danny Green flung himself at the ball but his flicked header flashed wide of the far post.
The muscular Cathline was proving a real handful for the Ives back line and won his side a free kick just outside the box four minutes later. Danny Talbot’s free kick was perhaps a little to close for comfort as it beat the wall and keeper Trebes but just scraped the crossbar and only rattled the stanchion behind the goal.
The visitors carved out a route one opportunity on 33 minutes as Adam Moussi headed down a long punt from keeper Smith into the path of Bola who flashed his first time effort from just inside the box inches past the far post.
Former Ipswich Town star Brian Talbot was present watching his son performing for the Blues. He was probably pleased to see his lad deliver an excellent free kick into the box from the right that Kelvin Bossman won in the air at the back post on 38 minutes. Trebes did well to tip the well directed header over the top. Talbot’s corner was then won at the near post by Moussi, but he powered his header well wide.
The combination of Coulson and Dawkin on the left created another opportunity for the Ives as half time approached. This time Coulson picked out Dawkin to perfection with a clip down the line and the tricky winger seized the opportunity to run at the defence getting past Longe-King and just having the ball taken off his toe by Blues skipper Adam Peppera as he shaped to shoot.
The resulting corner was headed clear to Dawkin on the edge of the box. He took a touch and hit a crisp low right footed drive through the crowded area that beat the despairing dive of keeper Smith and found it’s way into the bottom right hand corner of the net to put the home side back in front and send them into half time happy.
Ives came out for the second half determined to hang onto what they had got. But they were almost undone by a piece of quick thinking from Talbot with only four minutes gone. He took a quick free kick 30 yards from goal and fed in Bola on the right. The speedy winger hit a powerful rising drive from just inside the box that keeper Trebes held onto well at the second attempt.
Having survived that scare the home side were very pleased to give themselves the cushion of a two goal lead on 52 minutes and Dawkin and Kelly were again the men involved. The Ives wing man hounded and robbed Longe-King on the half way line and fed the ball into the run of Dubi Ogbonna who looked like he was going to power clear. But having pulled the covering defence to him he unselfishly fed the ball on to Kelly on the edge of the box and he steered a low shot past the outstretched left hand of keeper Smith and into the bottom corner of the net.
The Dunstable manager made all his three changes in the next fifteen minutes. But the hardworking Ives side continued to thwart all that the Blues could throw at them and began to look like the solid defensive unit of last season. Skipper Lee Chaffey and fellow centre back Liam McDevitt were immense during this period. But everyone else was playing there part in this very impressive show.
Having repelled all that the visitors could throw at them without Trebes being troubled it was the Ives who came closest to adding to their tally in the last 15 minutes. Kelly did very well to bring down a long ball out of defence and came within inches of grabbing his hat trick as his low short from 20 yards beat Smith, but flashed just past his left hand post.
Kelly was substituted moments later by Jordan Jarrold as a move to sure up the back line for the last ten minutes and the big striker left the field to rapturous applause having done his job for the day.
The visitors made one final attempt to get back into the game and Trebes was called upon to make an excellent catch of a long hanging free kick on 78 minutes and a routine catch of a long range shot from Moussi four minutes later.
However the Ives simply played out the remainder of the game without further alarm with the only items of note two very uncharacteristic misses from a tiring Ogbonna both in added time. Dawkin once again robbed the struggling Longe-King and delivered a waist high cross into the box that Ogbonna met on the volley eight yards out in the centre of goal. But he steered his effort inches wide with the goal at his mercy.
The speedy striker had really put in a shift and tiredness certainly played a part only seconds later when Dawkin again put him clear and he took his shot on early from the edge of the box, but was again inches off target.
Overall a hugely satisfying performance and result that shows what the Ives are capable of in this division. All of the players on the pitch put in a good shift in this game and a few got votes for man of the match. The leading contenders for the honour being Dubi Ogbonna, Josh Dawkin and the eventual winner Danny Kelly.
If this performance can be consistently repeated in the upcoming games then we can all look optimistically to the Ives moving up the table away from the danger zone. More of the same please.
St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Coulson, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Harradine, Seymour-Shove, Cunniff (McGowan 68), Kelly (Jarrold 80), Ogbonna, Dawkin
Unused subs : Short
Goals : Kelly 10, 52 Dawkin 41
Supporters Man of the Match : Danny Kelly
Final Score : St Ives Town 3 Dunstable Town 1
Attendance : 145