Saturday 6th December 2014 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
Egham Town 0 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 67
Man of the match: James Peters
The Ives claimed another good away point and extended their unbeaten run to five games with a solid goalless draw on a frosty day in Surrey.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and Kieran Fitzgerald got a header on target inside the first minute, but it carried no power and was an easy catch for home keeper Jamie Norris.
The Ives fashioned the best chance of the game only two minutes later when Ben Seymour-Shove got down the left and drilled a dangerous low ball across the six yard line that caused panic in the home defence. Wilson Gondwe did well to deflect the ball away from Stuart Eason in the centre of goal, but it ran on to Fitzgerald at the far post. He looked like he had done everything right as he powered the ball at goal, but Norris who spread himself more in hope than expectation was very fortunate as the ball deflected wide off his body.
After their lucky escape the Sarnies began to get into the game a little and had their first attempt on goal on seven minutes when Joshua Andrew picked up the ball in midfield and drove at the visitors defence. He tried his luck from 25 yards as he was closed down and his shot flew harmlessly wide.
The next chance on 16 minutes caused a little more of a flutter with the visiting fans as Reis Stanislaus managed to out jump Tim Trebes in the Ives goal to get his head onto a Joe Chandiram corner, but he was unable to direct his header on target.
It was an even game at this stage with the visitors giving as good as they got. The next chance fell to the Ives when the hardworking Jack Higgs won the ball in midfield and sprayed an excellent ball out to Scott Sinclair wide on the right. Sinclair outpaced his full back and drove a low ball across the six yard box that only just evaded Eason sliding in at the far post.
The end to end pattern continued with Duane Antonio playing wide left for the Sarnies creating and missing the next opportunity. He collected a pass from midfield and took on Josh Melling, cutting inside a curling an effort from the corner of the box which sailed safely past Trebes’s left hand upright.
Two minutes later Fitgerald looked to have got clear as he robbed a dallying Gondwe, but he was unlucky to be pulled back by the referee’s whistle as the official deemed he had unfairly challenged the very fortunate Sarnies defender. The frustrated Fitzgerald picked up the Ives second yellow card of the day seconds later for a needless lunging tackle.
Ives thought they should have had a penalty on 34 minutes. Fitzgerald was again the creator as he threaded a precise ball out to Sinclair on the right, Sinclair steered a low ball into the box which Seymour-Shove got to ahead of Luke Muldowney at the near post. As the nippy striker shaped to turn Muldowney clipped him, but referee Howick turned down the appeals and, to the disappointment of the visiting bench, did not consult his assistant on the near side who probably had a better view of the incident.
The rattled Ives had to keep their concentration and had a lucky escape of their own two minutes later when the home side probably created their best chance of the afternoon from nothing. Chandiram played a hopeful ball over the top which Ives defence left for the fast advancing Trebes, but he was beaten to the ball by Matthew Brendon. Fortunately for the visitors Brendon had been driven wide and could only fire his shot across the face of goal. The ball arrived at the feet of Andrew at the far post, but he only managed to turn his shot into the grateful hands of the fast retreating Trebes.
Ives had the final effort of the half one minute into added time when Higgs picked up a loose ball in midfield and tried his luck from 25 yards. Eason managed to deflect his effort from around the penalty spot, but only succeeded in directing the ball straight at keeper Norris.
The visitors continued to enjoy a lot of early possession in the second period, but although they created a few half chances the resolute home defence ensured that Norris was not really tested. The first half chance came on 48 minutes when Jonny Hall latched onto a loose ball 35 yards from goal and ran at the defence. His run was blocked off, but he managed to knock the ball square to Higgs who’s first time effort from 25 yards flew well over the top.
The next effort at goal came nine minutes later when Sinclair cut in from the right and ran across the defence before trying his luck with a left footed effort from 20 yards that had keeper Norris scrambling across his goal, but just crept wide of his left hand post.
Sinclair was also involved in the next Ives attack two minutes later as he sprayed a precise cross field ball to Seymour-Shove wide on the left. The tricky winger turned full back Daniel Williamson and delivered a dangerous curling ball into the box that Eason won in the air, but his goal bound header was deflected over by Muldowney. Charlie Death won the resulting corner, but his header from around the penalty spot was blocked in a crowded goalmouth and hacked clear.
The Sarnies got more into the game in the next fifteen minutes and enjoyed a good spell of possession, but Ives defence, ably assisted by the tireless James Peters ensured they were limited to three long range efforts which were all comfortably gathered by Trebes.
Manager Ricky Marheineke tried to freshen up the Ives attack with two substitutions either side of the 75 minute mark. The all action Will Muzuimbiri, and the calming influence of Jon Stead, replaced the tiring Eason and Sinclair respectively. Both substitutes were involved a move which came close to giving Ives the lead on 80 minutes. The hard working Fitzgerald found space down the left again and played the ball into the near post where Stead flicked it on. Muzuimbiri skilfully brought the ball down and turned on the penalty spot, but he steered his shot just wide of Norris’s left hand post.
The visitor’s had their last chance to claim the victory on 82 minutes and Fitzgerald was again the instigator as he knocked a precise ball through the channel for Seymour-Shove to run onto. Seymour-Shove side stepped around the fast advancing Norris and drove the ball across goal from a narrow angle. Muzuimbiri sliding in at the far post just failed to apply the finishing touch.
The home side pressed forward for the last few minutes, but ran up against a resolute visitor’s defence who limited them to a couple of half chances. The first on 84 minutes when the dangerous Andrew got to the bye line and pulled the ball back to substitute Daniel Read, but he could only hit his shot straight at Trebes from 12 yards. The final chance fell to The Sarnies other substitute Nassim Dukall who failed to hit the target with a header from eight yards out as he got on the end of a deep cross from Read.
So the final away game before Christmas ended in a well earned point for the Ives and a second clean sheet in three games. The only disappointment was the six bookings picked up, almost all needless ones in a game that hardly saw a bad tackle and was not at all ill tempered.
It was good to see the Christmas jumpers out in abundance, amongst both players and supporters. The visiting fans, who doubled the gate at the Runnymeade Stadium, were all in good voice and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
St Ives team : Trebes, Melling, Hall, Lambert (capt.), Death, Peters, Sinclair (Stead 76), Higgs, Eason (Muzuimbiri 71), Fitzgerald, Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : Crowie
Goals : None
Yellow cards : Fitzgerald 22, Seymour-Shove 41, Eason 61, Higgs 71, Muzuimbiri 89, Lambert 90+1
Man of the Match : Peters
Final Score : Egham Town 0 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 67
Next 1st team match Sat 13th December 3pm kick off HOME to Daventry Town (League)
Next U18 match Thu 11th December 7.45pm kick off HOME to Chatteris Town U18’s (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk