League: Hunts Senior Cup

St Ives Town v Yaxley FC

St Ives Town v Yaxley

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Final @ Eynesbury Rovers FC  25-04-2023

Keeper James Dadge was the hero saving three penalties in the shoot-out as Ives concluded their season by retaining the Hunts FA Senior Cup in an otherwise uninspiring final on the immaculate surface at Eynesbury Rovers FC. 

Ives last defeat in this competition came in 2018 and on paper they were hot favourites for this game against a Cuckoos side relegated from step four with the unenviable record of having won only two games all season, one of those the semi-final against step six Eaton Socon that got them to the final. But the return of Lloyd Burton as manager has seen Yaxley become a much harder side to beat and that extra resilience shone through in this game as the Cuckoos battled all the way to take the game into the decisive penalty competition.

With skipper Michael Richens again missing at his wife’s bedside in the maternity hospital it fell to Johnny Herd to take the armband for the second game in a row. The first opportunity of the evening came from one his trademark long throws in the tenth minute but Charlie Johnson’s flick was well claimed by Kacper Kurylowicz in the Cuckoos goal just ahead of the lurking Enoch Andoh.

Andoh then spurned a golden opportunity to put Ives in front three minutes later. Herd delivered a teasing cross from the left, Edwards won the ball at the near post and his knock down took a deflection off a defender and fell invitingly to the Ives winger eight yards out. But Andoh snatched at the chance and dragged his effort wide of the target. Had that gone in we might have all been looking at a rather different evening.

But whilst they enjoyed parity the Cuckoos were not about to give it away. Ives continued to enjoy the more than just the lion’s share of possession but, as on Saturday, with Richens missing they were struggling to find routes through the solid blue banks of Yaxley. They were presented with a half chance in 18th minute as Paddy Casey cut out a poor throw from Kurylowicz and fed the ball into the feet of Edwards inside the box. The usually deadly striker was quickly closed down by Charlie Stallard and Melvin Onu, he did manage to get a shot away but the effort went about a metre wide of Kurylowicz’s right hand post with the keeper looking on.

The Cuckoos first half chance of the evening came in one of their rare forays forward in 25th minute. Dadge sprinted from his goal to clear a long ball over the top but did not make good contact with the ball falling to Ethan Wilson inside the centre circle. The midfielder took a touch but his attempt to lob the fast retreating Dadge went horribly wrong with the ball ending up nearer the corner flag than the goal.

Ives did get a little closer in their next meaningful attack three minutes later as patient build up concluded with Casey clipping the ball into the box where Edwards again won the header and the ball again fell to Andoh on the corner of the six yard box. He went for the spectacular taking the ball on the volley. His clean strike flashed by Kurylowicz but rattled the upright and rebounded to safety.

The first corner of the game arrived just after the half hour and Herd delivered it in-swinging from the right. This time Charlie Johnson got the near post flick and the ball bounced on through the six yard box before arriving at the feet of Ed Hottor beyond the far post. But under pressure from defenders the Ives midfielder fired way over the top into the roof of the grandstand behind the goal.

Herd continued to deliver dangerous balls into the box and Ives continued to win the knock downs but no one was getting on the end of them and that was shown again as the first half entered added time. Herd’s deep corner from the left was won in the air by Johnson at the back post and the ball once more bounced invitingly through the six yard box with no one able to apply the decisive finish.

The Cuckoos enjoyed a brief purple patch at the start of the second half and they twice went close to going in front in the first five minutes after the re-start. The dangerous looking Marcus Pancho got away down the left in 48th minute and it took and excellent covering block from Johnson to prevent Richard Acheampong turning home his low cross at the near post. The underdogs went even closer to taking the lead two minutes later as they spurned their best opportunity of the evening. Ex Ives midfielder Andrew Osei-Bonsu threaded a perfectly weighted pass through the Ives back line to put Pancho completely clear one on one with Dadge. As the keeper came to meet him Pancho slid the ball past him low to his left but it rolled agonisingly inches wide of the post.

Normal service was soon resumed after that brief interlude of Yaxley pressure as Ives returned to knocking on the door but lacking the guile to find a way through the well organised Cuckoos defence. Half chances continued to come and go. A 52nd minute Edwards free kick from 25 yards beat the four man wall but was comfortably gathered in by Kurylowicz for his first save of the game.

Yaxley continued to concede free kicks around their box, but Ives still lacked that bit of inventiveness necessary to find a way through. A 55th minute Herd free kick was won in the air by Johnson and his knock down fell to Edwards but again another defender appeared to block the effort, this time it was Stallard putting his body on the line to deflect the effort wide.

The introduction of Greg Kaziboni replacing centre back Johnson and adding an extra attacker still did not change things as Ives still kept probing but didn’t really look like scoring. Another chance came and went in 73rd minute when Hottor teed up Andoh for a shot from the edge of the box. But again the effort flew wide of the target.

There was one final scare for Ives twelve minutes from time when the Cuckoos won their first corner of the game. Dadge came to fist it clear but the punch lacked distance and the ball dropped to Osei-Bonsu who’s first time effort from just outside the box deflected just wide off the leg of a defender.

With no more real opportunities created either way in the remaining time the game went straight to the drama of the shoot out where Dadge quickly emerged as the hero. The young keeper pulled off a brilliant save low to his right to keep out Osei-Bonsu’s well struck first spot kick. Edwards did his usual with his kick sending keeper Kurylowicz the wrong way to put Ives one up. Acheampong stepped up next for the Cuckoos and he to was denied by the amazing Dadge who this time plunged low to his left to keep out another well struck effort.

Substitute Ben Toseland matched Edwards with his kick, finding the left corner of the net as Kurylowicz dived to his right to make it 2-0. The only man to beat the otherwise immaculate Dadge was Pancho who even then only just found the net with the keeper getting a hand to his effort high to his right. Kaziboni matched his colleagues by beating Kurylowicz high to his left with a perfectly struck spot kick.

It was only fitting though that the man who won the cup for Ives was the last to touch the ball on the night. A nervous looking Jude Adebayo stepped up next for Yaxley and he too struck his shot well but Dadge was equal to it again going to his left to push the ball away and claim that very impressive looking trophy that Ives first won way back in 1901.  

Final Score: St Ives Town  0  Yaxley  0  (St Ives Town won 3-1 on Penalties)




Team Line Ups:

ST IVES: Dadge, Casey, Herd (capt) (Toseland 82), Hottor, J. Williams, Fox, Baker (Johnston 82), Harris, Edwards, Johnson (Kaziboni 71), Andoh, Unused subs: Marheineke

YAXLEY: Kurylowicz (capt), Bahrey, Adebayo, Stallard, Onu, Tessler, Wilson, Elkossi (Usman 82), Acheampong, Pancho, Osei-Bonsu, Unused subs: Snelling, Dass, Kowalski

Cards: Yellow: ST IVES : Johnson (39), Casey (41)      YAXLEY : Elkossi (54), Onu (65), Wilson (66)


Attendance:  89

Match report by Nigel Howlett. Match highlights by Ollie Jones. Photo James Richardson.


Godmanchester Rovers v St Ives Town

Godmanchester Rovers v St Ives Town

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Semi Final  06-12-2022

Any amongst the few souls that braved the first icy blasts of winter hoping for a competitive contest very quickly had their hopes quashed as Ives set off like a steam train and ensured that the gap in class between these two sides was a true chasm. Even with a squad seriously depleted with injuries and nine players from their small squad unavailable the visitor’s strikers had way too much pace and movement for the struggling Rovers back line.

Ethan Johnston recalled from Harborough Town for the game quickly slotted back into the fold and it was his burst down the right that set up the games first chance in tenth minute as he got to the bye line before picking out Enoch Andoh on the edge of the box with his pull back. The tricky winger took a touch before getting his shot away which just gave Richard Chadwick time to bravely block the effort.

But Andoh was only to be denied momentarily and it was he who put Ives in front only sixty seconds later with Johnston again the provider as he out muscled Sammy Fisher before delivering a low cross to the near post that was turned home with aplomb by the fast arriving Andoh.

Any vain hopes that the hosts had of getting back into the contest were effectively extinguished in Ives next attack as ex Ives under 18 centre back Jake Sulman earned himself a red card for taking down Andoh as the speedy winger was bursting clear onto a Nabil Shariff flick. With none of his colleagues even in the same street it was a very simple job for referee Dan England to decide that Sulman was the last man and produce the card.

Now down to ten men it wasn’t long before Rovers found themselves two goals in arrears as Shariff showed his usual predatory instincts had not been dulled by the cold when he prodded home the loose ball after keeper George Whitehall had done well to keep out a close range Johnston effort. Johnston’s chance had arrived in very simple fashion as Charlie Johnson flicked on Callum Milne’s long throw at the near post to cause panic in the Rovers six yard box.

At this point Rovers seemed to realise that the needed to replace their missing centre back and sacrificed winger Jacob Joseph to bring on Josh Lewis. But the change made very little difference to the flow of the game as Ives went three up in 20th minute with an early contender for goal of the night. This time Milne’s throw into the box was fed back to him and his first time cross to the near post was perfectly met with a diving header from Johnston that beat Whitehall emphatically.

With the game now over as a contest Ives eased off and simply started to play keep ball for long periods which were interspersed by forays into the Rovers box with Andoh the usual instigator of those raids. On the half hour he wriggled his way past Lewis cutting in from the left and fed the ball in to Shariff who was completely surrounded by four Rovers defenders by the penalty spot but his instincts still ensured that he got a shot on target that Whitehall did well to block with his feet.

The final action of the half came four minutes before the break and saw Johnston and Paddy Casey combine well down the right with Casey unselfishly declining the opportunity for a shot from a narrow angle but instead picking out Andoh arriving at pace but this time Lewis was able to do just enough to block his shot.

Dylan Williams should really have added to Ives lead only two minutes after the restart as quick thinking from Andoh put him completely clear one on one with Whitehall, but he telegraphed his shot before releasing it allowing the keeper to make a good save to his left.

Tyrone Baker had been relatively quiet up to this point but his 52nd minute burst down the right got him past Fisher and his low cross through the centre of the box somehow got all the way through to Milne at the back of the box. His first time effort was well save by Whitehall who was doing his best to keep the score respectable.

A sporadic raid at the other end saw James Goff in the Ives goal have to make his only save of the evening as he comfortably gathered a 25 yard effort from the bust Tom Spark in 56th minute. But that attempt was only a very brief ripple in the tide of Ives possession and Andoh finished off the scoring for the night in spectacular fashion just after the hour. Dylan Williams corner was half cleared to him on the edge of the box and he took on the shot on the half volley executing it perfectly to see the ball arrow into the opposite corner of the net past the despairing dive of Whitehall. 

That really was the last action of the night worthy of writing home about as Ives simply played out time to ensure that they kept their third clean sheet in a row, avoided any more injuries and made their way comfortably to another Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup Final. Their unbeaten run in the competition now dating back to 2018.

Final Score: Godmanchester Rovers  0    St Ives Town  4



ST IVES: Andoh 11 & 62, Shariff 17, Johnston 20

Team Line Ups:

GODMANCHESTER: Whitehall, Tayaca, Fisher, Chadwick, Sulman, Rogers (capt) (Jolley 60), Spark, Tait, Allan (M. Edwards 67), Tagg, Joseph (Lewis 18), Unused subs: Hammaz, Sagwete

ST IVES: Goff, Lembikisa, Casey, Milne, J. Williams, Johnson, Baker, Johnston (J. Edwards 75), Shariff, D. Williams, Andoh, Unused subs: Richens

Cards: Red: GODMANCHESTER: Sulman 14,

            Yellow: GODMANCHESTER: none         ST IVES:  J. Williams 45, D. Williams 78


Attendance:  62

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones.


St Ives Town v Huntingdon Town

St Ives Town v Huntingdon Town 

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Quarter Final  01-11-2022

Despite the gallant efforts of their step six opponents injury hit Ives cantered through to semi-finals of Hunts FA Senior Cup. With Tyrone Baker joining the long list of players on the treatment table, Kane Lewis and Michael Richens rested there was a first start for the hosts for 21 year old London based right back Lewis Lembikisa. The visitors gave a debut to ex St Neots Town striker Julinho Gomes and otherwise made two changes from the starting line up from Saturdays League defeat against Norwich CBS. 

The game started very quietly with both sides seemingly happy to just move the ball around on the rain slickened quattro-tech Westwood Road surface. Enoch Andoh had tested out his marker a couple of times down the left before leaving Jay Chilvers in his wake as he sprinted away to deliver the games first shot in 15th minute. His prod at goal from just inside the box forced Hunters keeper Conor Barton into his first save of the night reacting well to tip the rising effort over the top.

The Ives had been on top and looked very comfortable without really creating much threat. That changed in 24th minute when Ravi Shamsi showed his class to thread an inch perfect ball into the run of Andoh. The tricky winger was taken down by the struggling Chilvers just outside the box. The free kick was perhaps a little to close to get the ball up and down over the wall so Jonny Edwards went for power instead but his well struck effort cannoned off the Hunters six man wall. The loose ball was fed back into the mix where it struck the arm of Lil Francisco to give Ives another opportunity. This one was further out just outside the D setting up a perfect opportunity for Shamsi who found the top corner past the outstretched arms of Barton to open the scoring on the evening and his account for his new club.

The goal lifted Ives to change up a gear for a short period of time during which Andoh again went close with a strike from just outside the box that Barton clung onto well and Ed Hottor fired one of trade mark 30 yard screamers but this one flew just over the top. Barton produced another excellent save to deny Shariff four minutes before the break after the Ives striker had been fed in by Johnny Herd.

Home keeper James Goff had been enjoying a very quiet evening until the visitors managed to fashion a quick break out just ninety seconds before half time. The move ended with Charlie Minchella teeing up Mario Neves for a clean strike from just outside the box. But Goff showed that he had kept his concentration during his long periods of inactivity as he leapt high to his right to paw the effort away and preserve Ives slender advantage at the interval.

Lembikisa’s debut for the Ives only lasted 45 minutes as he was replaced by Lewis at the interval. It was also a much more purposeful hosts that started the second half and within four minutes they had doubled their advantage. Shariff was brought down wide on the right by Francisco giving Shamsi chance to deliver another ball into the box, and it was right on the money, met cleanly by Shariff just outside the six yard box. His powerful header was brilliantly kept out by Barton but Edwards was on hand to slam home the loose ball before anyone else could react.

Now it was all Ives with the hosts harrying their visitors into errors in dangerous areas. The third goal arrived in 66th minute as Shariff harried and robbed a dallying Francisco inside his own box before calmly rounding Barton and rolling the ball into the empty net.

It was almost four two minutes later as the hapless visitors again lost possession deep in their own territory. This time the ball was fed back to Dylan Williams fully forty yards from goal. Seeing keeper Barton off his line he went for an audacious chip that beat the struggling Barton but sailed wide on the strong breeze.

By the time the game entered its closing stages the hard working visitors were running out of steam and the pressure on their goal became incessant. It could so easily have been four in 79th minute as Shamsi fed in Andoh cutting in from the right. His powerful shot was brilliantly saved by the diving Barton who recovered his position well to block Shariff’s follow up with his legs. 

Two more chances came and went in 81st minute as initially Edwards low cross from the right was turned just wide by a fast arriving Andoh in the centre. The ball was quickly returned down the left from the goal kick and Williams showed his pace against tiring defenders to get to the bye line and deliver a teasing cross that was met by Shariff but his header deflected wide off a defender. But the Ives striker was not to be denied his second for long as the resulting Shamsi corner dropped in the six yard box and the first man to react was Shariff who prodded the ball home with all looking on.

The dam had now really broken and two more goals followed in quick succession. Shariff was involved again in 88th minute as he held up the ball well before feeding in Shamsi cutting in from the right. Ives new striker made no mistake firing across Barton and into the far corner of the net to claim his second of the night.

The final act of the evening saw Shariff complete his hat trick with the last kick of the game. Andoh tore into the heart of the visitors back line and scythed a route through it before unselfishly knocking the ball sideways to Shariff by the penalty spot. His shot took a deflection off a defender before looping into the net past the bemused Barton but there is absolutely no doubt it was the striker’s goal.

So even with a weakened team the holders march on in the cup in very emphatic style without ever really getting out of second gear. There are 63 places between these two sides in the football pyramid and for all Huntingdon’s gallant efforts I am afraid that gap really did show. Good things from the evening were no further injuries were picked up, Nabil Shariff got back to scoring form and Ravi Shamsi got in his first full ninety minutes for a long time, hopefully without any reaction. The semi-final should come around in January and we wait to see who we get out of the hat. 

Final Score: St Ives Town  6  Huntingdon Town  0


ST IVES: Shamsi 26 & 88, Edwards 49, Shariff 66, 84 & 90


Team Line Ups:

ST IVES: Goff, Lembikisa (Lewis 46), Herd, Hottor, Johnson, Milne, Andoh, Shariff, Edwards, D. Williams, Shamsi, Unused subs: Richens

HUNTINGDON: Barton, Adams, McSkelly, Francisco, Chilvers (capt), Arnold, Minchella (Waterworth 60), Neves (Nicholson 60), Gomes, Stringer, Rhaman (Shortland 67), Unused subs: Venters

Cards: Yellow: ST IVES:  none   HUNTINGDON:  none


Attendance: 102 

Match report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones. Photos by Louise Thompson


St Ives Town v Godmanchester Rovers

Godmanchester Rovers v St Ives Town

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup Final played at St Neots Town FC 26-04-2022

At times Goddy belied the 39 places between these two sides in the football pyramid but one always felt that having got an early two goal cushion courtesy of two well worked short corner routines Ives were doing just enough and so it proved as they unseated the holders to claim the Hunts FA Senior Cup for the first time since 2016. 

Goddy started well and a dangerous early ball into the box by Alfie Warman was won in the air by Ross Munro and it took some quick feet from Ives keeper Eddie Brearey to just take the ball away from Mohammed Akhtar who was lurking by the penalty spot.

Having started their previous three games at break neck pace it should have been no real surprise that Ives got their noses in front early on. Goddy were caught napping in ninth minute as Dylan Williams played a quick short corner back to Luke Fairlamb and his low driven cross was thumped home from eight yards by Josh Flanagan.

Ives continued to press forward and Ed Hottor skimmed a 25 yarder inches wide three minutes later. The shooting opportunity had been carved out by a little bit of trickery from Williams cutting in from the left and drawing in defenders before laying the ball into the path of Hottor.

The opening goal had come courtesy of one of Ives Northampton Town loanees and the second in 21st minute came courtesy of the other. Once again it was a short corner routine that caught out Goddy. Fairlamb was again involved, this time taking the corner himself on the left. Ethan Johnston came short to receive it and exchanged passes with Fairlamb who the picked out Liam Cross in a little bit of space 25 yards out. A little sidestep then a brilliant curling shot that found the top corner giving Jamie Greygoose in the Goddy goal no chance.

For the remainder of the first half Ives played keep ball moving it around throughout the team and forcing Goddy players all over the park to work very hard to win it back. Only sporadically did Ives really threaten Greygoose’s goal again before the break and when they did Cross was usually involved in the move. In 23rd minute he got away onto a Callum Milne ball down the line and seemed to get caught in two minds as he cut inside onto his left foot. His clip to the back post may have been an ambitious attempt to curl the ball into the corner from a narrow angle or set up a simple header for Nabil Shariff who had ghosted in but in the end the ball proved to be just to high for Shariff as it drifted just wide of the upright with Greygoose beaten.

It took an excellent save from Greygoose to prevent Ives increasing their advantage only seconds later. Cross was again the provider teeing up his skipper Michael Richens for a thunderous drive from 25 yards that the Rovers keeper did very well to keep out plunging low to his left to get a good solid hand behind the ball.

There were a couple of controversial incidents as the half wore on. In 32nd minute Greygoose appeared to handle the ball outside has area as he slid in to just beat Johnston to a ball through the left channel. But excellent referee Neil Hair was perfectly positioned to see and immediately waved away Ives appeals, maybe the contact was on the line and the hands came off the ball as he slid out.

The second incident two minutes before the break also involved Johnston as he showed an excellent turn of pace to rob a dallying Frank Nzeh just outside the box. The Goddy centre back reacted swiftly to cynically chop down the Ives striker just inches outside the area. The fact that the incident occurred in a wide position with other defenders coming around to cover saved the struggling number four from a card. The free kick came to nothing and so ended a first period dominated by the men in black and white.

The visitor’s man of the match Greygoose pulled off an even better save than his one in the first half to deny Johnston five minutes after the restart. Flanagan threaded a ball down the right that once again put the speedy Cross away his low ball to the near post was met perfectly by Johnston arriving at pace and the Ives striker was left sat on the turf in disbelief as Greygoose produced a brilliant reaction save to deflect the ball onto the crossbar from where it was scrambled away by his colleagues.

Having barely threatened all evening Goddy then missed a golden opportunity to put themselves back in the game in 57th minute. Simon Unwin’s corner from the right was met cleanly by CJ Lewis who was somehow unmarked eight yards out. The big number ten should have buried the chance but perhaps he was as surprised as the rest of us that he was completely un-challenged and he directed his header about a foot over the top much to Ives relief.

That chance lifted Goddy to even greater efforts and another Unwin corner eight minutes later also produced an effort on goal. This time Milne won the first header but the ball fell to Lewis on the edge of the box. Fortunately for Brearey the striker’s shot struck Nzeh on it’s way towards goal taking all of the sting out of it and making the save a lot easier for the young keeper.

Those two near misses for Goddy seemed to make Ives realise that they could not quite coast through the remainder of the game as they appeared as if they were intending to and the dangerous Cross continued to threaten a third goal to kill the game off at the other end. He was twice denied that all important killer goal by Greygoose in 67th minute. The young winger created the first chance for himself cutting in from the right past Jack Dickinson before testing the Goddy keeper with a fierce low drive that he did well to keep out. But the ball rebounded to the edge of the box where Hottor won it back and again fed in Cross with the same result again keeper Greygoose reacted well to push the shot away low to his left.

Ives did get the ball in the net again in 73rd minute as Richens burst through the right channel from midfield and clipped the ball to the near post where Shariff side footed home. But his celebration was cut short by the assistant’s raised flag.

To give Goddy their due they continued to go in search of an unlikely route back into the game and it took an excellent double save from Brearey fifteen minutes from time to keep them at bay. Toseland’s poor ball out of defence was cut out in midfield by Unwin who fed in substitute Danny Baulk down the right. His low cross into the box picked out Lewis in a central position but Brearey once again showed his reactions and agility to keep out not only the striker’s initial effort but also his follow up at point blank range. 

That was battling Goddy’s last real opportunity of the evening as Ives sensibly opted to see out time. The only opportunity in the remaining time came at the other end with eight minutes left on the watch. The most influential player on the park went close to grabbing his second of the evening. A speedy burst across the park from substitute Tyrone Baker ended with him feeding in Cross who just beat the fast approaching Greygoose to the ball and dinked it over him. The effort was net bound but did not manage to cross the line thanks to a gallant last ditch effort by covering defender Reece King who scooped it away at the expense of a corner.

As the gallant Goddy began to run out of steam Ives were able to retain possession and run the clock down to claim this worthy piece of silverware and give them a fitting reward to the end of an excellent second half to the season. Their sixth season at step three has seen them finish fourteenth in a particularly tough and unforgiving division. They claimed some excellent scalps along the way and saved the best until last. Unbeaten in their last four games played over only eleven days where they scored seven and only conceded a solitary goal. They well deserved their post match celebrations on St Neots’s excellent surface.

Final Score : Godmanchester Rovers  0  St Ives Town  2      

Goals : 


ST IVES: Flanagan 9, Cross 21


GODMANCHESTER: Greygoose, R. King, Dickerson, Nzeh, Warman, M. King, Allan (Dear 78), Unwin (capt), Munro (Baulk 46), Lewis, Akhtar (Hammond 66), Unused subs: Moss, Butler

ST IVES: Brearey, Flanagan, Fairlamb, Richens (capt), Toseland, Milne, Cross, Hottor, Shariff (Osei-Bonsu 87), Johnston (Baker 54), Williams, Unused subs : Goff, Solkhon, Faris Rhaman

Ives Supporters man of the match : Liam Cross

Attendance : 257

Report by Nigel Howlett.


Yaxley FC v St Ives Town

Yaxley v St Ives Town

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup Semi Final 01-02-2022

A clinical performance saw Ives sweep aside an understrength Cuckoos as they recorded their largest victory in a long time to advance to the final of the Hunts FA Senior Cup where they will meet surprise opponents in Godmanchester Rovers on a date yet to be decided.

The direction of the fixture was somewhat predictable even before the kick off with the higher level visitors making only a single enforced change in their starting eleven from Saturdays excellent point at Royston. The in-form hosts with their focus on securing safety at step four for another season made seven changes from the team that had thumped Histon at Leading Drove four days earlier.

The game quickly settled into a predictable pattern with Ives showing their undoubted class as they got the ball down and moved it around on the 3G surface in their now familiar style whilst their opponents who have had the use of this very good surface for much longer than the visitors somewhat surprisingly tried to go long at almost every opportunity they had.

The pace and movement of Ives front players was causing the Cuckoos defenders problems right from the off and Ethan Johnston, Nabil Shariff and Tyrone Baker had already gone close before home keeper Will Larkin pulled off a brilliant save low to his left to deny Johnston with a little help from his left hand upright in 21st minute. The inevitable opening goal arrived in the simplest fashion from the resulting corner. A short corner routine saw the ball returned to Ben Toseland who delivered to the near post where Josh Flanagan knocked it home from close range.

With Ives front men now looking rampant a second arrived six minutes later despite some heroic efforts from Larkin to prevent it. Shariff’s initial shot from just inside the box was well saved to his left by the home keeper but the ball rebounded to Johnston. Larkin’s reaction save to keep out the Ives striker’s follow up effort was even better than his first save but he got absolutely no assistance from his defence who merely looked on in admiration like the rest of us whilst the ever alert Victor Aiyelabola nipped in to roll home the loose ball.

The one way traffic continued with Baker and Aiyelabola causing all sorts of problems down both flanks and both full backs getting constantly forward in support of their wingers to heighten the pressure on the struggling hosts. Johnston should have increased the lead in 35th minute as Baker once more broke at pace before feeding the overlapping Josh Flanagan who had time to pick out Johnston in space on the edge of the box. He had time for a touch but failed to hit the target with his rising effort.

Yaxley’s first attempt on goal of the evening, their only one in the first 45 minutes, came two minutes later as Florian Tsaguim fired a powerful 25 yarder over the top to end one of the hosts sporadic attacks. It looked like the Cuckoos were going to make it to the break only two goals in arrears but they switched off again one minute into added time as they allowed Michael Richens to stride forward from midfield. The Ives skipper unleashed a long range effort that took a couple of deflections on its way through. That took the sting out of it, but it proved to be Yaxley’s undoing as once again no one had noticed Aiyelabola ghosting in from the left. He was completely on his own eight yards out when the ball arrived at his feet and gleefully claimed his fourth goal in his last three games side footing past Larkin who looked as surprised to see him as everyone else.

The closest Yaxley came to getting what even at that point would only have been a consolation goal came five minutes after the restart. An Archie Elmore free kick from inside the D was blocked by Ives wall but the ball rebounded to ex Ives man, and the hosts skipper for the evening John-Paul Duncliffe his rising drive from 25 yards flashed across the face of James Goff’s goal and went inches wide of the post.

Normal service soon returned as Aiyelabola went in search of his hat trick wriggling past three Cuckoos defenders down the left before cutting in along the bye line. His low drive across the six yard box would have been turned home by the lurking Shariff but for the intervention of unfortunate home defender Bradley Gothard who stuck out a leg to knock the ball past his own keeper from point blank range.

Immediately after that Aiyelabola departed but if the hosts thought they were going to get respite down the left they were sadly mistaken as his replacement Liam Cross showed very quickly, timing his run to perfection to get clear onto a Shariff flick before drawing keeper Larkin and slotting the ball past him less than ninety seconds after entering the fray.

Shariff was the lynch pin of Ives front line and the provider for a host of the goals on the evening. The sixth arrived courtesy of another of his assists in 75th minute. He picked up the ball 25 yards out and ran at the retreating Cuckoos back line before feeding in the run of Baker arriving at pace his powerful first time finish from just inside the box beat Larkin comprehensively and was probably the pick of the evenings goals.

Shariff richly deserved a goal on the evening and that should really have arrived in 81st minute when Johnston put him clear. He drew Larkin to him and knocked the ball past the exposed keeper but it rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Cross pulled another spectacular save out of the Larkin two minutes later as the overworked keeper flung himself to his left to push away the substitutes curling effort from the edge of the box.

The reprieve was only momentary for the struggling hosts though as debutant Elliot Kettle opened his account for the visitors from the resulting corner. This time a deep one from Toseland that was kept alive beyond the back post by Callum Milne who laid the ball back to Kettle on the edge of the box. The American had time to look up and pick his spot carefully threading the ball through the crowd it crept inside Larkin’s left hand post with the unsighted keeper making no effort to keep it out.

There was still time for Ives to put the icing on the cake and claim their eighth of the evening again in very simple fashion. Once more Flanagan galloped away down the right overlapping substitute Fayed Rhaman who fed the ball on to him. Leaving his struggling marker in his wake the Ives full back strode on almost to the bye line before picking out Johnston arriving at pace at the near post. A trademark flick did the rest giving Larkin no chance from close range.

This comprehensive thumping of what on paper are at the moment the second best team in little Huntingdonshire again shows how far Ives have come in recent years. Fellow supporters, who have been with the club for many more years than I, were racking their brains to try and remember the last time the team racked up eight goals. That is a challenge that I leave to you all to try and identify. Obviously the priority must be to preserve our step three status for another season but the chance of a brief break to challenge for silverware in the closing stages of the season will be a welcome relief for all. 

Final Score : Yaxley  0  St Ives Town  8      

Goals : 


ST IVES: Flanagan 22, Aiyelabola 28 & 45+1, Gothard own goal 59, Cross 63, Baker 75, Kettle 84, Johnston 87


YAXLEY: Larkin, Duncliffe (capt), Rowell, Buccerio (Hamill 56), Tinkler, Gothard, Baughan, Nolan, Tsaguim, Elmore, Battersby (Sparrow 87), Unused subs: Cotton, Smith, Watson

ST IVES: Goff, Flanagan, Davison-Gordon, Richens (capt) (Kettle 64), Toseland, Milne, Baker (Fayed Rhaman 76), Aiyelabola (Cross 61), Shariff, Johnston, Williams, Unused subs : Hottor, Manangu

Ives Supporters man of the match : Nabil Shariff

Attendance : 112

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook. Photos by Louise Thompson.


St Ives Town v Eynesbury Rovers

St Ives Town v Eynesbury Rovers   

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup Quarter Final 18-01-2022

Seven years ago both these teams were playing at a similar level and the last time the two sides met in the same competition in 2017 Rovers came away with the spoils. This fixture showed just how far the Ives have advanced in that time as they completely dominated their visitors moving the ball around very comfortably indeed on the quattro-tech Westwood Road carpet with Rovers simply chasing shadows most of the time.

Two goals in each half were sufficient to claim the victory on the day with a large part of the remaining time being spent with Ives simply playing keep ball whilst the hard working Rovers fought to keep them at bay and get a foot on the ball.

Possibly feeling a need to get the previous Saturday’s performance out of the mind as quickly as possible and may be with one eye on some potential silverware management duo of Mike Ford and Ricky Marheineke picked what was their strongest available side but with Ethan Johnston picking up a pre-game injury Victor Aiyelabola came in for his home debut and first start for the Ives. There was also another new, if familiar, face in the Ives starting eleven as recent signing from Barton Rovers Ty Ward made a welcome return in the centre of the park. There was also a very familiar face in the centre of the visitor’s midfield as former fans favourite and skipper of the play-off winning side against Rushden Luke Knight brought his tough tackling style back to Westwood Road.

It was very quick to see that Ives were looking very comfortable indeed stringing passes together at pace, but the battling Rovers were working like Trojans to limit their opportunities of a strike on goal and although the game was very easy on the eye it just needed a spark to bring the first goal. Tyrone Baker had been having quite a bit of joy down the right and looked the most likely to provide something. Although he was involved in the move that came close to giving Ives the lead in 23rd minute it was merely his slide rule pass down the line that put overlapping full back Josh Flanagan in position to hang up a teasing cross to the back post that Josh Brown just managed to smuggle out for a corner before Aiyelabola could force it home. 

But the Rovers relief was short lived as the opener arrived in simple fashion from the resulting Dylan Williams corner. The visitor’s defence failed to deal with the ball in from the right fatally allowing it to bounce inside the six yard box. Ben Toseland was arriving at the back post and was probably as surprised as everyone else in the ground when those in front of him missed it. I would love to say that he turned it home in style but in truth the ball bounced off his shins over the line, as the saying goes “they all count”.

Now with their noses in front the Ives raised their game a little further in pursuit of finishing off their struggling opponents. Baker continued to terrorise Ben Walsh on the left side of Rovers defence. Knight came across to help his struggling full back in 27th minute but mistimed his lunging tackle on the flying winger to concede a free kick in a very dangerous area. Williams delivered a tantalising ball into the centre in the no man’s land between keeper and defenders but it somehow evaded everyone and flashed across the face of goal to safety.

A second goal did arrive seven minutes before the break with Baker again at the heart of the move accelerating past the flagging Walsh before getting his head up and picking out Williams inside the box. The Ives number ten unselfishly fed the ball on into the feet of Aiyelabola who opened his account for the hosts with a smart spin and left footed shot that flew past the startled Jonah Gill in the Rovers goal and went in off the far post.

Rovers sole effort at goal in the first period came in 43rd minute as a Knight free kick from the left was headed clear only as far as Rob Ducket who blazed his shot from 25 yards well over the top.

Any hope that the visitors had of finding a route back into the game was extinguished very quickly at the start of the second half as within ninety seconds of the re-start Ives had been awarded a controversial penalty. The struggling Walsh was the culprit as he attempted to clear a ball delivered into the box from the right by Baker. Nabil Shariff cleverly got in front of the defender to get a touch on the ball and went down when Walsh caught him in attempting to get the ball away. The controversy was added to as with referee Joshua Crofts unsighted the decision to award the spot kick was made by his assistant on the clubhouse side Stefan Lewis. Williams calmly waited for the protests to subside before beating Gill with a fierce strike that the keeper did well to get a hand on but could not keep out.

From this point Ives returned to their very comfortable style of moving the ball around the back and through midfield with Rovers players continuing to try their best to nick it off them, mostly without success. Substitutions arrived with young Faris Rhaman getting some good minutes under his belt as he replaced Nathan Hicks in the centre of midfield in 55th minute. 

Chances at either end were few and far between as Ives continued to simply keep the ball. One noteworthy effort came from Flanagan in 75th minute as he again overlapped down the right before going for goal with a fierce cross shot that the stretching Gill just managed to fingertip away. The final goal arrived with ten minutes to go courtesy of an excellent high press from Ives with the strikers hunting as a pack Jack Uttridge was pressured into a mistake that ended up with Williams with the ball at his feet fifteen yards from goal and only Gill to beat. The keeper was a little unlucky not to keep the shot out as he anticipated the correct way but the ball just managed to squirm under his body and over the line as he dived to his right. 

There was still just time for James Goff in Ives goal to make the nearest thing to a save that he had to make all evening as he comfortably fielded a 25 yarder from Romain Walker. Overall a satisfactory evenings work as Ives progressed to the semi finals in this five team competition where we await the draw to find out who we will face. 

Final Score : St Ives Town   4  Eynesbury Rovers  0     

Goals : 

ST IVES: Toseland 25, Aiyelabola 38, Williams 47 (pen) & 80



ST IVES: Goff, Ward (Manangu 83), Flanagan, Richens (capt), Toseland, Milne, Baker, Hicks (Rhaman 55), Shariff, Aiyelabola (Davison-Gordon 76), Williams, Unused subs : Hottor, Johnstone

EYNESBURY: Gill, Brown, Walsh, R. Ducket, Uttridge, J. Ducket (capt), Rigby (Bond-Baker 76), Knight, Lala, Walker, Murray (Vaughan 74), Unused subs: Hitchcock

Ives Supporters man of the match : Dylan Williams

Attendance : 99

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video clips by Dave Hook. Photos by Louise Thompson.


St Ives Town vs Godmanchester Rovers

St Ives Town v Godmanchester Rovers  

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Quarter Final  06-11-18

Manager Ricky Marheineke was pleased to see the Ives losing run finally come to an end, but it took a remarkable comeback with three goals in the last fifteen minutes to end that unenviable run and the hosts still tumbled out of the County Cup at the first hurdle against the gallant Rovers courtesy of their second penalty shootout defeat of the season.

With a number of players missing through injury and others not being risked ahead of an important League fixture at King’s Lynn on Saturday it was a somewhat makeshift Ives side with Lloyd Groves making his seasonal debut in the centre of defence and Tim Trebes putting in a special guest appearance between the sticks. Danny Kelly also found himself in an unfamiliar role in the centre of the park with two strikers both desperate for a goal in Dylan Wilson and George Bailey up front. Step five Rovers on the other hand only made two changes from Saturday’s FA Vase success at Great Yarmouth leaving out two ex Ives men in goalkeeper Niall Conroy and striker Buster Harradine and replacing them with ex Ives Under 18 keeper Sam Palmer and former Histon striker Austen Diaper.

After a fairly even opening period Trebes was the first keeper called into action in thirteenth minute. A quick Rovers break saw the ball fed out to Matty Allan on the left corner of Ives box his powerful strike from 18 yards pulled an excellent diving save out of Trebes as the big keeper hurled himself to his right and held onto the stinging effort. 

Ives came back with an almost instant response as Kelly won a header inside the D nodding the ball down to the feet of Bailey who played a one two with Munashe Sundire which got him clear into the left side of the box. But his left footed effort lacked power allowing Palmer to make a comfortable save.

A couple of Ives fee kicks around the Rovers box failed to bring a clear cut opportunity and it was not until midway through the first half that another chance came along. The first corner of the game went Rovers way but failed to clear the first man allowing Ollie Snaith to break away at pace on the left. His excellent reverse pass picked out Sundire breaking through the centre but with the Rovers defence in disarray the speedy midfield man took a slightly heavy touch allowing Palmer to get off his line swiftly to bravely claim the ball.

By this point Ives were getting on top with the hard work of their midfield quartet and speed and movement of their strikers stretching Rovers, but they could not quite find a way through. The closest they came was in 34th minute as Sundire and Bailey combined well to put Dylan Wilson into the box. The young strikers left footed effort from 15 yards flashed across the face of Palmer’s goal to safety.

Rovers weathered this period of pressure and with half time approaching they again took the game to their more illustrious opponents. It took an excellent recovery tackle from Jarvis Wilson to prevent another ex Ives man Tom Spark getting a clear run on goal in 37th minute and the visitors went even closer in the dying seconds of the half. Ives struggled to deal with a long Joe Furness free kick into the box and the ball fell to the feet of Diaper his snap shot from 15 yards brought an incredible reaction save out of Trebes as the keeper flung himself acrobatically to his left to parry the effort. The loose ball was turned home in the resulting melee but fortunately for the hosts the flag was already up for offside.

Ives were perhaps a little fortunate to survive that scare seconds before the break but they had no such luck in the second period as they fell behind only 47 seconds after the restart. For the second time in successive games they gave away possession from their own kick off and got punished. The ball being fed into the feet of Allan 25 yards from goal the Rovers midfielder found himself in space and curled peach of an effort over Trebes to open the scoring and claim the goal of the game.

Rovers doubled their advantage eight minutes later as Parker brought down the rampaging Allan 25 yards from goal. Furness struck a curling effort over Ives four man wall heading for the top corner Trebes flung himself high to his left to get the faintest of touches and deflect the effort onto the underside of the crossbar. The ball rebounded down onto the goal line and in spite of Trebes’s attempt to recover Ives defenders were slow to react leaving Jack Chandler with the simple task of prodding the ball home.

With Ives now desperately pushing forward in search of a way back into the game two down became three just after the hour as man of the match Allan slid a ball through to give Diaper a run on Jarvis Wilson there was no recovery tackle this time as a slip by the Ives centre back left the Rovers centre forward clear. He cleverly drew the exposed Trebes to him before crashing the ball into the far corner to spark wild celebrations amongst the small group of Rovers supporters behind their dugout. 

Manager Marheineke was left with little option but to throw caution to the wind and he instantly went three at the back sacrificing Joe Hood and Bailey for two wide men in Jordan Patrick and Ben Baker. It may have been that the visitors decided to sit back on their advantage but these two seemed to bring a much greater urgency to Ives efforts and they had an almost instant impact as they stretched the play giving the Rovers back line some new problems to think about. Patrick combined well with Owen Wallis to get the over lapping full back to the bye line five minutes later. Wallis’s pull back picked out Sundire on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked.

Ives route back came courtesy of a controversial decision from referee Ashley List in 74th minute. An Ollie Snaith corner from the right was met on the volley at the near post by Patrick his goal bound effort struck the arm of Chris Hyem and although the arm was down by the side of the Rovers defender and he was only five yards from Patrick the well positioned Mr List decided that the contact was intentional and awarded a penalty. The ever reliable Parker duly sent Palmer the wrong way to reduce the arrears.

It was now a black and white tide flowing towards Rovers goal and just a question of whether, or not the clock could tick down quickly enough for them. In 77th minute Kelly dribbled his way through a couple of tackles on the left before laying the ball inside to Patrick who cleverly stepped inside his marker before curling an effort inches wide of Palmer’s left hand post with the keeper looking on.

There were still six minutes of the ninety to go when Ives further reduced the deficit as Snaith kept alive a deep cross from the right by Baker committing the defence before laying the ball back to Sundire 25 yards from goal. His first time effort took a slight deflection on the way and beat Palmer, who saw it late, low to his left with the keeper a little slow to get down and unable to prevent the shot creeping in the bottom corner of the net.

Rovers back line were just pleased to hammer the ball anywhere to get a bit of relief and a couple disappeared in the direction of the school. The engine power of Parker is amazing and he continued to provide Ives driving force in search of the equaliser going close himself three minutes from time as he played a one two with Snaith on the edge of the box before curling his effort just wide.

The equaliser did arrive in the final of the ninety minutes as Patrick managed to get across in front of keeper Palmer to try and get a flick onto an in-swinging cross from the right by Snaith. Patrick did not get a touch but he did enough to force the Rovers keeper into taking his eye off the ball allowing it to sail on straight into the far corner of the net.

There was still chance for the hosts to complete a highly unlikely comeback win as a Snaith corner deep in added time evaded everyone at the near post and arrived at the feet of Kelly eight yards out but he failed to hit the target flashing his shot inches wide of the near post.

Ives record in penalty shoot outs has never been great as the only one I can remember us winning in the last few years was the most vital of all in the play-off semi final at Egham. Sure enough this did not turn out to be Ives night as the only spot kick missed was the very first taken which was struck well by Sundire only for keeper Palmer to pull off an excellent save to his left. Furness, Spark, Harradine and Charlie Bowen all scored for the Rovers as did Groves, Snaith and Parker for the Ives leaving it to Ross Munro to take the visitors to glory as he dinked the final penalty down the middle with Trebes going left. 

Result :  St Ives Town  3  Godmanchester Rovers  3 –  Godmanchester won 5-3 on penalties

Goals : Parker 75 pen, Sundire 84, Snaith 90

Team : Trebes, Hood (Patrick 66), Wallis, Kelly, Groves, Jarvis Wilson, Sundire, Parker (capt), Dylan Wilson, Bailey (Baker 66), Snaith

Unused subs : Moyes

Supporters man of the match : Robbie Parker

Attendance : 94

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson