Saturday 19th September 2015 – Southern League Division One Central
St Ives Town 1 Godalming Town 1
Neither keeper had to make a save in the first seventy minutes of this game as both defences worked well to keep their opposition at bay. The first half particularly produced very little to write about. But after the visitors went in front from a very well crafted goal on 73 minutes the last 20 minutes suddenly became a very open affair with Ives grabbing a deserved equaliser and both sides creating good opportunities to take all three points. In the end the final result was probably a fair reflection of an even game.
The game started cagily with both sides testing each other out. The first opportunity of a strike on goal fell to the home side on eight minutes as Stuart Eason was brought down by Lee Rushe 25 yards from goal. Luke Knight curled his free kick over the wall and just inches over the crossbar.
The visitors first effort came after 20 minutes as Darren Wheeler chased down a long ball by the corner flag to earn himself time and space to swing in a dangerous in-swinging cross that had home keeper Tim Trebes stretching to just tip the ball off the head of the in rushing Graeme Purdy.
Visiting keeper Richard Ossai was called into action on 38 minutes as Joe Peacock took a quick throw on the right to Peter Clark. Clark played the ball back to Peacock who did well to pick out an intelligent Harry O’Malley run. The overlapping full back got to the bye line and drove in a powerful low cross that Ossai could only push out into the centre of his penalty area. Fortunately for him the ball fell to one of his defenders who hacked it to safety.
Three minutes later O’Malley delivered a well weighted crossfield ball that picked out Eason beyond the far post. But he was quickly closed down by Rushe who managed to tip the ball off his toe at the expense of a corner. The resulting corner was punched away from Eason’s head by Ossai. The loose ball fell to Jack Higgs just outside the box, but he could only fire his powerful effort just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
The final action of the first half was a probing run at the heart of the Ives defence by The G’s George Frith on 41 minutes. He pulled in a number of home defenders, but with both Wheeler and Adam Cornell available at the back post he could only pick out the covering O’Malley with his intended pass.
The second half started with both sides creating an opportunity within the first 90 seconds. Cornell looked to have got clear for the visitors as he played a quick one, two with Purdy. But O’Malley was again on hand to produce a very well timed late challenge on the edge of the box.
Play swung straight to the other end where Knight managed to pick out Peacock in a wide right position. Peacock took on his full back and delivered a dangerous ball across the box that was only just inches away from the late arriving Eason.
Charlie De’ath found himself in action at both ends of the pitch in the next few minutes as he first managed to block a well struck effort by the influential Louis Hutton after Purdy had cleverly laid Liam Beswick’s cross into his path.
Seven minutes later De’ath went close at the opposite end as he managed to find acres of space at the far post to get on the end of Higgs free kick. However he could only glance his header and the ball travelled well wide of Ossai’s goal.
Ives closest effort to this point came two minutes later and it was visitor’s defender Rushe that provided it. Phil Draycott managed to rob Beswick on the left hand side and delivered a dangerous looking cross to the edge of the six yard box. A panicing Rushe knew he had to beat Eason to the ball and he did, but he was mightily relieved to see his last ditch defensive header scrape his own crossbar with Ossai scrambling across his goal.
Ives manager Ricky Marheineke decided to reshuffle his pack around the hour with strikers Danny Watson and Ben Seymour-Shove replacing the tiring Dan Moyes and Joe Peacock. Seymour-Shove was a direct replacement for Peacock on the right. But Watson joined Eason up front, with Clark moving to the left side and Draycott moving back to full back.
Whilst these changes were settling in the G’s enjoyed a good period of possession and came close to opening the scoring on 72 minutes as the dangerous Wheeler managed to cut in from the left and wriggle his way through tackles from O’Malley and Knight. He then side stepped Steve Gentle’s lunging tackle and fired in a shot from 15 yards that Trebes did excellently to save low down to his right.
The Ives did not heed this warning and the visitors went in front only one minute later with a very well crafted goal involving a series of passes down the right hand side. The move finished with the skilful Hutton, feeding the ball in to Cornell who flicked it on to Frith on the edge of the box. The G’s striker cleverly drew Trebes to him before slotting the ball confidently low past the keeper’s left hand.
However the home side were not done and Seymour-Shove was beginning to look a bit more like his old self and causing the visitor’s defence trouble down the right. Five minutes later Draycott picked him out with a raking cross field ball that the young winger brought down instantly. He took on his full back and delivered the perfect inviting ball to the edge of the six yard box. Eason did not need a second invitation as he arrived late and powerfully volleyed the ball home giving Ossai no chance and leaving the G’s defenders all looking at each other wondering “where did he come from?”.
To their credit both sides decided to go for all three points. Only two minutes later O’Malley came close to putting Clark clear with a well weighted clip over the defence, but the nippy striker had tried to steal a yard and was denied by an eagle eyed assistant’s flag.
With six minutes to go Seymour-Shove delivered another dangerous cross from the right that picked out Eason in space beyond the far post. Eason realised he could not beat Ossai with power from that position and cleverly tried to loop his header over the visiting custodian, he was unlucky to see the ball drift inches past the post with the keeper scrambling to cover it.
The visitors were still enjoying a fair amount of possession and were looking equally dangerous on the break. Trebes had to be alert to keep out a stinging effort from substitute Jack Mazzone after he had managed to get on the end of a Purdy flick on 86 minutes.
The play continued to swing from end to end and Seymour-Shove delivered yet another pin point cross on 87 minutes, this time with his left foot. The hard working Rushe just managed to flick the ball off Eason’s head at the expense of a corner. Gentle got on the end of the resulting flag kick, but could only direct his header off target.
The G’s final effort to win the game came on 89 minutes as Wheeler threaded a ball in to Purdy who fired in a powerful effort from the edge of the box that Trebes blocked at his near post at the expense of a corner.
The Ives final attempts came deep into added time. Scott Sinclair, making his very welcome return from long term injury with a late substitute appearance found space down the left. He picked out the fast arriving Higgs with his pull back, but Higgs effort was blocked at the near post by Chris Wales. The final effort came from De’ath’s looping volley from the resulting corner that just crept over the crossbar.
A point each was probably a fair result for two teams that will hope to be in the shake up at the end of the season. Luke Knight won the sponsor’s man of the match award for his all action display that saw him cover every inch of the pitch and win an awful lot of tackles. Many flowing G’s moves were disrupted by a well timed challenge by the combative Ives skipper. There were a few other challengers for the honour with Harry O’Malley and Charlie De’ath probably his nearest rivals.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Moyes (Watson 60), Death, Gentle, Knight (capt), Peacock (Seymour-Shove 68), Higgs, Eason, Clark (Sinclair 84), Draycott
Unused subs : Warwick, Simons
Goals : Eason 79
Sponsor Man of the Match : Luke Knight
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Godalming Town 1
Attendance : 290