Wednesday 2nd September 2015 – FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Norwich United 2 St Ives Town 6
The Ives marched into the next round of the FA Cup in emphatic fashion against a pedestrian Norwich side at a rain swept Plantation Park on Wednesday evening.
The visitors made a couple of changes from the first game five days earlier one enforced with Dan Moyes coming in at centre back for the unavailable Steven Gentle, the other tactical with Stuart Eason coming in up front in place of Ebey Marango to increase the aerial threat.
Whilst the additional threat of Eason proved important in pressurising the Planters defenders into mistakes this game was won by the sheer pace and ability of the Ives attackers as they scythed through the static Norwich back line almost at will and on this occasion took a high percentage of the chances they created.
However the evening did not start well for the visitors as they conceded a goal inside the first thirty seconds almost without touching the ball. The kick off was played wide right and Jordan Jarrold managed to knock the ball out of play. But a quick throw allowed Jamie Speller to thread the ball down the line to Paul Cook and he got to the bye line and laid it back into space for Matt Daniels to side foot it home from 12 yards.
But the Ives were quickly into their stride and equalised only five minutes later as Peter Clark played in Phil Draycott down the right and he drove in a cross that Planters defender Lee Mason managed to head behind for a corner at full stretch. Jack Higgs delivered an in-swinging ball into the box where the presence of Danny Watson forced home keeper Duncan McAnally into a big mistake as he completely misjudged his attempted punch and only succeeded in knocking the ball high into the air towards his own goal. Eason bravely forced his way between four covering defenders to knock the ball over the line.
The game showed no signs of settling down after these two early goals and both teams were going in search of a second. A long ball set Daniels away down the left two minutes later and his driven cross flashed across goal, but no one could get a touch. Only seconds later visitors keeper Tim Trebes did much better than his opposite number under pressure to get good distance on a punch to a high ball into the box by Adam Bennett, but the ball fell to Mason who fired inches wide with a first time effort from 25 yards.
The Ives went in front in comical fashion on eleven minutes a through ball by Clark down the right channel was to heavy for Watson and he stopped. Keeper McAnally started to leave his line to gather the ball, but defender Andrew Cusack intervened and put his foot out to divert the ball back to where his keeper was seconds before. Both players and everyone else in the ground watched spellbound as the ball bobbled along into the corner of the net much to the amusement of visiting supporters behind the goal.
It took the home side a little while to recover from this set back, but with a tirade from their manager on the side lines ringing in their ears they managed to lift themselves. It took a full length diving save by Trebes to deny Mason an equaliser on 20 minutes. The man who had looked like the Planters best player in the first game Mathew Blake had been unusually quite in this replay, but he sparked their next opportunity on 28 minutes as he fed the ball through to Bennett, but a combined effort of Jarrold and Charlie Death managed to deflect away his fierce drive from the edge of the box.
As the half drew to a conclusion the threatening storm started to break with the lightening flashing, the thunder rolling around and the rain starting to sweep down. Ives took this as an indication to step up the pace and they settled the game with two goals in a four minute spell just before half time. On 41 minutes Jarrold clipped the ball over the top to put Watson away down the left he outpaced the lumbering Greg Crane and pulled the ball back to the inrushing Phil Draycott who fired home from ten yards in spite of a valiant attempt to block by the unfortunate Cusack.
Four minutes later Watson again robbed the struggling Crane on the right to run in on goal, he selflessly played the ball across goal to give Eason a tap in at the far post.
With the match settled at half time the Planters manager decided to play a desperate gamble to try and get something out of the game and made all his three substitutions. But with the driving rain at their backs the Ives were not going to let this one slip. They were defending well as a unit and still looking very dangerous every time they broke. The next goal was a real cracker from Danny Watson on 56 minutes. Ives were defending their box well and the ball came loose to Draycott who found space to carry it forward 30 yards before laying it off to Watson fully 30 yards from goal and with a true strikers instinct he took a touch and instantly fired in a rocket that dipped and swerved beating McAnally all ends up before rattling home off the underside of the crossbar.
In spite of enjoying a good percentage of possession the home side were still being restricted to long range efforts and the closest they came was on 66 minutes when Trebes had to plunge smartly to his left to palm away a well struck free kick from 25 yards by Cook. Trebes and his defenders also dealt well with a series of corners mid way through the half without any alarms. The home side’s frustrations were showing and they went down to ten men soon after the hour as Mason slid in on Higgs to pick up his second yellow of the evening.
Just when the home defence were beginning to think things could not get any worse manager Ricky Marheineke brought on arguably the fastest man in the Ives squad Ebey Marango. He should have increased the Ives lead on 69 minutes as Draycott fed the ball to Clark down the right and Manago arrived at the near post to deflect his driven cross inches wide.
But with just ten minutes to go he was hugely influential in the visitors sixth goal as yet another quick break by Higgs saw him set Marango away one on one against the struggling Crane, which was no contest, Marango skipped by him, side stepped keeper McAnally as he came flying off his line and then unselfishly rolled the ball in to fellow substitute Joe Peacock who gleefully fired home from ten yards.
The final action of the evening was a consolation goal for the home side from Cook who fired home from the edge of the box after a Tim Henery cross had been deflected into his path.
However this could not take the gloss off an all action attacking display that had taken the Planters apart. There were a few contenders for the man of the match award, not least Danny Watson who put in a tireless all action display. But the visiting faithful picked his fellow striker Stuart Eason who as always gave 110% and took his two goals well.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, Death, Moyes, Knight (capt), Clark, Higgs, Eason (Marango 60), Watson (Peacock 78), Draycott (Warwick 78)
Unused subs : None
Goals : Eason 6, 45, Cusack own goal 11, Draycott 41, Watson 56, Peacock 80
Supporters Man of the Match : Stuart Eason
Final Score : Norwich United 2 St Ives Town 6
Attendance : 125