St Ives Town 0 Godalming Town 1
Match day sponsors : Back of the goal gang.
Man of the match: Jordan Lambert
A frustrating day for the Ives as the visiting G’s executed the perfect smash and grab raid to steal all three points from a match where the home side had 80% of the possession, but could not finish their chances.
The new look home side, with three players making their debuts, and only four of last season’s squad in the sixteen, started on the front foot. After only 15 seconds Ollie Medwynter put in a long cross which visiting keeper Richard Ossai spilled under very little pressure, but no home striker was able to pick up the pieces and the ball was scrambled clear.
The next fifteen minutes were virtually all one way traffic as the youthful and very mobile St Ives side played the ball around well. But for all of this early possession they were unable to test the shaky looking Ossai further.
In the second minute Ryan Ingrey held up a ball played into him by Ben Seymour-Shove well and laid the ball off to Jack Higgs who tried his luck from 25 yards, but his curled effort went just the wrong side of the upright.
Two minutes later and a dangerous ball in from the left by Seymour-Shove evaded everyone in the middle and travelled out to Jon Stead on the opposite flank. He was unable to pick out a team mate with his driven return ball into the box.
The first shot on target came on 11 minutes as debutant Salim Relizani saw his snap shot from 20 yards grabbed at the second attempt by Ossai. Only one minute later excellent interplay between Higgs and Stead saw the latter almost feed in Ingrey, but a well timed last ditch covering tackle by visitors skipper Antonio Simeone cleared the danger.
Two minutes later and Ossai was again in action this time scrambling across his goal line and palming away Stead’s curled free kick from 20 yards low at his near post. The home sides pressure continued and on 15 minutes a dangerous cross by Stead was only half cleared to Seymour-Shove who’s curled effort from 25 yards only just cleared the cross bar.
Godalming had not looked a threat at all up to this point, however a fast break down the left saw Darren Wheeler get free on 17 minutes and his pin point cross into the box was met eight yards out by Piers Oldland, but he directed his free header wide of the post. This seemed to spur the visitors into action and they had their only brief period of good possession in the next ten minutes during which they created a few chances. Oldland teed up Simeone only one minute later, but his snap shot from 20 yards was comfortably gathered by home keeper Barney McLaughlin.
Two minutes later and the two players combined again this time Simeone set up Oldland, but his fierce shot from just outside the box was always rising and flew harmlessly over the top.
The G’s continued their period of pressure and grabbed the lead five minute later as a smart interchange of passes between Steve Brown and Jack Mazzone saw the latter set Wheeler clear through the middle and he finished with a deft flick past the advancing McLaughlin.
The Ives reacted well to this set back and immediately went down the other end where an excellent through ball from Medwynter fed in Ingrey, but his snap shot from a narrow angle was finger tipped over by Ossai. The resulting corner was won at the far post by Jordan Lambert, but Ingrey was unable to get on the end of his header back across goal.
Ingrey was proving a handful for the visitor’s defence and he worked his own space one minute later, but was unlucky to see his curled effort from 25 yards just clear the crossbar.
On the half hour mark Ingrey was again involved as he won the ball 30 yards out and played in Relizani through the middle, but the young loanee striker was quickly closed down and his hurried shot sailed harmlessly over the top.
The visitor created their third, and final, chance of the afternoon on 38 minutes as a long Wheeler free kick was allowed to travel through to Simeone at the far post who somehow failed to hit the target with his free header from only eight yards out.
The Ives created their last chance of the first half on 44 minutes as a quickly taken short corner was curled into the box by Higgs and Jimmy Dean rose highest, but he was unable to direct his powerful header goalwards.
The second half was all one way traffic with Ives creating and squandering a number of good chances and when they hit the target they found visiting keeper Ossai in unbeatable form.
The first shot of the second half came only one minute in when Higgs tried his luck from 25 yards after being teed up by Stead, but he was unable to keep his shot down. Two minutes later and a quick Medwynter throw was flicked on by Ingrey and Seymour-Shove fed in Stead, but he wanted one touch to many and was quickly crowded out.
Five minutes later and Ossai had to be on his toes to preserve the G’s lead as he dived full length to his right to turn away Ingrey’s drive from 25 yards after good work by Higgs and Seymour-Shove.
On 58 minutes Ossai earned his money again as he parried away a fierce drive from Stead who had picked up a half cleared ball just outside the box and tried his luck. Only one minute later and the visitor’s hero almost became the villain as he spilled a long curling ball into the box from Seymour-Shove, but his luck held as his defenders reacted just quickly enough to hack the loose ball clear before Ingrey could prod it home.
The pressure was almost relentless, but the home side just could not find a way through. On 70 minutes a pin point cross by Seymour-Shove was met on the penalty spot by Ingrey, but his powerful header flew just over the top. Two minutes later and a scramble in the visitors goalmouth saw goal bound shots from Seymour-Shove, Relizani and substitute Keiren Joseph all blocked in a frantic 15 second spell before the ball was finally hacked clear.
On 75 minutes Higgs found Seymour-Shove in a little bit of space 25 yards out, but his powerful shot was deflected just wide of an upright. The resulting corner was half cleared to Stead, but his snap shot from 30 yards flew well over the top.
The black and white tide continued to flow in on the G’s and with the home fans now singing their hearts out to push on their team it looked only a matter of time before the equaliser came, but the thin yellow and green line continued to hold firm getting all eleven players behind the ball and not being afraid to put their bodies on the line.
On 84 minutes another Medwynter long throw was flicked on by Charlie Death and the ball fell to fellow centre back Jordan Lambert 12 yards out. Lambert looked like he might finally open his account for the Ives after years of trying, but his goal bound effort was cleared off the line by Nick Hutchings.
One minute later and a long free kick into the box was only partially cleared to Seymour-Shove, his dangerous curling cross into the box was met eight yards out by Death, but his header flew over the crossbar.
The Ives continued to press right to the death winning a series of late corners, but the G’s defenders continued to throw themselves bravely in front of shots from Seymour-Shove and Relizani to ensure they hung on to claim an extremely hard earned three point.
Ives can be pleased with the 100% effort put in by all of the players and they can be certain that they will play worse than this and win games this season. But credit to Godalming who defended as if their lives depended upon it throughout the bombardment of the second half and their long trip back to Surrey probably felt a little more comfortable with the three points in their back pockets.
St Ives team : McLaughlin, Medwynter, Hall, Lambert, Death, Dean (capt) (Joseph 65), Stead, Higgs, Relizani, Ingrey (Eason 79), Seymour-Shove.
Unused subs : Smith, Bream, Sinclair
Goals : None
Yellow cards : Dean (33), Death (38), Joseph (71)
Man of the Match : Lambert
Sat 27th Sep 3pm kick off AWAY to Aylesbury (1st Team League)
Thu 25th Sep 7.45pm HOME to Godmanchester Rovers (U18 FA Youth Cup – 1st Qual)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk