The St Ives Town Lionesses claimed an impressive victory in a very one sided affair against a battling Isleham side.
Right from the off the Ives showed they were much quicker to the ball and were very capable of outpacing a rather sluggish Isleham defence. Sasha Smith had already wasted a good opportunity before putting the home side in front on eight minutes. Georgia Stancombe put through Hannah Seymour-Shove and she selflessly squared the ball to her strike partner Smith who steered in a low shot from the corner of the box that the Isleham keeper got a hand to, but could not keep out.
The home side continued to pour forward, but thanks to some wasteful finishing and a couple of good saves from the Isleham keeper it took until the 24th minute before the Ives doubled their advantage as Smith grabbed her second in spectacular style. Hannah Seymour-Shove fed Smith in a wide left position. The powerful striker fired in a dipping effort that flew over the keeper and nestled in the top corner of the net.
Three goals in three minutes just after the half hour mark settled the match as a contest. Stancombe turned provider again as she threaded a perfectly weighted through ball for Hannah Seymour-Shove to run clear onto on 33 minutes. Seymour-Shove calmly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper.
Seymour-Shove grabbed her second and Ives fourth less than 60 seconds later. This time she was put clear by her sister Amy and again showed a composed finish to give the keeper no chance. The fifth goal came only ninety seconds later as Stancombe was brought down by a struggling Isleham defender just as she was about to shoot deep inside the box. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Smith stepped up to claim her hat trick. Although she was perhaps a little fortunate in this as her somewhat timid penalty was fumbled in by the keeper.
Substitute Megan Stowe grabbed her first goal for the Lionesses two minutes from half time as she ran on to a long free kick by Phoebe Webb that was missed by the Iselham back line. The struggling keeper got a hand to her well struck effort, but the ball still found the back of the net off the inside of the post.
There was still time for Amy Seymour-Shove to add a seventh right on the break as she again ran clear onto another ball over the top and fired home into the top right hand corner of the net from just inside the box to give the keeper no chance.
The goal fest looked like it was going to continue as an eighth arrived in emphatic fashion three minutes into the second half. Stancombe delivered an out swinging corner from the right that was met perfectly by centre back Mollie Berryman who powered in her header from eight yards.
The ninth arrived only four minutes later as leading scorer Georgia Rebane came off the bench to join in. She timed her run to perfection to get clear as yet another long ball found its way through the visitors back line. Rebane showed her composure as she drew the keeper and slotted the ball in the bottom corner from just inside the box.
The Lionesses had to wait until the 65th minute before that hit double figures and it was a well deserved goal for Stancombe as she got on the end of a good delivery from the left by Amy Seymour-Shove and side footed home from close range.
Another Ives substitute Jorgie Hall almost got in on the act one minute later as she ran on to a long punt from keeper Kira Markwell, but the battling Isleham keeper got down quickly to her right to turn Hall’s well struck effort round the post. The resulting corner lead to a scramble in the visitor’s goalmouth and efforts from Hall, Berryman and Rebane were all blocked before the ball was finally hacked clear.
Rebane claimed her second and the final goal of the afternoon on 70 minutes as she exchanged passes with Hall down the left before turning inside and beating the keeper on her near post with a fierce drive from just inside the box.
There were no more goals in the remaining 20 minutes thanks mainly to the gallant efforts of the Isleham no. 6 and her keeper who at times stood up alone against three, or four, Ives strikers. The closest we got to a round dozen came on 83 minutes when another Ives substitute Connie Liddiard cut out a poor goal kick from the tiring keeper and hammered in a shot from 25 yards that rattled the crossbar and bounced down and then out with such speed that only goal line technology could have told us how close it got to crossing the line.
So an emphatic win for the Lionesses who displayed their battling qualities and some excellent fast flowing football on occasions and showed once again they are very much a team who all work very hard for each other. All important qualities that will be needed in the vital games coming up over the next few weeks as the season reaches its business end.