St Ives Town 2 Histon 1
Man of the match: Luke Smith
An excellent all round team performance, topped off with very well taken goals from Stuart Eason and Jon Stead saw Ives progress to Round 2 of the Red Insure Cup against higher division local rivals Histon at Pro-Edge, Westwood Road on Tuesday evening.
The youthful visitors started the game looking lively and Mateusz Kuzimski spurned a glorious chance to put them ahead after only five minutes as he shot over from a central position only six yards out after good work by Ewerogba Akintude had created the opportunity.
Jack Higgs was winning a lot of possession in midfield and only three minutes later he created the first half chance for the home side with an inch perfect cross field ball that set Scott Sinclair away down the right, unfortunately he over hit his cross with Eason and Seymour-Shove well positioned in the box.
Things began to even out in the match and the next half chance fell to the visitors as a long ball into the box by Lewis McDonald was headed clear by Luke Smith and the ball fell to Matthew Lowe 35 yards out. Lowe went for the spectacular but hit his first time volley well over the top.
The visiting Stutes keeper Denzel Gerrar was making his debut on loan from Millwall, but he looked far from a Championship keeper on 20 minutes as he moved late to try and punch away an in-swinging corner and only succeeded in punching the ball against the head of Eason. He was mightily relieved to see the ball roll past the post.
The Ives were forced into an early re-shuffle on 21 minutes as Charlie Death had to leave the field with a suspected broken nose after a clash of heads with Kuzimski. He was replaced by Hayden Bream who slotted in at right back, with Harry O’Malley moving across to the left and Luke Smith joining Jordan Lambert in the centre.
This re-organisation did not trouble the home side greatly and they took the lead only two minutes later. Ben Seymour-Shove robbed a dallying McDonald on the corner of the box and bore down on goal. He picked out the on-rushing Eason perfectly with his low ball across the goal and the Ives striker made no mistake from eight yards.
The Stutes enjoyed a period of good possession after this set back, but they were getting little change out of the re-organised home defence. The visitors did manage to create one good chance to equalise on 31 minutes as more good work by the lively Akintude down the left allowed him to get in cross that arrived at the feet of George Root at the far post. However the striker wanted to long before trying to get his shot away and O’Malley was able to block the effort.
Root was made to regret that missed opportunity as only two minutes later a flowing move involving Lawlor, Sinclair and Higgs saw the latter feed the ball through to Stead inside the box and he opened his body perfectly to place a shot past the advancing Gerrar from 12 yards to double the Ives lead.
The home side were now well on top and playing some excellent possession football with Lawlor, Higgs and Stead dominating the midfield area. Twice before half time excellent cross field balls looked to set Sinclair away for a run in on goal from the right, but on both occasions the winger’s run was halted by an assistant’s flag.
The visitors caught the Ives napping at the start of the second half to put themselves back in the game. Only two minutes in Kuzimski chased a through ball down the right just managed tokeep the ball in play and feed it into the middle where Akintude was able to squeeze the ball home off the body of keeper Tim Trebes.
The home side reacted well to this setback and began to take control of the game again. Two minutes later Seymour-Shove took on the defence down the left hand side and laid the ball back to Higgs who was able to tee up Stead 20 yards out. His curled effort left Gerrar clawing at air, but unfortunately just cleared the crossbar.
The Histon defence was now under severe pressure and twice in the space of two minutes under pressure defenders came close to increasing the Ives lead. On 50 minutes centre back Danny Rumens just cleared his own crossbar with a header to prevent Lambert getting on the end of a Seymour-Shove corner. Two minutes later Conner Houlahan managed to scramble a dangerous cross from the same player over the top just ahead of the on-rushing Sinclair.
The Ives continued on top and Luke Smith got a clean header on goal from another Seymour-Shove corner on 59 minutes, unfortunately he directed it straight at Gerrar. The visitors did not create a lot in the second period and their best chance of an equaliser came on 75 minutes as Lowe gathered possession in midfield and ran at the defence before being brought down on the edge of the box. Akintunde carefully lined up the free kick and purposefully curled the ball around the wall just past Trebes left hand post with the keeper rooted.
The home side continued to look for the third goal which would kill the tie and on 82 minutes the influential Higgs played in Seymour-Shove who tried to place his shot from the edge of the box, but Gerrar was down quickly to his left to save.
As the game entered its last five minutes the visitors tried to push forward in search of an equaliser to take the game to an instant shoot out, but the best they could manage were a series of free kicks from distance which were pumped into the box and comfortably claimed by the dominant Trebes.
The young Ives side is growing in confidence and thoroughly deserved this victory against higher level opposition. There were lots of contenders for man of the match, but the award goes to Luke Smith for an excellent performance early on at left back and an equally confident show at centre back in the re-organised defence after the early departure of Charlie Death in only 21st minute.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Smith, Lambert (capt.), Death (Bream 21), Lawlor, Sinclair (Medwynter 79), Stead, Eason (Muzuimbiri 71), Higgs, Seymour-Shove.
Unused subs : None
Goals : Eason 23, Stead 33
Yellow cards : None
Man of the Match : Smith
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Histon 1
Attendance : 157
Sat 18th Oct 3pm kick off HOME to Stratford Town (FA Trophy – Prelim)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk