St Ives Town 1 Daventry Town 0
Attendance : 219
Man of the match: Ben Seymour-Shove
Ives extended their unbeaten run to six games and kept their third clean sheet in four as they took all three points in this hard fought encounter against an improving Daventry Town. The all important goal came on the hour from leading scorer Ben Seymour-Shove.
The first half provided little entertainment to warm the excellent turn out of spectators that had managed to avoid Christmas shopping on a cold, but dry December day. Both defences looked very solid throughout this first period with even half chances at a premium.
The first half chance of the game for the home side came on only four minutes with a well delivered ball into the box by Josh Melling falling to Seymour-Shove at the far post. His effort on goal was blocked by a Town defender and the ball rebounded to Scott Sinclair on the edge of the box. Unfortunately Sinclair’s curled effort sailed wide of visiting keeper Ben Heath’s right hand post.
The next opportunity fell to the visitors on 15 minutes when a long throw by Ricky Hill was flicked on at the near post by Jamel Clarke, but the ball evaded everyone in the centre of goal and travelled to safety beyond the far post.
Home keeper Tim Trebes produced an excellent save to keep the scores level and preserve his clean sheet on 29 minutes. Ben Farrell found space on the left and delivered a dangerous curling ball towards the near post. Jordan Lambert stretched to head the ball away, but the ball fell to Jack Howard 25 yards out. He hit a first time screamer that Trebes did very well to see and even better to block low to his right. The home stopper even managed to react to keep out a follow up effort from close range by Josh Francis, however the flag had gone up because Francis had strayed into an offside position.
There were two other half chances in the last five minutes of the first half. The first fell to the visitors on 41 minutes when Francis took on, and beat, Jonny Hall down the right. But fortunately his low driven cross evaded everyone in the goalmouth and was cleared by Melling at the far post.
The home side’s chance came on 44 minutes when the excellent James Peters picked up a clearance by Farrell in midfield and laid off the ball to Higgs who sprayed the it out wide to the overlapping Hall. Hall’s low cross into the box was deflected back into the path of Higgs who fired his first time effort well wide.
The game started to pick up in the second half and Town were unlucky not to go in front only two minutes in. Tom Berwick picked up a loose ball in midfield and drove forward to hit a dipping drive from 25 yards that left Trebes standing. The home keeper was mightily relieved to see the ball rebound to safety off his crossbar.
After this fortunate escape the home side enjoyed a period in which they started to get on top and create a few chances. Scott Sinclair was seeing a lot of the ball on the right and was giving his full back a few problems. He created the next chance on 58 minutes as he picked up the ball and cut inside, and then outside, of full back Hill. He delivered a dangerous low cross into the box that Ash Deeney did well to deflect out for the Ives first corner of the game.
Sinclair was also involved in the only goal of the game three minutes later as he laid the perfect ball into space for the hard running Kieran Fitzgerald to pick up inside the box. Fitzgerald delivered a well weighted ball across the face of goal to tee up the incoming Seymour-Shove for a tap in at the far post.
Five minutes later the visitors found themselves down to ten men as centre back Craig McKay was caught napping by the pace of home substitute Will Muzuimbiri and was forced to bring down the youngster as he looked like getting on the end of a long ball out of defence that McKay had allowed to bounce. Even though the foul was 25 yards from goal the referee rightly deemed that McKay was the last man and delivered the expected red card. Higgs well struck effort from the resulting free kick was deflected over the top by the defensive wall.
To their credit Daventry did not sit back, but still tried to push forward for an equaliser. But the Ives were defending as a unit and looking very solid. Although a number of dangerous looking crosses were delivered into the home box these were all confidently claimed by the dominant Trebes, or ably dealt with by the resilient centre back pairing of Charlie Death and skipper Jordan Lambert. The only real scare for the home defence came on 69 minutes when Francis got away down the left, but he fired his shot from the edge of the box past the advancing Trebes, but also past the far post.
As the game wore on the Town tried to push more and more players forward and the home side should have increased their lead in a series of fast breaks in the latter stages. On 85 minutes Muzuimbiri pounced on a mistake by Clarke as he missed a long Trebes clearance. Muzuimbiri laid the ball into the path of Sinclair cutting in from the right. Sinclair’s fierce shot from the edge of the box slipped through the fingers of keeper Heath who was mightily relieved as he saw the ball creep over his crossbar.
Two minutes later Peters won yet another tackle in midfield, drove forward, and was unlucky to see his powerful drive from 25 yards skim just over the bar. Higgs was next to fire over on 89 minutes after good work by Sinclair and substitute Jon Stead had set him up to try his luck from just outside the D.
The final chance, and the best one, to put the game to bed fell to Stead two minutes into added time. He managed to get completely clear on the right as he ran onto a clearance. He cut into the box, but snatched his shot wide as Heath closed him down.
Overall a very good all round performance with everyone playing their part in an excellent team win that has moved the side up to ninth in the table. The fourth game in a row with an unchanged starting eleven and with the stability have come the results. It is also good to see Dan Banister and Dan Moyes also nearing full fitness after long injury lay-offs to add competition for places and strengthen the squad. Dare I say, the second half of the season bodes well. Let’s hope for a bumper crowd on Boxing Day for our 1.00pm kick off local derby against Royston Town.
St Ives team : Trebes, Melling, Hall, Lambert (capt.), Death, Peters, Sinclair, Higgs, Eason (Muzuimbiri 64), Fitzgerald(Stead 78), Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : Crowie, Smith
Goals : Seymour-Shove (61)
Yellow cards : None
Man of the Match : Ben Seymour-Shove
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Daventry Town 0
Attendance : 219
Next 1st team match Fri 26th December 1pm kick off HOME to Royston Town (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk