Result: St Ives Town 2 Kings Langley 0

Saturday 28th November 2015 –  Southern League Division One Central

St Ives Town 2 Kings Langley 0

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Another excellent all round team performance saw the Ives claim a very hard earned three points off a skilful Kings Langley side to maintain their top spot in the table. A first half of fast attacking football was followed by a more dogged quality defensive display, punctuated by swift breakaways, in the second. As has been the case on many occasions this season every player did his job to ensure that the sum of the parts added up to much more than a team of individuals can ever achieve.

If anyone had any doubt this group of players is a true team these would have been instantly dispelled by the celebration that followed the clinching goal a few minutes from time. The whole team, including substitutes and the management team joined in a mass celebration bundle by the home dugout. Whilst the fans, who had been singing throughout the game, lifted their level to a new high.

Things could have been very different as the visitors came close to grabbing a goal straight from the kick off. Peter Clark lost out in a midfield challenge and Ryan Plowright threaded the ball down the left to ex St Neots player Lorenzo Ferrari. Ferrari scampered on into the box and laid in a low cross that a fast retreating Charlie De’ath did well to knock away from the feet of Mitchell Weiss.

After this very early scare Ives started to show that they were very much up for this game harrying and hassling Kings players into mistakes all around the park and probing the visitors defence at every opportunity. The first Ives attempt on goal came after 11 minutes as Jack Warwick tried his luck from 30 yards after a ball had been cleared to him. He did well to keep the effort down, but failed to test visitors keeper Ant Ladyman who made a comfortable save.

Excellent hassling by Danny Watson and Phil Draycott lead to Ives taking the lead five minutes later, as they pressurised David Femiola into conceding a throw high up the pitch. Jordan Jarrold delivered the throw into the feet of Watson inside the box. He held up the ball well and skilfully flicked it on into the middle where Scott Sinclair had timed his run perfectly to get in front of his marker and volley home from ten yards giving Ladyman no chance.

The home side were inches away from a second three minutes later as Draycott delivered an in-swinging corner from the right that David Foralin did well to deflect off the head of De’ath as he powered in looking to head the ball home from inside the six yard box.

They came even closer to grabbing the second goal that their overall play deserved on 21 minutes and it was the all action Sinclair that created the opportunity again. He picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and drove on through a group of five defenders amazingly coming out the other side with the ball. He continued on into the box and fired in a shot across keeper Ladyman who did well to block the effort. Draycott following in got a touch on the loose ball, but could not force it home and a combination of two Kings defenders scrambled the ball away.

By this point the Pro-Edge was rocking with the Ives faithful singing their hearts out in support of their team. Two minutes later another well-delivered Draycott corner was finger tipped off the head of Harry O’Malley by a full stretch Ladyman.

Ives continued to play an excellent passing game, but the visitor’s defence well marshalled by skipper Stuart Deaton, although stretched at times, was just about hanging on. Jarrold threaded a ball through to Clark on the left on 34 minutes and the nippy midfielder danced his way past two defenders before being brought down by a clumsy challenge from Femiola on the edge of the box. The free kick by Sinclair was a little to deep, but was tipped away for a corner by a nervous looking Ladyman.

The home sides final “shot” on target of the half was a wind assisted free kick from 70 yards by home keeper Tim Trebes that bounced a little higher than Ladyman expected and almost bounced over his head.

The Ives lost Clark to a hamstring injury at half time, but his replacement was previously regular starter Ben Seymour-Shove who was making his return to the team after serving a suspension following his needless dismissal at Petersfield.

The Kings came out for the second half perhaps feeling a little fortunate to only be one behind and looking determined to get back into the game. However the resilient Ives back line were ensuring they were finding it very hard to create a way through. The first opportunity for the visitors in the second period came on 55 minutes courtesy of a mistake by Trebes as he tried to stop a through ball with his feet, but miss controlled the ball which lead to a corner. This was well delivered into the box by Ollie Cox and lead to scramble in the goal mouth before the ball was finally hacked away.

Seymour- Shove showed he was back three minutes later as he delivered one of his well known in-swinging crosses from the right. The ball was a little to deep, but was kept alive by the alert Jared Cunniff who played an exquisite back heel into the path of Sinclair. Sinclair’s curled effort from 20 yards was just inches to high.

The visitors were still very much in this game and it took an excellently timed challenge from O’Malley to prevent them grabbing an equaliser on 62 minutes. Mo Shariff threaded a ball through that looked like it had put Ferrari clear, but O’Malley arrived just as the young striker shaped to shoot.

The ebb and flow of the game continued and the never say die attitude of Draycott created him a chance from nothing three minutes later as he hounded Callum Adebayi into a mistake by blocking his clearance. Draycott ran onto the loose ball with Adebayi in his wake, but a heavy first touch prevented him getting a strike on goal.

Trebes was called into action a couple of times in the next five minutes as he first did well to hang onto a powerful free kick from 25 yards by Shariff then stumbled over Jarrold and failed to cling on to a deep cross from Ferrari at the far post. Fortunately Jarrold kept his feet to hack the ball clear before a Kings striker could pounce.

O’Malley took one for the team on 74 minutes as he was almost caught out of position by a ball that skipped off the wet turf and sensibly allowed the ball to hit his arm rather than allow Ferrari get clear. Referee Gareth Viccars had little choice but to dole out the expected yellow card. The free kick came to nothing, as did another from 25 yards five minutes later.

The closest the visitor’s came to an equaliser was on 81 minutes as Ferrari played a ball into Shariff on the edge of the box. His powerful first time effort deflected off Steve Gentle and looked to be heading for the top corner, but the ever alert Trebes flung himself to his left to fingertip the ball over the top and preserve his clean sheet.

As the game was rolling to conclusion Kings pushed everyone up for a corner and were caught with the classic counter-attacking goal. The kick was delivered into the centre of goal where the ever reliable Gentle won the header Seymour-Shove picked up the ball 35 yards from his own goal and took it towards the half way line. Cunniff, running from the edge of his own box, timed his run to perfection and Seymour-Shove found him with a curled ball that put him completely clear. He even had time for a shuffle to deceive keeper Ladyman before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net to spark wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.

With this clincher in the bag the added four minutes were much more comfortable for the home fans as their team saw the game out to claim another hard earned, and very valuable, three points.

Charlie De’ath deservedly won the sponsors man of the match for yet another faultless display at the back in tandem with his fellow defenders. But as has so often been the case in recent weeks you could have made a very good case for any of the thirteen players that got on the pitch taking the accolade. The Ives are very much a team!

Kings Langley Line Up

St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley (Dusi 75), Jarrold, Death (Capt.), Gentle, Warwick, Sinclair, Cunniff, Clark (Seymour-Shove 45), Watson, Draycott

Unused subs : Moyes, Simons, Eason

Goals : Sinclair 16, Cunniff 89

Sponsors Man of the Match : Charlie De’ath

Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Kings Langley 0

Attendance : 264