Ives winning run comes to an end with Bromsgrove defeat

Bromsgrove Sporting 2 v St Ives Town 0 

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central  17-02-2024

Nigel Howlett reports from the Victoria Ground

The form guide made Ives firm favourites for this game as they looked to extend their winning run to five league games on the bounce whilst their hosts were on a dismal run of six games without a win and only two goals scored during that run. But the visitors fell foul of the notorious new manager bounce with the experienced Tim Flowers taking the helm at the Victoria Ground and immediately bringing in new players to freshen the squad. Those new arrivals included Peter Abimbola who had enjoyed a successful spell at quattro-tech Westwood Road earlier in the season and a player that Ives had been looking to re-sign before an EFL rule preventing the same player signing on loan twice for the same club put a stop to the move and allowed him to join the Rouslers instead.

Right from the off it was clear that the hosts were keen to go the extra mile to impress their new gaffer as they were quick to close down Ives all over the park giving them very little time on the ball. But the confidence from their recent results was evident in the visitors during these early stages and had they got their noses in front at this stage it could have been a very different story.

The first effort on goal in the game was a fourth minute 35 yarder from Jonny Edwards as he tried to catch home keeper Ollie Taylor out of position. But the effort lacked power allowing Taylor to recover his position and make a comfortable save. Taylor was called into more meaningful action three minutes later when he had to move his feet swiftly to back peddle and tip over Luke Harris’s dangerous cross shot from the right.

Miro Pais was one man putting in a real shift for his new boss, but he went a little to far attempting to help out his defence in eleventh minute taking down Edwards in a wide right position. Luke Harris delivered the resulting free kick into the mix and Edwards got in front of his man to win the header ten yards out but the effort flew harmlessly over the crossbar.

Having survived the Ives early period of pressure the hosts began to emerge as an attacking force themselves, their first dangerous move in 17th minute saw the all action Pais feed in Keanu Cooper down the left, the striker’s driven cross flashed across the six yard line without anyone friend, or foe, able to apply a decisive touch.

Aaron Smith’s long throws were as always proving a threat for the visitors and his 25th minute one from the left evaded everyone at the near post and ricocheted around the six yard box before being claimed bravely by keeper Taylor before an Ives player could poke it home.

The opening goal arrived out of nothing in 28th minute. Rouslers skipper Luke Rowe hurled in a long throw from the right that Ives failed to deal with, the ball eventually dropping perfectly for Pais on the edge of the box. The striker pivoted on it and struck a crisp right foot drive that flew past debutant keeper Lewis Patching and found the top corner of the net.

Getting their noses in front lifted the home crowd who spurred on their favourites to even greater efforts. But despite their endeavour apart from that one moment of inspiration from Pais the hosts were unable to create anything more. The only other noteworthy attempt on goal before the break was another half chance for Ives that materialised from a long throw in 38th minute. Smith delivered this one from the left and the ball was knocked away out to the right where Dan Barton picked it up and got to the bye line before hanging up a cross to the back post which was headed away to Ed Hottor on the edge of the box. But the ball took a bobble on the uneven surface and the midfielder’s effort was sliced well wide of the post.

The early threat in the second half came from the hosts who cleverly used the strengthening breeze to their advantage. Ives were almost caught out by a long punt from Taylor in 51st minute. The ball cleared the Ives back line for Nathan Blissett to run onto but the big striker could not finish like his famous uncle, ex England international Luther Blissett, firing his first time effort over the crossbar. Only seconds later a similar tactic saw Cooper clip a ball over the top that Tyler Bruck almost got onto only to be denied by a sharp save from keeper Patching racing from his line to slide in and claim the ball just ahead of the striker.

Ives were still offering threat mainly from the probing wide runs of Barton and his 54th minute run and cross from the right brought a good chance for Ives as Smith arriving at the back post knocked it back into the feet of Theo Alexandrou only eight yards out but the young striker failed to make clean contact and the chance was gone.

The visitors were slowly looking to apply the pressure to find an equaliser and a moment of inspiration from Alexandrou got them another opportunity 15 minutes from time. The Stevenage loanee jinked his way past two men to get to the bye line on the left but he failed to pick out Edwards arriving in the centre with his pull back.

As Ives pushed more and more men forward in the search for the leveller they were leaving gaps at the back and substitute Billy Shaw managed to rob Myles Cowling on the half way line to get clear in 82nd minute only to be denied by a brilliant flying save from Patching to keep out his fierce rising drive from 20 yards. The resulting corner was cleverly fed back to Pais on the edge of the box, but his powerful strike was bravely blocked away by an Ives defender.

Pais was again the Rouslers hero two minutes from time this time inside his own box as he flung himself across the line of Edwards strike from ten yards after the ball had fell to Ives leading scorer in a goalmouth scramble with the hosts hanging on.

The final act of the game deep in added time was an all, or nothing, throw of the dice from Ives manager Ricky Marheineke as he waved keeper Patching forward for a corner in the final minute. Occasionally such a move comes off, but unfortunately this time that was not the case as the ball was cleared giving the man with the biggest engine on the pitch Abimbola chance to plough a furrow straight through the centre to roll the ball home into the empty net and rub salt into Ives wounds with the last kick of the game.

Final Score:  Bromsgrove Sporting  2  St Ives Town  0


BROMSGROVE: Pais 28, Abimbola 90+5


Team Line Ups:

BROMSGROVE: Taylor, Derrison, Howell, Rowe (capt), Roberts, Soladerni, Bruck (Shaw 55), Abimbola, Blissett (Leachman-Whittingham 84), Cooper, Pais, Unused Subs: White, Lekuti, Newell

ST IVES: Patching, Casey (Cowling 66), Smith, Harris, Williams, Hutchings, Barton, Hottor (Kaziboni 78), Edwards (capt), Alexandrou, Tomlinson, Unused subs: Joyce,

Cards:   Yellow:  BROMSGROVE: Rowe (66)            ST IVES: Smith (8), Casey (57)


Attendance: 612