Tuesday 18th August 2015 – Southern League Division One Central
Leighton Town 1 St Ives Town 4
The highlights of this excellent all round performance were Danny Watson returning to haunt his previous club with a brace, another cracker from Jack Higgs and a well taken first goal for the club from Chae Simons.
The previously unbeaten Reds came into the game full of confidence and caused the Ives a few concerns in the first 25 minutes. Nathan Olukanmi got away down the right in the seventh minute and fired in a low driven cross that Tim Trebes did well to hang onto.
The home sides first real chance of the game came on 20 minutes as a free kick from the right delivered by Olukanmi found Ben Gallant eight yards out in the centre of goal, but he could only direct his header just wide of Trebes left hand post.
The Reds next chance came only two minutes later as an exchange of passes between Olukanmi and Gallant put Samson Alalade through on goal, but he could only fire into the side netting from a narrow angle.
The home side came to regret their failure to take these chances four minutes later as the Ives took the lead with their first real opportunity. A quick interchange of passes on the right between Joe Peacock and Luke Knight gave Harry O’Malley chance to deliver a deep cross to the far post where Stuart Eason rose majestically to head the ball down into the path of Watson who made no mistake from close range.
The home team always looked dangerous going forward and should have probably equalised on 29 minutes as Jordan Jenkins found space in a crowded box to get in a powerful header from an Olukanmi corner, but like his team mates he to failed to hit the target from a good position.
Ives created one more opportunity in the first period and this came on 38 minutes as Higgs pounced on a loose ball just outside the box and fired in a cannonball that got a slight deflection off a defender that took it just the wrong side of the upright and scattered the Ives fans behind the goal.
So for the second game in a row Ives came out for the second period with a lead to defend and it did not take long for them to double their advantage with a simple, well taken, second for Watson. A long ball down the middle was flicked on by Eason, Peacock then laid a perfect lob over the defence to put Watson clear and he coolly slotted the ball past the advancing home keeper Aaron Bufton.
Whilst they looked very rocky at the back, The Reds had been creating chances throughout the game and their best one of the match fell to Alalade on 56 minutes as Craig Maisiri got away down the left and steered in a low cross that found the big striker in acres of space ten yards out in the centre of goal, but the ball appeared to bobble as he went to hit it and he somehow failed to get a shot away as the Ives defenders quickly closed him down.
Three minutes later it was 3-0 with another cracking finish from Higgs. A cross field ball from Eason picked out Watson wide on the right. He delivered a low ball into the box that was completely missed by Reds defender Paul Brown, and miss-kicked up into the air by the covering Matthew Hall. Higgs seized on the loose ball and acrobatically fired in an overhead kick that rattled into the net via the underside of the crossbar to leave keeper Bufton berating his bemused defenders.
Bufton saved his side from more embarrassment with an amazing triple save on 67 minutes. Watson delivered a deep cross that found Eason in space by the far post he met the ball perfectly and powered his header down only for Bufton to block with his legs, substitute Ebey Marango was following up and fired in a shot from ten yards that Bufton again managed to block. The ball ran loose to Higgs who also had his well struck drive blocked by the scrambling keeper who was mightily relieved to see the ball finally cleared by one of his defenders.
The Reds still continued to create and spurn chances and full back Jenkins managed to miss two in three minutes both from corners around the 70 minute mark first heading wide from a good position on 69 minutes and then scuffing his shot at the far post on 72.
The home side had made all of their substitutions with 20 minutes still to go and went down to ten men for the last ten minutes of the match as captain James Hatch limped off after coming off second best in a firm challenge in midfield with Knight.
The last few minutes of the game saw two more goals. Trebes was denied his clean sheet bonus in the 90th minute as a rash challenge by Charlie Death on home substitute Jack Harris saw well positioned referee Kendall point to the spot. Harris picked himself up a despatched the spot kick high to Trebes left.
There was still time for Ives substitute Chae Simons to grab his first goal for the club. An excellent jinking run by Marango down the left saw him get clear of the defenders and cut in along the goal line. He looked up to see Simons moving into space and laid a perfectly weighted ball into his path, the young striker did the rest to give Bufton no chance.
Overall a good all round performance topped off with some very well taken goals. A few man of the match contenders, Jordan Jarrold did well to control a tricky winger after some early scares and still found opportunities to get forward to support the attack. Luke Knight put in an excellent display of controlled aggression just in front of the back four, after an early warning from the referee. Stuart Eason was a constant thorn in the side of the Leighton defenders. Jack Higgs scored another contender for goal of the season, but the vote has to go to Danny Watson for his all action display topped off with two well taken goals.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath, Gentle, Knight (capt), Peacock (Marango 59), Higgs, Eason (Simons 69), Watson, Viera (Warwick 77)
Unused subs : Moyes, Draycott
Goals : Watson 26, 49, Higgs 59, Simons 90+2
Supporters Man of the Match : Danny Watson
Final Score : Leighton Town 1 St Ives Town 4
Attendance : 128