Saturday 25th October 2014 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
Northwood 4 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 133
Man of the match: Jack Higgs
Another tough away day for the Ives, but a game in which the score line does not reflect the balance of possession, number of chances created, or number of shots at goal. However it does reflect a little naivety and lack of composure in the team at the moment all over the pitch.
The visitors started well and had the first of their many shots at goal after only 50 seconds when Jon Stead tried his luck from 25 yards after the ball was laid into him by Jack Higgs. Unfortunately Stead’s shot ended up where so many went on the day, over the top!.
The home side created their first chance of the game on seven minutes when player manager Mark Burgess played the ball into centre forward Michael Murray who laid the ball out to Rob Hastings in space on the right, fortunately Hastings first time shot from the corner of the box was straight at a well positioned Tim Trebes in the visitors goal.
The Woods were gifted the lead only four minutes later when overlapping full back Omar Vassell got to the by-line and played a low ball into the box which Trebes was unable to hang onto and Murray was on hand to accept the gift and turn the ball in from close range.
The Ives continued to enjoy good possession in the middle of the park and looked to push forward at every opportunity. On 16 minutes a surging run from right back Ollie Medwynter ended when he was brought down 25 yards out. Higgs well struck free kick only just cleared the cross bar. Two minutes later Ives got another good chance from a dead ball situation as Ben Seymour-Shove was brought down by Burgess in a wide position right by the goal line. A well worked free kick saw the ball laid back to Higgs in space on the edge of the box, but his powerful drive was blocked by a defender and Charlie Death could only turn the rebound wide.
The visitors continued to press forward and came close to an equaliser twice in a four minute spell around the half hour mark. On 30 minutes a carefully threaded through ball by Higgs put Seymour-Shove clear, he clipped the ball perfectly past the advancing keeper but it rolled agonisingly inches wide of the far post. Four minutes later Stuart Eason rose majestically in the box to powerfully head down another Stead free kick, but the athletic Berkley Laurencin in the Woods goal flung himself full stretch to his right to finger tip the goal bound header around the post.
The home side weathered the Ives storm and began to gain a bit more possession in midfield. They were almost gifted a second on 38 minutes as an under pressure Jordan Lambert played an awkward bouncing back pass to Trebes whose miss-hit attempted clearance went straight to Murray on the edge of the box. Rather than shoot Murray tried to play in Joakim Ehui to roll the ball into the empty net, but luckily for the visitors the Woods midfielder had strayed into an offside position.
This escape should have alerted the Ives to make sure they were not caught out again before half time, but that little bit of naivety showed again as they continued to push forward and were caught on the break only two minutes later when Nana Asamoah picked up the ball in midfield and was given time and space to run at the defence. He played in the perfect ball to Ismael Ehui who kept his cool to slot the ball past the advancing Trebes from just inside the box.
Falling two goals behind against the run of play rocked the Ives, but to their credit they tried to grab a goal back before half time. Jonny Hall managed to close down Vassell and rob him just outside the box, but his snap shot from 20 yards flew well over the top.
Right on half time the home side created one more chance, again from an Ives mistake. The elusive Hastings got away down the right again and drove a low cross into the middle where Medwynter badly sliced his attempted clearance straight to Murray on the edge of the box. The Woods striker took careful aim and curled his shot inches wide of Trebes right hand post with the keeper struggling to get across.
Ives had a big hill to climb to get back into this game, but they made a positive change at half time bringing on striker Will Muzuimbiri for defensive midfielder Jimmy Dean, Muzuimbiri joined Eason up front with Stead now dropping a little deeper.
However before the new formation had chance to settle the hill turned into a mountain as the visitors fell three behind and once again it was a poor goal to concede. Lambert brought down Murray 25 yards from goal, the Woods striker picked himself up and took the free kick which was effectively dealt with by the wall who deflected it wide for a corner. But for the second time in recent weeks Ives were caught napping by a training ground corner move. Ismael Ehui ran in to apparently receive a short corner from Andy Lomas, this pulled the front Ives defenders in to create space on the near edge of the box. Lomas laid the ball back to Asamoah who strode forward into the space and smashed his first time shot under the diving Trebes from just inside the box.
Again the visitors character showed through as they tried hard to recover from this hammer blow. On 56 minutes Hall fed in Muzuimbiri down the left, but rather than look for a better placed colleague in the middle the young striker went for goal from a narrow angle and blazed his shot high and wide.
For all of their good possession and shots at goal Ives had been struggling to hit the target, however on 58 minutes Higgs managed to test the agile Laurecian for only the second time in the game with a well struck volley from 25 yards that the home keeper did well to push away at full stretch.
The visitors were still in the game at this point in spite of the score line and another positive change on the hour saw Hall replaced by winger Scott Sinclair. Sinclair was immediately in the action as Stead played him into space 25 yards out but his first time effort flew well over the top.
Five minutes later and a surging run from Seymour-Shove cutting in from the left unfortunately finished in similar style. The added disappointment this time was that there were colleagues in space he could have laid the ball off to having pulled defenders out of position by his run.
To their credit the Ives did not give up and still continued to push forward and on 79 minutes a ball over the top by Charlie Death was chased down by Seymour-Shove, but an under pressure Burgess took responsibility and knocked the ball past his own keeper and just past his own post to concede a corner which came to nothing.
On 83 minutes another Woods breakaway almost saw them increase their lead as Ismael Ehui played in substitute Dave Lawrence whose miss-hit shot from close range fortunately stuck between the legs of keeper Trebes. Lawrence was involved again only three minutes later as the home side went 4-0 up, as he played a quick one two with Murray to put the centre forward in space to fire the ball past Trebes from the edge of the box.
Laurencin earned his clean sheet bonus and denied the Ives a consolation in the first minute of added time. Seymour-Shove again chased a high ball into the box that was missed by all, but his attempt to head the ball over the advancing keeper was thwarted by the agile stopper who back peddled and tipped the ball around the post.
One last chance saw Stead and Muzuimbiri exchange passes in midfield before the latter tried his luck from 25 yards, but like so many of the visitors efforts on the day it worried any visitors to the cemetery behind the goal more than it worried the home custodian.
The score line does not give anything like a true reflection of the pattern of this game, but it does show that the young Ives side were again outdone by an experienced home team who showed composure in the right areas of the pitch. The match statistics say St Ives had 23 shots, but only three on target. Northwood had 7 shots, five on target and scored four goals, composure in front of goal goes a long way!
St Ives team : Trebes, Medwynter, Smith, Lambert, Death, Dean (capt) (Muzuimbiri 45), Seymour-Shove, Stead, Eason (Relizani 72), Higgs, Hall (Sinclair 60).
Unused subs : None
Goals : None
Yellow cards : Lambert (73)
Man of the Match : Higgs
Final Score : Northwood 4 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 133
Next 1st team match Tue 28th October 7.45pm kick off HOME to Barton Rovers (League)
Next U18 match Thu 30th October 7.45pm kick off AWAY to St Neots Town (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk