Kings Langley 0 St Ives Town 3
Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 06/01/18
Loanee signing from Cambridge United Tom Knowles made an instant impact scoring the second and making the third goals all within seven minutes of entering the fray on the hour. But keeper Tim Trebes was the supporters man of the match for the second game in a row as he pulled off a string of excellent saves at vital times to preserve his second clean sheet in three games and ensure that the score line somewhat flattered the very happy visitors and moved them out of the bottom three above their gallant hosts.
As might be expected from such a vital game between two teams at the wrong end of the table the early exchanges were very cagy with both sides determined to give nothing away. It took until 23rd minute for either side to carve out a chance and when the first opportunity finally arrived it took a brilliant stop from Trebes to prevent the first goal. Mitchell Wiess found a little bit of space on the left and fired a cross field ball which held up in the breeze and floated over the head of Jordan Jarrold dropping perfectly at the feet of Stevie West who was clean through on goal. Trebes was smartly off his line to shutdown the angle and did very well to block West’s attempt to flick the ball past him at point blank range. He did equally well to remain alert and drop on the loose ball to prevent the Kings forward nudging it home.
The hosts also had a debut making loanee in their line up in Matt Ball who had joined the Kings from Hendon on the morning of the match and he was involved in the majority of the good things that they were creating in the first period. In 39th minute he jinked his way to the edge of Ives box before being sent tumbling by Eugene Libertucci. The resulting free kick gave Trebes another opportunity to show his abilities as Sam Tring curled it over the wall looking for the far corner, but the Ives keeper hurled himself full length to tip the effort around the post. Trebes also came for the resulting corner, but ran into a pack of players and the ball was knocked down to Tring again on the edge of the box. He struck his effort well into the crowd and was left holding his head in his hands as Trebes, who had somehow managed to see the ball coming, hurled himself low to his left to palm the goal bound effort away.
Ives only on target effort of the first period was barely worthy of mention and it came two minutes before the break. Danny Watson spotted home keeper Martin Bennett way off his line as the ball fell to him in the centre circle. But he did not strike his effort as cleanly as team mate Rogan McGeorge had a few weeks earlier and on this occasion the ball was easily gathered by the fast retreating keeper.
The final opportunity of the first half was probably one of the best as a corner deep in added time was knocked back to Ball and Michael King got across his marker at the near post to get on the end of his clip back into the middle, but somehow directed his close range header wide of the target to take the teams in goalless at the break.
It had taken a while for Ives to get into their stride in the first half, but they started the second half very much in the ascendency and they went in front from their first corner after the re-start. Declan Rogers flag kick was knocked out to Peter Clark just outside the box. He darted across the face of the Kings back line and fed the ball into the feet of Ben Baker who in turn slid the ball into the feet of Danny Kelly deep inside the hosts box. A smart turn and left foot snap shot across the keeper was pushed away by Bennett low to his left, but the ball rolled on inside the six yard box where the ever alert Ollie Snaith was on hand for a tap in at the back post.
Tom Knowles entered the fray in place of Rogers on the hour, but almost immediately picked up a bang on the nose in a challenge with Tring and was off the pitch receiving treatment three minutes later when Trebes came up with another vital series of interventions to preserve Ives advantage. Ward drove into the visitors back line down the right and slid the ball out to the overlapping Gary Connolly his driven cross was deflected back to King on the edge of the box and his well struck effort was palmed around the post by a diving Trebes. This time the gallant keeper won the corner in the air with his punch under heavy pressure clearing the box. But he still had to be equally alert to bravely dive in and claim the ball just ahead of Josh Coldicott-Stevens as he threatened to run clear onto a pass threaded back into the box.
Trebes heroics proved to be even more vital less than ninety seconds later as a flowing Ives move was finished by an exquisite through ball from Clark which gave the now fully fit Knowles chance to outpace Callum Adebiyi. He still had a lot to do as keeper Bennett came out to close him down, but the youngster showed his class as he gave the keeper no chance flicking the ball over him and into the top corner of the net to double Ives advantage.
The two goal advantage turned into three only three minutes later as another flowing move this time down the left saw Watson hold the ball up well and feed it back to Jarrold his ball down the line picked out Baker his clip into the centre was flicked on perfectly by Knowles and there was Clark arriving at pace on the edge of the box. He was able to pick his spot and gleefully fired home past the exposed Bennett to spark wild celebrations amongst players, management team, and fans alike.
With the game now won manager Ricky Marheineke took the opportunity to shore things up and replaced the excellent Snaith with the combative abilities of McGeorge. But the visitors very pacey front line still continued to threaten when they had the chance to break out of defence and another flowing move down the right should have added a fourth goal in 80th minute. Clark, Baker and Miles Smith exchanged passes as they worked their way down the pitch. The move ended with Baker playing in full back Smith, unfortunately with goalkeeper Bennett well in his sights Smith went for power rather than precision and hammered the ball well over the top from an excellent position.
Trebes made what was probably his only mistake of the game in 85th minute as he came racing from his goal to try and hack away a trough ball ahead of Kings substitute Arjun Jung, but he miss-kicked his attempt and the ball fell to another sub Gareth Price who tried his luck from 25 yards, but was denied by a clearing header from the covering Libertucci.
The big keeper was back to his best two minutes from the end of the ninety minutes as he hurled himself to his left to push away a snap shot from Wiess after the big centre forward had turned inside Kelly and unleashed his effort from 20 yards. Trebes also denied Ball a debut consolation goal in 90th minute as the tricky winger cut inside from the right and fired in a dipping left foot effort from 25 yards that the leaping keeper spectacularly tipped over the top.
The final noteworthy effort of the day was another smart Ives breakaway four minutes into added time as Watson and Clark combined to set up a shooting opportunity for Baker that the youngster rather snatched at and fired wide from the edge of the box.
Overall an entertaining game, at least the second half was, and an excellent result for the Ives that sees them move above their opponents in the table on goal difference. There is a long way to go to reach the next team up, but the moral has now very definitely lifted in the camp and the future is looking bright for this young squad which seems to be moulding together well.
To end on a final sad note and that is to say a huge thank you to our departing assistant manager Jack Cassidy, this was his last game before he moves on to take up a similar role nearer home at Bedford Town. Jack has been a major player in the success at the Club in the last few years. His input to our promotion campaign was massive with the many hours put into “defensive formations” and how to play without the ball proving critical on some many occasions. All of those one nil wins that season did not come without a lot of hard work on the training ground. Jack is also the scholarship manager, a programme he put together himself, and has earned the respect of a host of youngster that have successfully completed the programme. We wish Jack all the best for the future and I will be amazed if the Eagles defensive record does not improve in the near future.
Score : Kings Langley 0 St Ives Town 3
Goals : Snaith 54, Knowles 64, Clark 67
St Ives team : Trebes (capt), Smith, Jarrold (Warner-Eley 82), Libertucci, Groves, Kelly, Clark, Snaith (McGeorge 70), Baker, Watson, Rogers (Knowles 60)
Unused subs : Ferrell, Sawyer
Supporters man of the match : Tim Trebes
Attendance : 173
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson