St Ives Town 0 Hereford 2
Evo-Stik League South Premier – 28/04/18
For the second season in a row Ives ended their season by facing the champions, this time around the runaway winners Hereford. As in last season at Chippenham the Ives showed their visitors the respect of a guard of honour as they entered the arena.
The players on the pitch from both sides also owed a big debt on the day to a gallant group of supporters who had spent the morning battling the elements to get the game on. The brave few spent from first light sponging gallons of water off large areas of the pitch in varieties of precipitation which varied from a steady rain to heavy downpours. Fortunately they never got downhearted and eventually won the battle.
The early possession was mainly with the champions as they racked up three quick corners in succession in the eight minute. The second of this trio flashed through the Ives goalmouth bouncing in the six yard box and begging someone to apply a decisive touch but was eventually deflected out for another flag kick by a home defender.
Keeper Tim Trebes picked up an early shoulder injury in a collision with Mike Symons and seemed to take while to shake it off. But he showed that he was not feeling any ill effects in 15th minute as he hurled himself low to his right to palm away a snap shot from 25 yards by Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Peter Clark was showing his usual ebullience and buzzing around the midfield. He carved out Ives first half chance in 20th minute as scampered down the right flank before delivering a teasing cross to the near post that almost lead to a mix up between James Bowen and his keeper Martin Horsell. The defender ignoring his keepers call and hacking the ball away just before his custodian clattered into him.
Myrie-Williams continued to look sharp at the other end and on the half hour he robbed a dallying Miles Smith and drove on for goal trying to wriggle around Lloyd Groves just inside the box. The speedy striker went down under the challenge and referee Alex Rayment who was right on the spot waved away the visitors claims for a penalty.
But the Bulls did not have to wait much longer to get in front as Lance Smith and Symons combined well on the right. The latter delivered a cross to the near post where Pablo Haysham attacked the ball getting above Groves to power in a header from eight yards that looked like it was heading for the top corner. But keeper Trebes showed remarkable reactions to leap to his left and touch the ball onto the cross bar. The ball bounced down but was only half cleared to the edge of the box where full back Dara O’Shea pounced on it and lashed home a powerful low drive through the crowded box that flew into the far corner of the net.
The final noteworthy effort of the first period also went the way of the visitors as Ellliott Richards fed O’Shea who hung up a cross to the back post where Symons got above Smith but failed to keep his header down.
The second period started positively for the Ives as Danny Kelly got in their first shot on target only 20 seconds after the restart. But his low drive from 20 yards lacked power and proved a comfortable save for Horsell.
The game was much more even in this early period of the second half as Ives struggled to clear a Haysham corner in 54th minute the ball eventually falling to Lance Smith on the edge of the box. But he fired his effort well over the top as Clark swiftly closed him down.
The hosts went close to an equaliser in 57th minute as Dan Moyes picked out Ben Baker on the right with an excellent ball from the back. The young winger got outside Bowen and delivered a cross to the back post where Clark kept it alive knocking the ball back into the centre where a late arriving Ollie Snaith was just unable to force it home.
Home keeper Tim Trebes was forced into more action on the hour as his poor clearance fell to Mike McGrath who drove forward before unleashing a skimming 25 yard effort that Trebes had to plunge to his right to push away.
The game was finished as a contest by a second Bulls goal in 68th minute and it all came from an Ives free kick deep in visitor’s territory. Snaith was brought down wide left and with all of the big boys up from the back Declan Rogers delivered an out-swinging free kick which failed to beat the first man Richards picked out a quickly breaking O’Shea with his clearance and the speedy full back turned Luke Warner-Eley inside out before cutting inside the young full back who pulled the Bulls man down inside the box for a blatant penalty. Substitute John Mills who had only been on the pitch three minutes showed calmness personified as he waited for Trebes to go to his left before coolly dinking the ball down the middle.
To their credit Ives continued to battle but were unable to break down a rigid Bulls back line well marshalled by skipper Ryan Green. The closest they came was only one minute from the end of the ninety when eighteen year old substitute Gordan Torkornoo delivered the perfect teasing cross from the right that was just inches ahead of the fast arriving Clark in the centre and refused to come down for Kelly at the back post.
The final action of the damp afternoon two minutes into added time was a lucky escape for home keeper Trebes as he came for a high bouncing ball on the right hand edge of his box and dropped the greasy ball under challenge from Symons. Unable to regain his ground the keeper was forced to bring down the big striker inches outside the box. Richards decided to go for goal with the kick from a narrow angle, but Trebes was equal to the powerful effort and tipped the ball over the top.
A few seconds later the final whistle blew to conclude a hugely successful season for the Bulls who celebrated with their 500 plus supporters after the final whistle. Battling Ives also earned themselves a standing ovation matching their illustrious opponents for long periods of this game without ever looking likely winners.
So ended a season that started so brightly back in August with an away win at eventual play off contestants Weymouth on a sunny South coast. Saw some lows as in the six goal beatings at Dorchester and Stafford, but some highs particularly the wins at Tiverton, Frome, Biggleswade and Kings Langley. We can now look forward to a whole new step three challenge next season in the newly form Central Division.
Here’s wishing all our readers a happy summer break with a little sunshine included all ready to return in about eight weeks for pre-season in July.
Score : St Ives Town 0 Hereford 2
Goals : none
St Ives team : Trebes, Smith, Warner-Eley, Groves, Moyes, McGeorge (capt) (Torkornoo 78), Clark, Rogers, Kelly, Snaith (Leslie 78), Baker (Sawyer 86)
Unused sub : Ogbonna
Supporters man of the match : Peter Clark
Attendance : 702
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson