Weymouth FC 0 St Ives Town 1
Date: Saturday 12th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: Bob Lucas Stadium,, Radipole Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XJ
If there was ever an example of how pre-season results mean nothing when it comes to the crunch and the competitive action begins this was it. The Terras had marched through pre-season in unbeaten style to lift the expectations of their large fan base. In contrast Ives had stuttered through their build up which was seriously interrupted with injuries and absence.
However when it came to the crux it was the visiting Ives who made the long journey back from the South coast with the three points in their back pockets following a dominant display which silenced the locals long before the end.
The goal, when it came, may have been a little fortunate as Lewis Hilliard’s in-swinging corner found its way through the crowded goalmouth directly into the back of the net seven minutes from time. But prior to the goal Ives had created a number of good chances and already rattled the host’s crossbar late in the first half. They also twice had the ball in the net after the goal with one effort disallowed for a slight infringement on a defender and the other for a very border line offside decision.
Whilst all this action was going on at the other end Ives imposing debutant Guyanese international goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle was very quietly and confidently dealing with the sporadic Terras raids.
The host’s youthful side made the first probing raid of the game after only three minutes. But McKenzie-Lyle made a comfortable save low to his right to keep out a header from Brandon Goodship who had got on the end of a deep Callum Buckley cross at the far post.
McKenzie-Lyle was forced into a better save in 23rd minute as a long free kick was headed down by Charlie Davis and Goodship fired in a snap shot from 25 yards that the athletic keeper finger tipped over the top.
Ives first meaningful attack arrived only two minutes later as Tom McGowan won the ball deep in Ives territory and played it into the feet of Peter Clark. His delicate clip over the top picked out the perfectly timed run of James Hall, but his shot from 20 yards was blocked by a covering defender and Jimmy Hartley following up dragged his effort from 25 yards well wide of the post.
McKenzie-Lyle made two more comfortable saves in the next three minutes first comfortably gathering a powerful drive from 25 yards by Goodship and then taking a Jake McCarthey free kick from a similar distance into his midriff a few minutes later.
From this point the game began to swing the way of the Ives as they started to pressurise their opponents into mistakes with home keeper Nick Thomas looking particularly vulnerable. Three minutes before the break he came for a hanging Draycott free kick deep into his box. But instead of claiming a comfortable catch he elected to punch under very little pressure and was very fortunate to get away with a poor punch that went straight up in the air. He just managed to redeem himself by clawing the dropping ball off of the head of Hall.
Another error from Thomas almost lead to the visitors going in front right on the half time whistle. He chose to roll the ball out to Buckley only just outside the box, seemingly he had taken no notice of Hilliard who was stalking the defender and pounced the instant he received the ball robbing him and forcing the Terras man to pull him back to prevent him breaking away. This action brought the young defender a yellow card and almost cost his team a goal. Phil Draycott spotted up the free kick and curled the ball over the wall beating Thomas’s despairing dive, but unluckily rebounding back into play off the underside of the crossbar. Clark pounced on the loose ball, but failed to hit the target as he was closed by a number of defenders.
Having taken control in the latter period of the first half Ives came out even more determined at the start of the second period and started to press their opposition even further up the pitch. Hall closed and robbed Tiago Sa on 48 minutes, he fed the ball into the feet of Hartley on the edge of the box and as Hartley’s shot was blocked he followed up and curled his effort from the right hand corner of the box just wide of the far post.
The host’s final meaningful attack of the afternoon arrived after only 52 minutes as Ben Thompson took on Lewis Ferrell on the outside and delivered a dangerous cross that Jarrold miscued at the back post. Goodship pounced on the loose ball and burst into the box only to go down under a strong challenge from McGowan and Ferrell. But referee Iain Parsons was right on the spot and waved away the Terras claims for a penalty.
Thomas continued to look edgy and he put one of his defenders under pressure again after 54 minutes as he took a quick goal kick to Ashley Wells on the edge of his own box. But again the keeper seemed to not see Hartley who was only feet away and instantly pounced to rob Wells who did well to recover and block the speedy striker’s effort.
Ives pressure continued to mount and Draycott was bundled over by Calvin Brooks just outside the host’s box in 64th minute. Hartley fired the free kick into the wall, but the ricocheted out to Hilliard on the right and his low cross picked out Draycott who should probably have done better as he failed to hit the target with his side footed effort from 15 yards.
Clark went close again fifteen minutes from time as he picked up the ball on the left and ran at the home defence getting past two before unleashing a low drive that deflected inches wide of keeper Thomas’s left hand upright as the nervous custodian scrambled across his goal.
The persistence of Hall finally led to the only goal as he chased a long ball out of defence nine minutes from time. His presence forced Wells to misdirect his attempted header back to his keeper thus conceding a corner. This flag kick was delivered from the right by Draycott and tipped over his own crossbar at full stretch by Thomas. The next corner from the opposite side by Hilliard was also in-swinging and as goalkeeper and defenders all hesitated it was allowed to bounce inside the six yard box and travelled on into the back of the net by the far post without friend, or foe, getting a touch.
Two minutes later substitute Danny Kelly thought he had made it two as fellow sub Ben Seymour-Shove got down the left and delivered a low cross to the near post where Kelly out muscled Wells to toe poke the ball home through the legs of Thomas. However referee Parsons deemed that Kelly’s use of strength to outmanoeuvre Wells had involved the unfair use of an elbow.
Ives continued to control the game winding the clock down very effectively by preventing the Terras from getting the ball out of their own half. Seymour-Shove was again involved three minutes later as he threaded a pass through the home defence to put Kelly clear. But again the big striker was denied as he rifled the ball home, this time by the raised flag of an assistant.
The final opportunity of the game, deep in added time, also came the way of the visitors as McGowan cut out an intended pass out of defence and fed the ball into the feet of Hall on the edge of the box. His clever flick put Hilliard in, the skilful midfield man had time to pick his spot, but unselfishly tried to square the ball to Seymour-Shove arriving late in the centre. This just gave Buckley the opportunity to get a toe in and knock the ball out for a corner allowing the Ives to kill the last few seconds of the game and claim this highly impressive three points.
Overall an excellent start to the season after a difficult five hour coach journey on roads packed with holiday makers and more than their fair share of caravans. The performance was excellent and everyone played their part. How good this result really is will only show as the season unfolds, but the Terras, although a good footballing side did look a little lightweight and they were out fought, out thought, and out played by a good looking Ives side.
Man of the match was a tough one with everyone putting in a real shift. There were two men that truly personified that never say die attitude Tom McGowan winning tackles and distributing the ball in the centre of the park and the man who won the vote on this occasion for his constant harrying of the hosts back line, James Hall. Bring on the Waders for what looks like another tough game on Tuesday night.
Final Score : Weymouth 0 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Hilliard 83
Supporters man of the match : James Hall
St Ives team : McKenzie-Lyle, Longden (Chaffey 87), Jarrold, Ferrell, De’ath (capt), McGowan, Hilliard, Clark, Hall, Hartley (Kelly 67), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 77)
Unused substitutes : none
Attendance : 665
Match Report by Nigel Howlett