St Ives Town 1 Dorchester Town 2
Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 14/04/18
The warm spring sunshine was the only real positive that Ives could take from their twelfth home defeat of the season. This one was made all the more galling as it was only the second win on their travels for the Magpies all season. Their only previous maximum return on the road had come at struggling Dunstable way back in September.
Ives got off to the worst possible start as the visitors got their noses in front in their first venture into home territory in only the third minute. A ball into the box was only half cleared to full back Kyle Egan fully thirty yards from goal. But he was not closed down and used the time that he had to thread a slide rule pass through the left channel to pick out the run of Ashley Pope and the Magpies striker made no mistake firing his first time effort past the exposed Tim Trebes and into the back of the net from fifteen yards.
Egan was again involved in 20th minute as he cut out an attempted cross field ball from Rogan McGeorge on the half way line. Once more his pass picked out a team mate as he found Antonio Diaz in space on the right. The tricky Diaz hung up a cross into the box where Pope forced his way between the Ives centre backs to steer his header into the top corner past the statuesque Trebes from ten yards.
Ives grabbed a foothold back into the game only three minutes later as the speedy Tom Knowles got around the outside of Egan down the left and delivered a driven cross into the six yard box where Danny Kelly was on hand to prod the ball home from close range.
The first half continued in open end to end fashion with both sides trading blows without really managing to force a save from either keeper. The closest Ives came to testing Chris Weale in the Magpies goal was in 38th minute as they broke at pace from a Dorchester corner. Kelly picked out Knowles with an excellent ball from deep inside his own half. Knowles outpaced Chris Clarke on the outside and again delivered a telling cross into the danger zone. Unfortunately none of his team mates could match his pace and the ball flashed harmlessly across the face of Weale’s goal.
The visitors did better with their next corner three minutes later as Ollie Griggs got across his marker at the near post. Fortunately for Ives his glancing header was straight at Trebes who held on well.
Knowles had a good shout for a penalty turned down right on the break. Declan Rogers picked out Ben Baker in space on the right. He sped down the line before delivering a hanging cross to the back post where Knowles looked favourite to win the header until he was bundled in the back by covering defender Diaz. The ball was cleared to the half way line where Miles Smith picked up a booking for clattering into Tom Blair. The Ives full back also managed to injure himself in making the challenge and had to be replaced by utility man Phil Draycott at half time.
The game slowed as the heavy pitch began to take its toll in the second half. In spite of a lot of toil and endeavour both sides were struggling to create clear cut opportunities. The visitors carved out the first shooting opportunity in 53rd minute as Pope and Diaz combined on the right to set up a chance for Aaron Rodriguez. He ran across the face of the Ives back line before finding a bit of space, but only succeeded in hammering his left footed effort into the boards a couple of feet wide of Trebes right hand post.
The hosts then began to enjoy a period in the ascendency. In 57th minute Knowles created a chance for himself by running at the Magpies defence on the right hand corner of the box. He managed to side step a defender before unleashing a rising effort from fifteen yards that deflected off Griggs and went over the bar. This was the first of four Ives corners in quick succession. But keeper Weale claimed two of these confidently inside his six yard box and the nearest they came to troubling the big keeper during this period was a Knowles free kick from 25 yards on the hour. Unfortunately the free kick from Ives danger man struck the edge of the Magpies wall which took all of the power out of it allowing Weale to make the save low to his right.
Ives did hit the woodwork in 72nd minute, but it was an effort Weale had covered. Knowles delivered a corner from the left and Kelly challenged the keeper in the box forcing Weale into a punch. The ball fell inside the box, but just would not come down to let Charlie De’ath get a shot away. Neil Martin poked it clear to the right hand edge of the box where McGeorge picked it up and battled his way through two tackles to get to the bye line before hanging up a cross into the centre that bounced to safety off the top of the crossbar with the alert Weale looking on.
Ives continued to huff and puff but did not come close to blowing the Magpies house down. The introduction of Dubi Ogbonna and Ben Sawyer to give more striking options made little difference. As the Ives confidence drained out of them the visitor’s confidence started to grow as they sensed the opportunity of a very rare win bonus on the road. They went close to increasing their lead in 78th minute as Diaz and substitute Alex Stafi combined to tee up Dom Panesar-Dower inside the D. He carefully picked his spot, but by going for placement rather than power he gave Trebes chance to get across and grasp his side footed effort at the base of his left hand post.
The final opportunity of the afternoon fell to the Magpies Billy Lowes who battled his way past De’ath leaving the Ives skipper claiming he had been fouled, but the referee deciding he had simply been outmuscled by the Dorchester man. With De’ath now on the deck Lowes had time to pick his spot from the edge of the box, but unlike his colleague he went for power and it took a smart save from Trebes low to his right to keep out his well struck effort.
So ended another sad day for the Ives, but a very joyous one for the Magpies who departed from the still sunny Pro-Edge Stadium trying to remember out how to celebrate on the four hour journey back to the South coast.
Ives now have the challenge of six games in the next fourteen days. With most of these players now playing for their places for next season we can hope to see full commitment from the whole squad in those games which will mean nothing to their league finishing position which is now determined but will certainly let us see those that want to feature in manager Ricky Marheineke’s squad come next August.
Score : St Ives Town 1 Dorchester Town 2
Goals : Kelly 23
St Ives team : Trebes, Smith (Draycott 45), Warner-Eley, De’ath (capt), Groves, McGeorge, Knowles, Snaith (Ogbonna 73), Kelly, Rogers, Baker (Sawyer 86)
Unused subs : Libertucci, Clark
Supporters man of the match : Tom Knowles
Attendance : 192
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson