Saturday 14th February 2015 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
Potters Bar Town 1 St Ives Town 3
Attendance : 133
Man of the match: James Hall
This was an excellent all round away performance to claim three points against a classy home side who belied their lowly League position by playing some good quick passing football. This was also a very long game with 45 minutes added time in the first half due to a serious injury to the Scholars centre back Connor Sullivan.
Ives started the game in positive fashion taking the game to the home side and took the lead after only three minutes as Stuart Eason side footed home a perfectly curled cross from Harry O’Malley. The opportunity had been created by a powerful 40 yard run down the left by Scott Sinclair who had picked up the ball well inside his own half and driven on at pace leaving three Potters Bar players in his wake. He had sprayed a cross field ball to Ben Seymour-Shove who had in turn fed in O’Malley. We are pleased to welcome back O’Malley who has rejoined from Premier Division Hitchin Town and was making only his second appearance after his initial brief stay in October.
The home side tried to hit back immediately and it took a flying header from Jordan Lambert to stop them as Tyler Hatherly got away down the left and drove in a cross that Lambert just managed to divert away from Josh Hutchinson at the near post.
The game was very open at this stage with play flowing from end to end. But the next chance came from a dead ball situation on 14 minutes. Charlie De’ath somehow managed to find space in the box and got on the end of a Seymour-Shove corner, but he could only direct his free header straight at home keeper Mike Underwood.
The incident which lead to the long delay came ten minutes later. Seymour-Shove was brought down wide on the right. Jack Higgs delivered an in-swinging free kick into the danger zone between keeper and defenders. Keeper Underwood committed to come for the ball, unfortunately his attempt to punch the ball clear saw him deliver a knock out blow to the unfortunate Sullivan. The ball landed in the six yard box rolling towards goal and the Scholars were relieved to see Laurence Respoli hack the ball off the goal line. As the players moved out of the box it was clear that Sullivan was not going to follow them.
The alert referee immediately stopped play and called on both physios to attend to the ailing centre back. The decision was quickly made to keep the player still and summon an ambulance for his own safety. Both sets of players were then taken from the field by the referee whilst the medial teams continued to do their work. I am pleased to say that Sullivan did come around before the ambulance arrived, but it was 45 minutes before play resumed with the unfortunate player safely removed and on his way to hospital.
Ives started on the front foot from the re-start and came close to increasing their lead only three minutes in (28 minutes in total) through another flowing move as Seymour-Shove fed the ball through the channel to James Hall who teed the ball up to the far post where Stuart Eason had found space and he directed a precise header back to Jack Higgs who fired his first time effort from 15 yards just past the post.
But Higgs was not to be denied and he did double the visitors lead on 30 minutes. A free kick was headed clear to Sinclair 30 yards from goal, he brought the ball down well and fed it in to Higgs who side stepped to create some space and curled a stunning left foot shot past the despairing dive of Underwood from the edge of the D.
Ives were playing some excellent football and were well worth their two goal lead, but the Scholars were still looking dangerous going forward and pulled a goal back on 35 minutes as Rispoli delivered a long ball into the box from the right that found Ben Bowditch in space at the far post, he fired in a powerful shot from 10 yards that beat Trebes, hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down to Hutchinson who side footed the ball home from close range.
The home side had one chance to draw level at the end of the very long first period as Tim Trebes only just got a finger tip to a deep Chris Doyle corner. Rispoli turned the ball back into the middle, Hutchinson got his head on it, but Jordan Lambert was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Ives again started the third re-start of the day on the front foot and won a free kick on the edge of the box in the first minute as Sonny Feltwell handled the ball under pressure from Seymour-Shove. Jack Higgs fired in the free kick that was headed over by Eason under pressure from Jack Friend.
The home side were still very much in the game and went close themselves three minutes later as a deep cross from the right by Bowditch found Feltwell in space at the back post, but he could only direct his header straight at Trebes.
The Scholars next chance came on 54 minutes as Bowditch fed in Hutchinson through the left channel, but Trebes was quickly off his line to narrow the angle and deflected the strikers shot from 12 yards around the post.
As the game wore on the hard working James Hall started to come into his own and the next opportunity on the hour was created by his sheer effort and never say die attitude as he chased down a ball down the left that seemed to be heading out of play and delivered a perfect cross to the centre of goal. Seymour-Shove met it perfectly eight yards from goal, but keeper Underwood pulled off a spectacular save tipping the powerful header over the bar.
Underwood was again the home side’s saviour six minutes later as Sinclair cut in from the left and tried his luck from the edge of the box, the shot deflected off Rispoli and Underwood failed to hang onto the spinning ball. Hall following up seemed certain to score, but he could only fire the ball straight into the grateful arms of the prone keeper.
Although Potters Bar were enjoying some good possession at this period the visitors defence well marshalled by captain Lambert and with James Peters an effective barrier just in front of them restricted the Scholars to long range efforts which were either comfortably dealt with by Trebes, or well off target.
Manager Ricky Marheineke had shored things up a little by bringing on Jonny Hall for Eason on the hour and Dan Moyes for Seymour-Shove twenty minutes later. But these changes did not weaken the Ives threat going forward and Moyes went close on 80 minutes as James Hall again harried a defender into a mistake and fed the ball in to Moyes who cut in from the right and fired in a fierce shot that Underwood did well to palm away.
The Scholars last chance to grab an equaliser came on 84 minutes as Doyle found space on the right and delivered a low cross that Hutchinson won at the near post, but under pressure from De’ath he failed to hit the target with his flick at goal.
The Ives put the game to bed with a classic counter attacking goal two minutes later. James Hall ran onto a ball out of defence and pulled all of the defenders with him as he ran across the box before a clever back heel put Dan Banister clear and he coolly waited for keeper Underwood to commit before slotting his first goal since his return from injury.
The fight went out of the home side and Ives were pleased to run down the clock on an excellent three points.
Again a number of man of the match contenders, but the honour went to James Hall for his sheer hard work, selfless running, and excellent touch for the goal that settled it.
St Ives team : Trebes, Banister, Lambert (capt.), De’Ath, O’Malley, Higgs, Peters, Sinclair, Seymour-Shove (Moyes 80), James Hall, Eason (Johnny Hall 58)
Unused subs : Mead, Smith
Goals : Eason (3), Higgs (30), Banister (86)
Yellow card : De’Ath
Man of the Match : James Hall
Final Score : Potters Bar 1 St Ives Town 3
Attendance : 133
Next 1st team match Wed 18th February 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Godmanchester Rovers (Hunts Senior Cup)
Next U18 match Thu 19th February 7.45pm kick off HOME to PNS (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk