Ives suffer narrow Coalville defeat

St Ives Town 1 v Coalville Town 2

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central  04-03-2024

Nigel Howlett Reports

All of the goals and almost all of the action came in a pulsating first 45 minutes. But the endeavour put in by both sides in tough encounters on heavy pitches only two days earlier really showed in the second half as the pace of the game slowed and chances became much more limited. Ives second half cause not being helped by losing their two most creative players in Dan Barton who picked up an unlucky injury just before the break when getting a shot away and Theo Alexandrou who departed at the interval succumbing to a knock picked up in Saturday’s win at Royston.

Both sides made changes following their very recent previous fixtures. Ives bringing in Paddy Casey and Myles Cowling to replace the rested Luke Harris and Ed Hottor respectively. The Ravens similarly resting Wes York, Herve Pepe-Ngoma and Kieran Cook who all dropped to the bench with Roddy McGlinchey, Luke Shaw and the exciting Terell Pennant coming into the starting eleven.

Having started the game on Saturday in explosive style Ives did it again getting their noses in front in only the seventh minute when leading scorer Jonny Edwards clinically despatched a spot kick which had been awarded when he was upended inside the box by Ashley Carter. The hosts continued to press early on with Edwards going close with a thirty yarder that dipped just over the crossbar five minutes later. That opportunity being set up by Josh Tomlinson who had robbed Pennant on half way before rolling the ball into the feet of his centre forward.

It took the visitors a while to get going but once they did they quickly began to create opportunities of their own. A flowing move in 17th minute ended with Pennant driving a low cross across the six yard line that Tim Berridge was only prevented from turning home by a timely interception from Casey.

Ex Raven Jake Hutchings almost presented his former colleagues with an equaliser five minutes later as Berridge read his intentions and cut out a back pass. Keeper Sam Bentley did well to close the striker and prevent him getting a shot away but he picked out Shaw with a ball inside and it took a brave block from Jordan Williams to keep out the midfielder’s shot. The loose ball ran to Tom McGlinchey and it took an equally excellent save from the recovering Bentley to prevent him turning the ball home. But having survived that scare Ives got caught out from the resulting well worked Shaw corner Berridge arrived at the near post and although his initial effort was blocked Scott McManus was on hand to force home the rebound.

The game was now very much on and it became an exciting end to end encounter as both sides traded blows looking for that all important second goal. Unfortunately for Ives they found their former keeper Paul White in excellent form and he did brilliantly leaping high to his left to tip away an Edwards screamer in 28th minute. The ball had arrived at the striker’s feet on the edge of the box as the Ravens struggled to clear a Michael Richens corner from the right.

The visitors then managed to get in front from their next attack three minutes later. Roddy McGlinchey ran at the heart of the Ives defence and was adjudged to have been tripped by Williams just outside the box. Shaw then delivered the perfect free kick getting the ball up and down over the hosts five man wall and finding the top corner just out of the reach of the flying Bentley.

The end to end nature of the game did not change but the excellent White continued to thwart Ives. His hands were stung by a fierce drive from the edge of the box from Barton but it was in falling having got this shot away that the young winger picked up the injury that saw him depart the fray a few minutes later to be replaced by Ed Hottor.

It was Bentley’s turn to show his prowess in 38th minute as he flung himself high to his right to tip away a deflected 25 yarder from Eliot Putman. The resulting corner again caused problems before Ives eventually managed to scramble it clear.

With half time approaching Ives upped their game and pushed hard for the equaliser and they did manage to beat the excellent White in the final minute of regulation time but Cowling’s close range effort came back off the crossbar. The chance came from an excellent move started by Hottor winning a tackle deep in his own half before feeding the ball on to Edwards who in turn put Alexandrou away down the left. His cross into the danger area was met by Cowling at the back post and Ives luck was certainly not in as the rebound off the goal frame just evaded Edwards arriving in the box.

There was still time for Ives to go close twice more in the five minutes added for Barton’s injury. Cowling had a goal bound shot blocked away bravely by McManus and White again brilliantly denied Williams after the centre back had got his head to the resulting corner.

So ended a pulsating first 45 minutes that but for some brave defending and excellent goal keeping would have ended with many more goals than it did. We were all hoping for more of the same second half but sadly it was not to come as both sides began to show their exertions of only 48 hours earlier and the pace of the game dropped.

Pennant was still looking lively for the visitors and in 50th minute he cut in from the right at pace and unleashed a fierce rising drive from the edge of the box that beat Bentley and clipped the crossbar on its way over the top.

Clever play from Edwards almost carved out an opportunity for Cowling six minutes later. Receiving a ball in from the right by Casey Ives centre forward almost deceived the Ravens defence as he back heeled the ball into the run of his midfield teammate but McManus was alert to the danger and just cut it out.

Ives applied some pressure forcing a series of corners and long throw opportunities for Aaron Smith. But whist Smith’s throws caused the Ravens defence problems and at least three of them were allowed to bounce inside the box Ives did not have anyone in the right place attacking the back post. The corners were generally well dealt with by the admirable White who chose to punch on each occasion and was quite effective in doing so.

But for all of their pressure Ives did not really test White again and it was the visitors who looked more likely to increase their lead on the break. A 75th minute move saw Shaw and Pennant link up on the right with the latter driving in a skimming low drive from 20 yards that Bentley did well to tip around diving to his right. The closest either side came to a goal in the second period was eight minutes from time when Berridge played in Pennant through the right channel but rather than a composed finish from the youngster he went for power and although his drive from just inside the box beat Bentley it thumped the keepers left hand post and rebounded to safety.

There was one final save for Bentley to make with three minutes to go and again it was Pennant that he denied after the young winger had been teed up by McGlinchey for another shot from the edge of the box.

The Ravens saw out the remaining time and the added five minutes fairly comfortably as a hard working but tired looking hosts struggled to create anything in those closing stages. Ives missed the chance to leapfrog their opponents in the table and remain in a mid table thirteenth with nine games to go. The Ravens rose two places to tenth and can look forward to their FA Trophy Quarter Final encounter with Northern Premier League Macclesfield on Saturday.

Final Score:  St Ives Town    1   Coalville Town   2


ST IVES: Edwards 7 (pen)

COALVILLE: McManus 23, Shaw 31

Team Line Ups:

ST IVES: Bentley, Casey (Harris 88), Smith, Richens (capt), Williams, Hutchings, Barton (Hottor 43), Cowling, Edwards, Alexandrou (Kaunda 46), Tomlinson, Unused subs: Kaziboni

COALVILLE: White, Dean, Putman, R. McGlinchey, Carter, Shaw, Doyle-Charles (capt) (Pepe-Ngoma 49), Berridge, T. McGlinchey, Pennant (York 90+4), McManus, Unused subs: R. McGlinchey, Shaw, Pennant, Lita, Towers,

Cards:   Yellow:  ST IVES: Casey (52), Richens (57)      COALVILLE: Doyle-Charles (45), Dean (90+2)  


Attendance: 166