Saturday 17th October 2015 – Southern League Division 1 Central
Petersfield Town 2 St Ives Town 0
The Ives went into this game in second place in the table and unbeaten in the League away from home. The Rams were propping up everybody else as they sat in 22nd place. But any neutral in the ground would have struggled to work out which team was which.
This was the visitor’s longest trip of the season and after a three hour journey it should be no surprise that they started slowly, but in truth they never really got going and their cause was not helped by a red card handed out to Ben Seymour-Shove for a needless, reckless, challenge in 37th minute.
The early period of this game saw the two sides weighing each other up with Ives trying to shake the journey out of their limbs whilst trying to come to terms with a steeply sloping pitch. The home side were looking to use every opportunity to bring their tricky wide man Alex Lowley into the game, but stand in right back Scott Sinclair was ensuring he was not creating many problems.
The first attempt on goal from either side came on 12 minutes when Seymour-Shove was brought down 25 yards from goal in a central position. With Jack Higgs still absent with injury Luke Knight lined up the free kick. His powerful effort deflected up into the air off the wall and home keeper Anthony Ender was called into action to punch the falling ball off Danny Watson’s head at the expense of a corner. Unfortunately Draycott’s corner set the tone of the afternoon as it failed to clear the first man.
The next action of note came thirteen minutes later as the busy Draycott managed to get away down the left and it took a full stretch effort from centre back Lewis Hyde to just prevent the ball reaching Danny Watson for a tap in.
Seymour-Shove came agonisingly close to putting the visitors in front on the half hour as he caught Ender napping with a quick free kick from 25 yards that curled over the wall and beat the keeper, but unfortunately rebounded back into play off the post.
After almost going in front the Ives then enjoyed three huge let off’s in ninety seconds around the 33rd minute mark. Joseph Briggs initially got away down the right and drove in a cross that Howard Neighbour just managed to beat Steve Gentle to at the near post and his effort flew into the net. However the Rams celebrations were cut short by an assistant’s flag.
Almost from the restart Briggs again picked up the ball and this time fed the ball through the right hand channel to Neighbour who timed his run to perfection and took the ball round the advancing Tim Trebes only to be denied at the last by a sliding block from Gentle.
The resulting corner somehow arrived at the feet of an unmarked Hyde at the far post. Fortunately he finished like a defender and blazed his half volley from eight yards well over the top.
The final noteworthy action of the first period was the moment of madness that lead to Seymour-Shove’s dismissal in the 37th minute. He felt he had been fouled earlier by Sean Wain and failed to get the referees verdict so foolishly launched himself into an off the ground tackle with studs showing on Wain right by the corner flag in the Ives attacking end of the pitch. The referee’s decision was instant and earned no criticism from the Ives management team.
The ten men got through to half time without any further scares and manager Ricky Marheineke used the break to make two changes of personnel and change his formation to try and overcome the numerical disadvantage. Watson and Stuart Eason were sacrificed to bring on Jared Cunniff and Chae Simons. Cunniff went into Seymour-Shove’s spot on the right while Simons became a lone striker.
Ives created the first half chance of the second period only four minutes in as Gentle knocked down a deep Jarrold free kick into the path of Simons, his shot from 15 yards was bravely blocked by Hyde, who also managed to block out Simons follow up effort.
The visitors only had nine men on the pitch when they fell behind only three minutes later. Sinclair picked up a knock that required treatment and he was still testing out the leg on the side of the pitch when the man he had so effectively marked up to that point Lowley delivered a cross into the box that Briggs, arriving late at the far post, managed to get above Jarrold and head home from eight yards.
Sinclair was unable to continue and was replaced by Luca Dusi. However with their noses now in front the confidence began to flow into the Rams and Briggs had a powerful drive from the right tipped away by Trebes. Joseph Richardson headed over the resulting corner from a good position.
Another corner from the left by Briggs eleven minutes later was powerfully met at the near post by home skipper Jamie Ford, but Dusi was in the right place to block the effort on the line and hack the ball away. However it was only a matter of time and the inevitable second arrived on 68 minutes as a free kick from the left by Lowley was somehow missed by everyone at the near post. The ball bounced on and hit the far post before finally being bundled over the line by Ford.
To their credit the Ives did not crumble, but rallied and did create a couple of half chances of their own as the game wore on. A corner from Draycott was only half cleared to Cunniff on the edge of the box. He skilfully sidestepped Danny Thompson and fired in a shot that took a deflection which took all of the pace of it to give Ender an easy gather.
Briggs had a chance to kill the game off with ten minutes to go as he was put through by Wain, but he miss hit his attempted chip over Trebes from 20 yards and the ball floated harmlessly wide.
Ives created one final opportunity three minutes from time as a precisely delivered corner was just touched off Gentle’s head by Ender. Simons picked up the ball beyond the far post and skilfully picked out Draycott with his pull back. Unfortunately the winger’s powerful drive from twelve yards was straight at the keeper who parried the ball away.
This was not a good day at the office for the Ives and few players will feel that they performed to their true ability. Half time substitute Jared Cunniff picked up the man of the match award as he was at the heart of most of the teams creative play in the second period and also worked very hard in an under pressure midfield. Scott Sinclair also did well in his unfamiliar full back role keeping tricky winger Lowley quiet until his injury. Phil Draycott and Jordan Jarrold also worked hard together up and down the left side. But overall Ives got what their performance on the day deserved from this game, nothing!.
St Ives team : Trebes, Sinclair (Dusi 52), Jarrold, De’ath, Gentle, Knight (capt), Seymour-Shove, Clark, Eason (Simons 45), Watson(Cunniff 45) , Draycott
Unused subs : Warwick
Goals : none
Supporters Man of the Match : Jared Cunniff
Final Score : Petersfield Town 2 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 73