Saturday 11th October 2014 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
Rugby Town 2 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 257
Man of the match: Jordan Lambert
Skipper Jordan Lambert was the hero as St Ives came from behind twice to claim a hard earned point in an entertaining game at Rugby. After heavy defeats in their previous two away games new signings Harry O’Malley and Dan Lawlor came in to strengthen the defence and midfield. Scott Sinclair also made a welcome return to the squad after his long injury lay off.
With all of these changes it was going to take the Ives a while to settle down and the early pressure was applied by the home side. On five minutes Seb Lake-Gaskin was quickly onto a weak back header from Lambert but Tim Trebes was smartly off his line to block the striker’s shot. Trebes was again in action seven minutes later as the mobile Lake-Gaskin managed to get past Luke Smith down the right and cut in to goal. The keeper did well to parry his fierce shot from 10 yards, he did even better to tip the follow-up shot from Sam Youngs on to the post but once again the ball ran clear and David Kolodynski smashed it home to put The Valley in front.
The Ives began to work their way into the game and were keeping possession better than in recent weeks and starting to create some chances. On 16 minutes Lawlor played in a crisp ball to Jonny Hall, who was playing in an unfamiliar wide left role, Hall laid the ball back to Jack Higgs whose first time shot from 25 yards was partially blocked to make it an easy save for ex Ives stopper Nick Bennion in the home goal.
Only one minute later Hall drove in a dangerous low cross from the left which was dummied at the near post by Salim Relizani, Ben Seymour-Shove shot from close range, Mason Rowley bravely blocked the shot but the ball rebounded to Lawlor and his miss-hit shot from 20 yards was comfortably saved.
The possession and pressure the Ives players were putting on the home defence was worthy of an equaliser, but when it came on 22 minutes it was a real gift from home keeper Bennion. Alex Gudger got in a poor back header to a long ball, but it looked to be heading comfortably into the arms of Bennion. However he made a fatal mistake for a keeper of taking his eye off the ball and he spilled it. Seymour-Shove who had gambled could not believe his luck, but he still had a lot to do as he managed to just get to the ball before it ran out of play and turned it in from the narrowest of angles. Home defender Rowley made a valiant effort to save his keeper’s blushes by hacking the ball away, but the well placed officials rightly deemed it had crossed the line.
Ives looked to build on their good fortune and Hall tried his luck from 25 yards after a Relizani cross was only half cleared to him three minutes later, but his well struck effort was straight at the nervous keeper.
On 33 minutes the home side were almost caught napping at a corner as Seymour-Shove laid the ball back to the unmarked Lawlor on the angle of the box, but his low shot was comfortably cleared by Rowley. As play swung to the other end Kolodynski saw an opportunity to catch out Trebes and tried an audacious lob from 45 yards that saw the worried keeper scrambling back towards his line and breathing a sigh of relief as the ball just cleared the cross bar.
Home keeper Bennion was still looking edgy and he juggled a snap shot from 25 yards by Relizani on 35 minutes, but just managed to hang on to the ball as Seymour-Shove closed him down. Only two minutes later and another crisp passing move involving Stead, O’Malley and Relizani set up an opportunity for Higgs to try his luck from 25 yards, but he failed to keep his shot down.
Play was still swinging from end to end and Trebes was again called into action on 38 minutes as he was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger as a precise through ball from Youngs looked like it had put Lake-Gaskin in the clear. Bennion also had to be quick off his line as Trebes long clearance was flicked on by Hall and Seymour-Shove almost got clear. The final chance of the first half fell to Lake-Gaskin who found space in the box to get on the end of a Youngs corner on 40 minutes, but he put his free header from eight yards over the top.
The second half started with the Ives continuing to push forward and only one minute in Higgs managed to get ahead of his defender to get on the end of a Seymour-Shove cross unfortunately he could not direct his header goalwards. Two minutes later and Lambert up for a free kick had the ball half cleared to him wide on the left, he curled a perfect ball to the back post where a fast back peddling Craig Kelly just managed to get a touch to prevent Seymour-Shove getting in a free header from inside the six yard box.
The Valley brought on the appropriately named Craig Towers on the hour and the 6’ 5” striker went on to the right wing. The next chance of the game fell to him only five minutes later as Youngs floated a free kick to the far post and Towers rose above Smith but powered his header wide.
Four minutes later the home side went back in front as a flowing move involving Kolodynski, Will Grocott and Lake-Gaskin finished with the latter crashing in a swirling shot from 25 yards that left Trebes grasping at air as it flew into the back of the net.
Sinclair made his welcome return to action with 20 minutes to go and he was immediately involved winning the ball in mid field and playing in Relizani on the right. The hard pressed Rowley just managed to beat Seymour-Shove to Reliazni’s driven cross. The next welcome return to the side on 75 minutes was Will Muzuimbiri and he made an instant impact as he was clumsily brought down by Rowley 25 yards from goal on the left. Stead curled in a perfectly flighted free kick to the far post where Lambert rose above the crowd to power his header past Bennion and grab his second goal in four games after over 150 appearances without one!.
The Ives were looking the more likely side to grab a winner and on 85 minutes good work between Muzuimbiri and Seymour-Shove saw the former play in Higgs, but his first time shot from the edge of the box flew just wide. Higgs had another chance from a free kick 25 yards out, but his dipping shot was held at the second attempt by Bennion.
Each side had chances to win the game as it entered the last few minutes. On 89 minutes a long hopeful ball down the middle caused panic in the home defence as Bennion and Rowley collided and the ball ran towards goal. If Sinclair had gambled as Seymour-Shove did in the first half he would have had a tap in, but unfortunately he had stopped expecting the keeper to claim the ball and this gave Gudger chance to save his keeper’s blushes on this occasion and clear the ball away. The home side’s final chance came in the 90th minutes as another excellent ball in from Youngs looked like it had put Kolodynski clear, but once again Trebes perfectly timed the sprint off his line to hack the ball clear. The final chance of the game fell to the visitors as deep into injury time a fast break by Stead and Seymour-Shove saw the latter put Muzuimbiri clear, but the Zimabwian striker’s run on goal was halted by the assistant’s flag.
Overall a good point from a much better display which with a little bit of luck could have seen the Ives claim all three points. Once again a result we can hopefully build on in two tough cup games in the next week.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Smith, Lambert (capt), Death, Lawlor, Seymour-Shove, Stead, Relizani (Muzuimbiri 75), Higgs, Hall (Sinclair 67).
Unused subs : Medwynter, Bream
Goals : Seymour-Shove (22), Lambert (77)
Yellow cards : Higgs (3), Death (58), O’Malley (64), Sinclair (71), Trebes (82)
Man of the Match : Lambert
Final Score : Rugby Town 2 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 257
Next 1st team match Tue 14th October 7.45pm kick off HOME to Histon (League Cup)
Next U18 match Thu 16th October 7.45pm kick off HOME to Histon (League Youth Cup)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk