Royston Town 2 St Ives Town 1
Evo-Stik League South Premier Division 10/10/17
The frustration goes on for Ives as once again they played well, everyone put in that required extra level of commitment, but in spite of outplaying the Crows for long periods of this game the deserved result did not come!.
Manager Ricky Marheineke stuck with the same starting eleven, and same bench as Saturdays gallant ten man defeat to Tiverton. But it was the hosts fresh from an excellent victory at Chesham who started on the front foot. The game was only three minutes old when James Potton found space just outside the Ives box to fire in a shot that was blocked, but the rebound fell to John Frendo who hit a first time effort the James Goff did well to block with his body and the ball was scrambled clear.
As so often this season the visitors failed to repel early pressure from the opposition and fell behind in the eighth minute in very simple fashion. Ed Asafu-Adjaye played a ball down the line which Adam Marriott set off in pursuit of. Keeper Goff came to claim just inside the box, but found himself beaten to the ball by the pace of Marriott who cleverly clipped the ball past the fast advancing Goff and wheeled away in delight as it found the far corner of the net.
Ives reacted well to falling behind and came close to grabbing a leveller five minutes later. The ever willing James Hall pulled away from the middle and received a ball down the line from Miles Smith. Hall picked out Danny Kelly arriving in the box, but he just failed to get the bouncing ball under control. Peter Clark and Lewis Hilliard kept the move alive and the ball was fed back out to Ben Seymour-Shove on the right. His in-swinging cross bounced inside the six yard box, but just evaded everyone and flew inches past the far post with keeper Joe Welch looking on.
The visitors continued to press forward and went on to claim a deserved equaliser in 19th minute. Tom McGowan sprayed an excellent ball out of defence to pick out Hilliard roaming forward into the Crows half. Hilliard played an exquisite ball with the outside of his foot to pick out the run of Hall through the centre. Hall still had plenty to do as keeper Welch came to close him down, but he touched the ball around the advancing keeper and drilled it home through two covering defenders from eight yards.
Having got level Ives then found themselves pegged back by the hosts as the ebb and flow of the game again changed in favour of the Crows. Pressure from Lee Chappell robbed Seymour-Shove in a wide position deep in his own half on the half hour. Chappell played the ball into the feet of Frendo who showed his class with an excellent turn and shot that flashed past the post. All of this in spite of the close attention of Andrew Iwediuno.
The Crows continued to press forward as half time approached and the visitors had Goff to thank for keeping the scores level in 44th minute. A low cross from the right by Gus Scott-Morriss was deflected out to Chappell on the back edge of the box and he hit a crisp low drive through the crowded penalty area that Goff did very well to see coming and even better to tip around the post diving full length to his left.
This lead to the first of three corners in succession for the hosts. The third of these created the final opportunity of the first period as it was flicked on at the near post and centre back Adam Murray tried to finish like a striker by chesting the ball down and hitting it on the volley. Fortunately he showed he was a defender as in spite of chesting it down well his attempted volley from ten yards out ended up in the gardens of the houses behind the goal.
The direction of flow changed again at the start of the second half as Ives with a strengthening wind at their back got back on top. Crows centre back Daniel Brathwaite had a lucky escape in 48th minute as he completely missed a ball down the right allowing Seymour-Shove to get away. Unfortunately his low cross was just behind the fast arriving Hall and although he got a touch he could not get his shot away and the chance was gone.
After that escape Crows went straight down the other end and thought that they had gone back in front as Marriott cut inside from the right and served up a cross to the back post where Ives headed it down for Frendo to force the ball home from close range. Fortunately for Ives Frendo had wandered into an offside position before he received the knock down.
Ives continued to press forward and another excellent chance went begging in 54th minute. Seymour-Shove was again the provider as he picked out Hall in the centre. The Ives centre forward was stuck with his back to goal eight yards out and two defenders trying to stop him turning. He tried to lay the ball off to Clark but Crows defenders were back in numbers by this time and the chance went begging.
Two minutes later another flowing move, this time down the left, involving Hilliard, Kelly and Hall saw the ball laid back to Clark by the penalty spot. He struck his effort well, but Brathwaite was covering and managed to block the effort inside the six yard box.
The flowing Ives style was continuing to trouble the hosts and Hall went close again on the hour. Hilliard was the provider as he picked out Hall in space on the right hand corner of the box. Hall took a touch and curled his effort just inches past the far post with keeper Welch struggling to get across.
Having enjoyed so much good possession and created, but not took, chances it was almost inevitable this season that the opposition would carve out one chance and take it and that is just what happened in 72nd minute. Again it was simple, but well executed. Frendo took down a ball out of defence thirty five yards from goal and played a perfectly weighted pass inside into the run of Marriott who again showed his quality taking the ball in his stride and firing past the advancing Goff from the edge of the box.
Ives responded well to this setback and yet another flowing move ended with Seymour-Shove delivering a cross into the box from the right that Hall bravely threw himself at above Murray, but his header from eight yards flew over the top.
As the clock ticked down the frustration was beginning to show on the Ives and this was personified by Clark as a move broke down deep in Crows territory he slid in on Asafu-Adjaye as the defender made his clearance and earned himself a yellow card.
The visitors put in one final effort as the game entered added time with Smith pushing up from the back and cutting inside before unleashing a low drive from 25 yards that was comfortably gathered by Welch.
James Hall deservedly won the supporters man of the match award as he, along with the whole team, continued to show commitment and desire throughout. The frustration at not picking up the points we deserve from these games is heartfelt amongst players and supporters alike. The quality is there, the desire is there, our luck must change soon!. Those of you with previously lucky pre-match routines, or even lucky underpants, it is time to change them. The rewards will come, be bold and keep the faith.
Final Score : Royston Town 2 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Hall 19
Supporters man of the match : James Hall
St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Longden (Jordan 83), McGowan, De’ath (capt), Iwediuno, Hilliard, Clark, Hall (Wright 89), Kelly, Seymour-Shove (Short 90 + 2)
Unused substitute : Nicholls
Attendance : 200
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson