Saturday 28th March 2015 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
St Ives Town 0 Kettering Town 0
Attendance : 537
Man of the match: Jordan Lambert
The Ives slowed Kettering’s march to the Central Division title with a resolute performance that saw them claim a share of the points in a goalless draw from a game that was made very difficult by a strong wind and a hard, bumpy, pitch.
With a number of players unavailable Dan Moyes made his first start of the season in central defence alongside skipper Jordan Lambert. Kieran Fitzgerald also made a surprise re-appearance from Stamford on the bench.
The Poppies started the game in enterprising fashion and went close twice in the first ten minutes Firstly on six minutes when James Jepson played the ball wide to Josh Moreman who cleverly rounded Harry O’Malley and slid a ball across the face of goal that Moyes did well to hack clear under pressure from ex Ives player Dubi Ogbonna.
Only one minute later Moreman again found space and was allowed to run across the face of the Ives defence before back heeling the ball into the path of Andy Hall just inside the box. Hall’s shot was blocked, but the rebound fell to Ogbonna who hit a crisp low dive from 20 yards that home keeper Tim Trebes plunged low to his right to push away.
The game then descended into a midfield battle with both defences well on top. The closest Ives came to troubling visiting keeper Richard Knight were shot from well outside the box by Luke Knight and Ben Seymour-Shove both of which ended up in the gardens of the adjacent houses.
Keeper Richard Knight was called into action on 27 minutes as Scott Sinclair managed to manufacture a chance from nothing. Stuart Eason challenged for a long ball in from right and the ball rebounded to Sinclair 20 yards from goal. He skilfully took the ball down on his chest and hit a dipping volley that Knight did well to tip around the post low to his right.
Neither side was able to fashion a single shot on target in the remainder of the first half as both teams worked very hard to stifle any creative intent from their opponents.
The second period started in equally cagy fashion and it took until 54 minutes before either side created a half chance. Ogbonna dropped deep and won the ball in midfield, he played a raking ball out to Hall wide on the right. Hall’s first time delivery into the box looked to be heading for Elliot Sandy, but Trebes was alert and bravely plunged in to claim the ball just ahead of the striker.
Two minutes later visiting skipper Steve Kinniburgh up from left back found himself in space and tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful effort that was deflected just over the top.
The Ives first effort of the second half came on the hour when the ball was laid back to O’Malley 30 yards from goal unfortunately he failed to get over his powerful drive and the ball ended up in the car park.
With very little opportunity to split the Ives defence the Poppies were hoping to create something from a dead ball situation and almost did on 63 minutes as a long throw by Tommy Hull was flicked on Sandy. But Trebes confidently gathered the ball under his crossbar.
The home side suffered a blow on 67 minutes as the influential Luke Knight limped off with what looked to be a hamstring injury to be replaced by James Hall. A quick reshuffle followed with James Peters moving back into his more familiar holding midfield roll and Hall slotting in up front.
Hall almost got clear onto a through ball from Jack Higgs on 78 minutes, but Brett Solkhon was on hand to put in an excellent saving tackle just as the striker entered the box. With the Ives fans still shouting for a penalty play swung straight to the other end and Sandy powered in a shot from 25 yards that Lambert bravely flung himself in front of to block.
Jonny Hall had his skipper to thank for saving him three minutes later as he allowed himself to be robbed by Andy Hall 25 yards out. The full back tried to pull back the speedy winger, but the referee played an excellent advantage to allow Hall to go on. He played the ball in to Poppies substitute, and leading scorer, David Kolodynski eight yards out, but Lambert was again on hand to block his shot out for a corner.
As word started to filter through that Aylesbury were losing at Barton Rovers the Poppies realised that they had an opportunity to almost sew up the title if they could grab a goal. But the resilient Ives were not to be denied their well deserved point. Trebes was their saviour with three minutes to go as Kolodynski got on the end of a long ball in from the right by Hull and directed his header towards the bottom corner, but the keeper plunged down to his right to keep the ball out.
Skipper Lambert lead from the front all afternoon and he showed his strength of character four minutes into added time with a spectacular overhead clearance to deny Kolodynski again as he tried to get on the end of a deep cross headed back into the crowded goalmouth by Moreman.
Overall a well deserved point for the Ives who matched the champions elect throughout this game. Everyone played their part, but two players most worthy of mention are the two centre backs Dan Moyes who barely put a foot wrong and stayed the pace for the full 90 minutes on his first start of the season and inspirational skipper Jordan Lambert whose commitment can never be doubted, but today he went above and beyond the call of duty and his spectacular clearance in added time ensured he rightly claimed the man of the match accolade.
St Ives team : Trebes, Lambert (capt.), Moyes, Jonny Hall, O’Malley, Knight (James Hall 67), Higgs, Sinclair, Peters, Seymour-Shove, Eason (Fitzgerald 81)
Unused subs : Bream
Goals : None
Man of the Match : Lambert
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Kettering 0
Attendance : 537
Next U18 match Thu 2nd April 7.45pm kick off HOME to Huntingdon Town (League)
Next 1st team match Sat 4th April 3pm kick off AWAY to Chalfont St Peter (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk