St Ives Town 1 Royston Town 3
Man of the match: James Peters
A first minute strike and two goals in a minute early in the second half saw the Crows repeat their victory over the Ives at the same stage in this completion last season.
The Ives found themselves behind before they had even had chance to mount an attack as the visitors took the lead with only 59 seconds on the watch. Ryan Lockett broke on the right and fed the ball out to overlapping full back Ross Collins whose ball into the box was expertly brought down by ex Ives striker Ryan Ingrey. Ingrey teed up an inviting ball for Scott Bridges who fired home past the diving Tim Trebes from 20 yards.
The home side reacted well to this early set back and less than one minute later Ben Seymour-Shove managed to beat keeper Dominic Russo to a Jonny Hall through ball, however he was pushed wide and his curled ball into the box was headed away by covering defender Spyros Mentis. James Peters pounced on the loose ball 25 yards out, but was quickly closed down by Royston defenders and could not get his shot away.
Ives continued to hunt a quick equaliser and on ten minutes they created their best chance of the first half as Scott Sinclair picked up the ball in midfield and drove at the Crow’s defence. As he was tackled the ball rebounded from a Royston defender and fell to Seymour-Shove ten yards from goal, he turned well and got away a crisp shot that crept inches past the far post with keeper Russo beaten.
Another good chance came Seymour-Shove’s way five minutes later as a good low ball into the box from the left by Keiran Fitzgerald caused panic in the Royston defence and they failed to clear. Seymour-Shove pounced on the loose ball well inside the box, but could only turn his first time shot from a narrow angle into the side netting.
Royston were still looking very dangerous on the break and should have gone two up after 18 minutes as a flowing move involving Gary Hart and Stuart Bridges finished with the latter firing in a fierce shot from 20 yards that Trebes did well to block, but could not hold. Ingrey was first to react, but turned the ball wide from close range. Only one minute later Royston went close to increasing their lead again as Ingrey got on the end of an in-swinging Lockett free kick, but failed to hit the target from ten yards.
Ives only other chance of note in the first period came on 28 minutes when Hall delivered an inviting ball into the box from the left that just evaded everyone in the middle and went out for a goal kick.
The classy Crows side were now beginning to look comfortable with brothers Scott and Stuart Bridges running the game in midfield and Reece Dobson on the left wing giving Josh Melling a tough time. Ingrey had two more good chances in the next ten minutes, both created by Dobson crosses. The first on 33 minutes saw him get on the end of a low cross at the near post, but his first fist time effort could only rattle the boards. The second two minutes later saw him leap highest in the centre of the box, but fail to direct his header on target.
The final chance of the half also fell to the visitors as Stuart Bridges threaded a precise ball through the home defence which looked to have set Hart clean through, but just as he was shaping to lob the ball over the advancing Trebes, Luke Smith came flying in to make a vital late block.
The second half started with both sides making early substitutions. The home side went for a reshuffle replacing full back Melling with striker Salim Relizani whilst the visitors did a straight swap with leading scorer Kaan Fehmi replacing Hart. Relizani was quickly into the action as he played a well weighted ball down the line to Seymour-Shove who’s low cross into the box was met at the near post by Fitzgerald, but his, on target, effort was blocked by Mentis.
Trebes kept the Ives in the game two minutes later as he produced an excellent block with his legs to keep out an effort from Lockett. The dangerous Dobson again created the chance as he ran at the home defence and squared the ball back for Scott Bridges to fire in a shot from 20 yards that was well blocked by Death. But the loose ball ran to Lockett just inside the box and the off balance Trebes did very well to keep out his effort.
The game was settled as the Crows grabbed two goals in a minute around the 55 minute mark. The first came as substitute Fehmi was allowed space to run at the Ives defence and lay off the ball to Collins who hit a fierce drive from the corner of the box which Trebes did well to keep out, but could not hold. Fehmi had continued his run and was on hand to turn home the loose ball. Less than 60 seconds later a flowing move involving Dobson and Stuart Bridges ended with Bridges floating a teasing ball over the home defence which was finished on the volley by the unmarked Lockett at the far post.
Ives reacted well again and pulled a goal back only four minutes later as Relizani went down the right and laid the ball back to Fitzgerald on the edge of the box. He did well to turn his marker and fire in a shot past keeper Russo which rebounded off the far post and was finished from close range by Seymour-Shove. However the Ives were unable to build up the, hoped for, head of steam as the Crows cleverly retained possession in midfield and kept a tight control on the game.
The elusive Dobson continued to cause problems down the left for the visitors and he was involved in the their next chance on 61 minutes as he swung in a dangerous cross that Smith did well to head away, but the ball fell to Fehmi 20 yards out. He showed his class as he brought the ball down and fired in a fierce effort that Trebes did well to punch away.
Two minutes later Mentis came close to adding to the visitors lead as he leapt highest to a Dobson corner at the far post, but directed his powerful header just wide. Dobson came close to the goal his display probably deserved on 72 minutes as he latched onto Smith’s headed back pass, but he was denied by a brave block at his feet by Trebes who was quickly off his line.
In spite of their efforts the home strikers found the resolute Crow’s defence difficult to break down and they were only able to create two half chances in the remaining time. On 82 minutes Peters won a Higgs free kick in the air, but no one was able to get on the end of his downward header into the six yard box. The final half chance came on 85 minutes as Fitzgerald pounced on a loose ball 35 yards out and fired in a shot which was half blocked. Russo had to be brave and alert to claim the loose ball just ahead of Seymour-Shove.
It was no disgrace for the Ives to exit the cup against a very good all round Royston side who were clearly the better side on the night. Despite the result it was possible to see progress being made in the side and signs that all the new players which have come in are beginning to come together as a team. There was not a single player in the squad for this game that played for us last season, and Dan Crowie was another welcome new face making his debut. It was also excellent news to see Hayden Bream make a welcome return following his serious illness.
James Peters took the man of the match award for an all action display in the centre of the park.
St Ives team : Trebes (capt), Melling (Relizani 45), Hall, Smith, Death, Crowie, Sinclair (Massey 85), Peters, Fitzgerald, Higgs (Bream 88), Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : None
Goals : Seymour-Shove 59
Yellow cards : None
Man of the Match : James Peters
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Royston Town 3
Attendance : 106
1st Team – Sat 15th Nov 3pm kick off AWAY to Hanwell Town (League)
U18’s – Thu 27th Nov 7.45pm kick off HOME to Huntingdon Town
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk