Saturday 18th April 2015 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
Godalming Town 2 St Ives Town 2
A Will Muzuimbiri inspired comeback earned the Ives a good point in a game they came close to throwing away with another very slow start. The visitors may have had a small excuse for their tardy opening after a 2 ½ hour bus journey which was lengthened by delays on the M25 and A3. In fact some of the travelling contingent might have thought the team were still on the bus for the first 20 minutes.
The Gs took full advantage of Ives lack of early pace and grabbed the lead from their first corner of the game after only three minutes. George Frith delivered an in-swinger which was won in the air by Adam Cornell. His initial downward header was blocked on the goal line, but whilst the Ives defenders hesitated Cornell was first to react and force home the loose ball from close range.
The home side were the only team in the game during this early period and doubled their advantage on 19 minutes as Nick Hutchings swung in a ball from the left and Cornell was again first to react getting in front of Charlie Death at the near post and steering the ball home past the advancing Tim Trebes.
Ives were struggling to get a foothold in the game. But the powerhouse central midfield of Luke Knight and Jack Higgs were at last beginning to win a few tackles and bring their wide men into play. Knight won the free kick which got Ives their foothold on 28 minutes as he was clumsily brought down 35 yards from goal by Steve Brown.
Higgs delivered the resulting free kick to the far post area where Death challenged two home defenders. The ball dropped into the box and was scrambled clear, but only as far as Higgs again. The skilful no. 10 spotted Harry O’Malley in acres of space beyond the far post and picked him out with a perfectly flighted chip. The young full back directed his header into the danger zone where Muzuimbiri bravely strode in to power home a header from close range.
Godalming now knew they were in a game and responded positively as three minutes later a curling ball into the box from the right was expertly brought down by Cornell inside the box. But just as he was about to pull the trigger for his hat trick covering full back O’Malley appeared from nowhere and nicked the ball off his toe.
O’Malley was a busy man during this period of the game and was involved again at the other end of the pitch on 34 minutes as he went down the right and turned to set up Scott Sinclair for an in-swinging cross that James Hall got in front of his marker to attack six yards out in the centre of goal. Unfortunately for Hall he failed to get a clean contact and the ball simply rebounded from his body into the grateful hands of home keeper Richard Ossai.
This was the final chance either side were able to create in the first period which ended with the visitors 2 – 1 down, but having enjoyed the majority of possession in the last 25 minutes of the half.
The Ives started the second period much better than the first and were looking like they believed they could get something from this game. However Trebes was the first keeper called into action as he had to be alert to claim a dangerous cross just ahead of Cornell in the 57th minute.
But from this point the visitors started to get well on top and all of the action was occurring around the home penalty area. Ives came close to grabbing an equaliser on 66 minutes as Muzuimbiri flicked on a long throw from Jonny Hall and the ball fell to Higgs on the edge of the box, unfortunately he could not keep his first time effort down.
They were not to be denied six minutes later when Jonny Hall delivered a deep cross into the box and Muzuimbiri challenged home defenders Antonio Simeone and Tom Willment in the air. The ball fell to James Hall who turned and fired home low to Ossai’s right giving the keeper no chance from 10 yards.
The visitor’s were now pressing for a winner. On 78 minutes Sinclair worked himself into space 25 yards from goal and unleashed a low drive that had Ossai scrambling across his goal, but flashed just past his right hand post.
Three minutes later another foul on Knight in the centre circle gave Higgs chance to deliver another deep free kick into the box. Death rose highest at the back post, but could not keep his header down under pressure from Simeone. Ossai came to his side’s rescue on 84 minutes as he stretched full length to claim a teasing James Hall cross into the box just ahead of Sinclair.
One minute later Death was again causing trouble in the home box as he got his head on the end of a deep corner by Sinclair. His header was blocked and half cleared to Knight 30 yards from goal. Knight hit a very poor first time shot that turned into a perfect pass back to Sinclair. The flying winger laid the ball into Jordan Lambert on the corner of the box. Lambert belied his centre back status by side stepping a home defender, but unfortunately his crisp low drive was straight at Ossai.
The keeper swiftly threw the ball out to set up the home sides best chance of the second period as the ball was smartly shifted through midfield to find Frith in space on the right. He cut into the box and fired his well struck effort past the advancing Trebes, but just past the far post.
Ives best chance to win the game came with just two minutes left as Higgs won a challenge in midfield and played Sinclair into space down the left. He drove onto into the space and drilled a low cross into the box that just evaded Muzuimbiri and two defenders in the centre of goal and arrived at the feet of James Hall at the far post. Hall controlled the ball and looked to fire home into the empty net, but covering defender Hutchings bravely hurled himself in front of the shot to block it and clear the danger.
Ives final chance to claim all three points came one minute into added time as the hard working Hall outpaced Simeone to get on the end of a long punt out of defence by Death. He spotted keeper Ossai off his line and tried to lob him from fully 35 yards, but got to much on the ball and it harmlessly floated over the top.
The final opportunity of the game fell to the home side on the break two minutes later, but Trebes was alert to claim a cross by Frith just ahead of G’s substitute Darren Wheeler.
This was a well deserved point for the Ives that could so easily have been three with a better start. The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession and were on the front foot for two thirds of this game, but gave themselves a mountain to climb after going two goals down.
Will Muzuimbiri claimed his second man of the match award in three games with another controlled all action display that put pressure on the experienced home defence throughout the match. The others that pushed him close were Jack Higgs for another powerful display in the middle of the park and Harry O’Malley who had an excellent game up and down the right hand side.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, De’Ath, Lambert (capt.), Jonny Hall, Higgs, Peters (Moyes 64), Knight, Sinclair, Muzuimbiri, James Hall
Unused subs : Smith, Bream
Goals : Muzuimbiri 28, James Hall 72
Man of the Match : Will Muzuimbiri
Final Score : Godalming Town 2 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 168
Next 1st team match Sat 25th April 3pm kick off AWAY to Marlow (League)
Next U18 match Wed 22nd April 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Blackstones (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk