Result: Dereham Town 2 St Ives Town 2

Saturday 30th August 2014 – FA Cup Preliminary Round

Dereham Town 2  St Ives Town 2

Att: 203
Man of the match: Ben Seymour-Shove

Ten men St Ives Town worked hard to earn a replay in a feisty FA Cup tie at Dereham Town. The game hinged on a strange refereeing decision in the 70th minute when the man in the middle was the only one in the ground who thought the home side should have a penalty and that the otherwise unseen offence was worthy of a second yellow card for the unfortunate Will Muzvimbiri.

The Ives started the game well and took the lead after only 7 minutes when Muzvimbiri won the ball in the middle of the park and played it wide to Scott Sinclair who sprayed a raking cross field ball which set Ben Seymour-Shove free and he expertly lobbed the advancing home keeper Andy Wilton.

The visitors continued to push forward and came close to doubling their advantage on 15 minutes when keeper Wilton juggled a John Stead free kick from 25 yards on his line but just managed to keep the ball out.

The home side started to gain more possession and Frazer Blake-Tracy was looking dangerous overlapping on the left. He went past Andres Gutierrez on 22 minutes and was hauled down on the edge of the box by the covering Jimmy Dean. The resulting free kick by Aaron Kay was blocked by the wall and scramble away. Kay came close again two minutes later when his shot from just inside the box was cleared off the line by Stead after a corner had been headed down to him by Michael Summerfield.

Although the home side continued to enjoy the majority of possession the Ives still looked dangerous every time they went forward and on 28 minutes Muzvimbiri robbed Luke Hannant wide on the left and ran at the defence. Wilton just managed to get a hand to his deflected shot from a narrow angle and pushed it way for a corner. From the resulting corner Stuart Eason saw a shot through a crowded box cleared off the line by Hannant.

The visitors were looking fairly comfortable and it came as a surprise when they conceded an equaliser on the half hour. Sam Borror picked up the ball in midfield and was allowed time and space to move forward. He played a precise through ball to put in Ryan Hawkins who made no mistake slotting the ball past Barney McLaughlin from 15 yards. Shortly after this the struggling Gutierrez was replaced at right back by Ollie Medwynter.

The game evened up for the remainder of the first half with each side creating only one more good chance. The home side executed a training ground training move on 40 minutes when a short corner by Blake-Tracy was driven into the box by Kay but a diving header by Borror, who had got free on the far post, flew well over the bar. The visitors chance came right on half time when Eason was allowed a free run in the box and got on the end of a Medwynter long throw but he powered his header from eight yards just over the bar.

St Ives came out fired up at the start of the second half and came close after only 50 seconds when a slick passing move involving Eason, Sinclair and Stead ended with the latter driving in a cross that was scrambled away at the far post by Hannant just before Eason could apply the finishing touch.

The home defenders were now being given no time on the ball and only two minutes later Muzvimbiri closed down the keeper as he received a back pass and ricochet almost fell to Eason.

The home side weathered this initial storm and put together a slick passing move of their own on 52 minutes involving Craig Bussens, Luke Tuttle, Kay and Borror that resulted in a powerful shot from 20 yards by Tuttle that McLaughlin did well to push away.

The game evened out with both sides continuing to create chances. On the hour a swerving shot from 25 yards was well watched all the way by McLaughlin who was pleased to push the ball away. Two minutes later a Stead free kick was flicked on by Dean for Will Fordham to get in a header from 10 yards but keeper Wilton gathered safely.

Medwynter’s long throws into the box were troubling the home defence and on 65 minutes keeper Wilton failed to hang on to another of them under pressure. The ball fell to Stead who fired over from 12 yards under pressure from Hannant.

Two minutes later St Ives went back in front as Seymour-Shove netted his second powerfully firing home from 15 yards after the ball had been laid back to him by the hard working Muzvimbiri.

The Magpies were stung into action and went straight up the other end where McLaughlin pulled off a flying save to palm away a fierce drive from Borror who was played in by Tuttle.

The game changed on the resulting corner. The ball was swung into the box by Kay. McLaughlin cleanly punched the ball away under pressure and the referee’s whistle went. Everyone in the ground, except the referee, thought it was for a foul on the keeper. However, the eagle eyed official had spotted a pull by Muzvimbiri in the box and was pointing to the spot. Not only did he award a penalty he also deemed that the offence was worthy of a second yellow card for the unfortunate Ives striker. Medwynter was also cautioned for querying the decision. Borror took advantage of the home side’s good fortune by firing in the spot kick high to McLaughlin’s right hand side.

The visitors were a little rattled by the unexpected set back and had to thank their keeper for keeping them level in the next few minutes. McLaughlin twice denied the dangerous Borror, first pushing away his fierce drive from 20 yards and then plunging bravely at his feet after he had been put clear by Tuttle.

However the Ives regained their composure and the gallant ten men came close to grabbing the winner on two occasions. Firstly in the 81st minute when a poor punch by Wilton fell to Stead 15 yards out, by his hurried shot flew over the bar. Then one minute later when Seymour-Shove thought he had grabbed his hat-trick after he was put through by Stead and steered the ball past the keeper. However, the celebrations were cut short by an assistant’s flag.

The last chance of the game came well into injury time when a miss-hit shot from Tuttle looked like it might drift in over McLaughlin’s head and the fast back peddling keeper was happy to see it land on the top of the net.

The two teams will look forward to rejoining the battle on Tuesday evening at ProEdge, Westwood Road with the prize of a trip to St Neots Town awaiting the winners in the next round.

St Ives team : McLaughlin, Gutierrez (Medwynter 34), Hall, Lambert, Fordham (capt), Dean, Sinclair, Stead, Eason, Muzvimbiri, Seymour-Shove.
Unused subs : Alsop, Bream, Cobb
Goals : Seymour-Shove 7, 67
Yellow cards : Eason (37), Medwynter (70), Hall (85), Fordham (88)
Red card : Muzvimbiri (70) (two yellow cards)

Nigel Howlett

Upcoming matches…
Tue 2nd Sep 7.45pm kick off HOME to Dereham Town (1st Team FA Cup Prelim Replay)
Wed 3rd Sep 7.45pm AWAY to Royston Town (U18 League)

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