Aveley 2 v St Ives Town 1
Isuzu FA Trophy 2nd Round 18-11-2023
Nigel Howlett report from the Parkside Stadium
Two late goals from substitute Manny Ogunrinde snatched away a deserved victory from battling Ives. Second placed in National League South the Millers sit 41 places above their visitors but it was the Cambridgeshire side who were on top for most of this game and but for a fantastic display from home keeper Jonathan North would have had the game won by half time. The home keeper took the man of the match award from the days match sponsors and rightly so for pulling off a string of brilliant saves to keep his side in the game.
Ives took the confidence gained from their recent five match winning run into this game and it was they who were first into their stride troubling the home defence from early on. A twelfth minute Michael Richens free kick from 25 yards that curled over the wall had North scampering across his line but he was happy to watch that effort fly inches wide of his right hand post.
Highly promising young wing back Ben Mensah had been given his first start by manager Ricky Marheineke which was hard on stand in wing back Luke Harris who has done exceptionally well in recent games. The next chance in 20th minute fell to Mensah as Jonny Edwards got down the left and delivered a cross that reached the young full back arriving at pace on the edge of the box but he snatched at it and the shot flew harmlessly wide.
The 24th minute saw Ives carve out two excellent chances inside 60 seconds. Another Richens free kick into the box came off a defender and dropped at the feet of Dan Barton only ten yards out but rather than go for goal he tried to pick out a colleague and the ball was scrambled away. But it was quickly returned to the Millers end of the pitch with Edwards timing his run to perfection to get clear through the left channel. He drew keeper North towards him but the agile stopper did not commit early and made an excellent diving save low to his left to keep out the shot when it came.
Keeper North did even better in 29th minute diving full length to his left to palm away a fierce drive from the edge of the box by Brandon Njoku who had seized the opportunity to get his shot away when Millers skipper, Harry Gibbs, slipped.
Ives keeper Eddie Brearey had been more of a spectator at the other end of the pitch simply watching as a long range effort from Dara Dada sail over his crossbar in 23rd minute and comfortably fielding an earlier effort from the same player. But things got a little busier for him in a five minute spell immediately after the half hour mark. A free kick from wide left was delivered deep to the back post by Alex Hernandez and Charlee Hughes got a touch on it just ahead of the Ives keeper who was pleased to see the effort drift wide of the post.
The same two players combined only ninety seconds later with Hernandez delivering a low cross to the near post from the right where Hughes sliding in knocked it into the side netting. Brearey really earnt his corn in 35th minute when Eduino Vaz delivered a deep corner that was won in the air beyond the far post by Tommy Davis, Hughes attacked the centre back’s header back into the centre and it took a brilliant reaction save from Brearey to keep out the effort at point blank range.
Back up the other end North was back in action only sixty seconds later this time pulling off another full length diving one handed save to his left to deny Mensah after the youngster had been picked out in space on the edge of the box by the darting Barton. Unlike his earlier effort Mensah took his time and picked his spot but still could not beat the athletic stopper.
Ives went even closer five minutes before the break when an Aaron Smith long throw was flicked on at the near post and Josh Tomlinson looked certain to force it home at the back stick. But the flying boot of Davis took the ball off his head virtually right on the goal line prompting shouts for a penalty from the large number of travelling Ives supporters behind the goal.
The final action of an entertaining first period saw Brearey called upon to show his prowess again as he managed to dramatically change direction and throw himself to his right to tip around a deflected 25 yard effort from Hernandez.
The hosts were no doubt reminded of their elevated position in the football pyramid by their manager at the break and they came out looking more determined forcing three early corners. The final one of those was knocked down to the feet of Gibbs just inside the box but he fired his first time effort just over the top.
Having weathered that mini storm fairly comfortably Ives quickly returned to taking the game to their more illustrious opponents. A 64th minute burst of pace from Njoku took him past a struggling Vaz and it took a desperate lunge from Davis to take him down just outside the box. Richens curled the resulting free kick around the wall but again the flying North was equal to it plunging to his left to palm the effort away one handed.
The ball rolled out for a throw wide on the right and the resulting Smith projectile flew deep into the box where Gibbs could only get a poor defensive header on it and the ball dropped by the penalty spot where Richens did brilliantly to strike his effort on the volley the ball flew through the crowd past a startled North and went into the net via his left hand post to spark wild celebrations both on and off the pitch.
Now finally in front Ives still continued to push forward looking for a second to kill the game. Richens struck an absolute thunderbolt from 35 yards in 74th minute that had it not been straight at keeper North may well have found the net. As it was the keeper did just enough to get something behind the ball the rebound going straight back towards the rampaging Richens who was clumsily bundled over by Garrett Kelly just outside the D. This time though Richens did not get the free kick right firing it well over the top.
The changes that won the game for the Millers took place two minutes later as manager Danny Scopes decided to introduce speedy striker Ogunrinde and attacking midfielder Ikechi Eze in place of Dada and Siju Odelusi respectively. Ogunrinde was almost immediately into the action and spurned a very good chance to level things up within four minutes of his introduction. Hernandez got down the left and picked out Ogunrinde in space at the back of the box but the youngster sliced his first time effort wide.
He made no such mistake with four minutes to go as he timed his run to perfection to meet Vaz’s corner from the left at the near post powering his header home from eight yards. The goal that broke Ives hearts and prevented them even having the opportunity of a penalty shoot out arrived in 90th minute. Nana Kyei got down the left and delivered a cross to the centre that perfectly picked out Ogunrinde and he made no mistake directing his close range header past the exposed Brearey.
There was an added seven minutes, more than enough time for Ives to glean a deserved reward from the game. They certainly raised themselves again and gave it a go but a corner from Harris and three more Smith long throws were all dealt with adequately by North and his colleagues to ensure that it is the Millers name that will be in the hat for Mondays third round draw. Gallant Ives only reward was to be given a deserved standing ovation from their big travelling support as they left the field. But the critical thing is to continue to take this momentum into a series of vitally important league games that are now coming up thick and fast.
Final Score: Aveley 2 St Ives Town 1
AVELEY: Ogunrinde 86 & 90
ST IVES: Richens 65
Team Line Ups:
AVELEY: North, Vaz, Stephen, Odelusi (Eze 76), Davis, Gibbs (capt), Kyei, Kelly, Hughes, Hernandez, Dada (Ogunrinde 76), Unused subs: Randall, Ainsworth, Lawrence, Yeates
ST IVES: Brearey, Mensah (Harris 45+1), Smith, Richens (capt), Williams, Casey, Barton (Hottor 78), Cowling (Nassunculo 85), Edwards, Njoku, J. Tomlinson, Unused subs: Kaziboni,
Cards: Yellow: AVELEY: Hughes (58), Davis (64), Kelly (74), Hernandez (76) ST IVES: Cowling (22)
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Richens