Saturday 29th November 2014 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
St Ives Town 3 AFC Hayes 0
Attendance : 200
Man of the match:James Peters
All of the hard work by the ground staff to get this game on was well rewarded with a solid all round team performance that saw the Ives register their fourth win in five League games, record their first clean sheet of the season and move up to twelfth in the table.
A well taken brace either side of half time by Ben Seymour-Shove and a late Jon Stead free kick saw the Ives successfully home, but the clean sheet was celebrated with as much gusto as the goals.
The Ives started on the front foot against their lowly visitors and could have gone in front in only the third minute, but Kieran Fitzgerald and Seymour-Shove got in each other’s way to prevent either getting a clear shot on goal as they both ran on to Jack Higgs threaded through ball.
Six minutes later the home side came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Fitzgerald put Stuart Eason clear and he carefully placed his shot from the edge of the box past advancing keeper Sam Mazurek, but the ball crept inches the wrong side of the post.
The visitors gave the Ives a huge scare and should have taken the lead on thirteen minutes. James Walters took a quick free kick from near the half way line that caught the home defence cold. Lucas Williams ran onto the ball and found himself completely clear, he skilfully rounded keeper Tim Trebes and rolled the ball towards the empty net, but he started to celebrate a little to early and was horrified to see the ball rebound off the far post to allow a much relieved Jordan Lambert to hack it to safety.
After this lucky escape the home side began to take control of the games with James Peters and Jack Higgs working tirelessly to win the midfield battle. The next chance came on 16 minutes and it was fashioned from nothing by Seymour-Shove. He was allowed space to run down the left and cut in past his full back and tried a snap shot from 25 yards that dipped late, and rattled the top of the crossbar with keeper Mazurek well beaten.
It was one way traffic now and it was beginning to look only a matter of time before Ives could find a way through, but the Brook were working hard to keep the very mobile home strike force at bay. Mazurek had to be alert to sprint off his line and hack the ball away to just prevent Seymour-Shove getting on the end of an Eason through ball on 21 minutes.
Scott Sinclair was giving visitors full back Charlie Crane a torrid time down the right and on 32 minutes he cut in past Crane and fired in a crisp drive from the edge of the box that the overworked Mazurek did well to parry and grab at the second attempt. Four minutes later Fitzgerald got onto the end of a long Trebes clearance and took on Emanuel Williams at the heart of the visitors defence. His shot from just inside the box was well blocked by the body of Mazurek. However the keeper could only offer a poor punch to the resulting in-swinging corner and was lucky that Higgs could not hit the target with his first time effort from 12 yards as the ball fell to him.
The goal that had been threatened on so many occasions finally arrived on 44 minutes. Fitzgerald bravely blocked Jerome Ellestone’s attempted clearance on the edge of the box, the ball ran to Eason who carefully rolled it into the path of Seymour-Shove who picked his spot low past Mazurek’s right hand from just inside the box.
Seymour-Shove grabbed his second within three minutes of the restart and again Fitzgerald was involved in the build up as he won the ball in midfield and sprayed it wide to Sinclair who played in the perfect low first time cross that was deftly turned in by Seymour-Shove at the near post.
The visitor’s had a hill to climb to stand any chance of getting back into the game and this became a mountain three minutes later as a moment of madness saw them reduced to ten men. Sinclair again got away down the right and played in an almost identical ball to the near post, this time Eason attacked it, but saw his shot deflected out for a corner. As he lay on the ground by the post keeper Mazurek and defender Walters both appeared to tangle with him. Mazurek crazily stamped on the Ives striker out of site of the referee, but the eagle eyed assistant on the far side had witnessed the assault and immediately called the referee’s attention to the incident. The resulting red card was inevitable.
With no substitute keeper on the bench centre back Emanuel Williams donned the gloves. It quickly became obvious that he was not a keeper and he was extremely lucky to keep his goal intact in a goalmouth scrambled two minutes later. Four different Ives players tried their luck from inside the box, but were unable to force the ball home. Higgs initially shot from just inside the box, stand in keeper Williams made no attempt to pick the ball up, but stopped it with his feet, Sinclair pounced on the rebound, but his goal bound effort was blocked on the line by Crane. Eason got onto the ball and crashed a shot against the underside of the crossbar. Finally Seymour-Shove latched onto the loose ball, but his shot cannoned into Walters inside the six yard box and was finally scrambled clear.
The visitors created their only chance of the second half on 59 minutes as Lucas Williams got away down the right and played a dangerous ball along the six yard line towards the onrushing Edmonde James who looked certain to score, but Trebes was determined to preserve his clean sheet and bravely plunged in at the centre forward’s feet to claim the ball.
The Ives were now looking comfortable and manager Ricky Marheineke made three substitutions to send on some fresh legs in the sapping conditions. One of these substitutes, Will Muzuimbiri came close to increasing the lead on 75 minutes as Seymour-Shove and Fitzgerald combined well to set him up for a crisp shot from 12 yards that Williams again blocked with his feet. Sinclair was next to try and beat the stand in keeper four minutes later, but his snap shot from the edge of the box was straight at Williams who did well to hold the ball at the second attempt.
By this time Crane had been replaced at left back by Dan Bourne, but Sinclair was giving him an equally bad time and on 85 minutes the flying winger again got away down the right and curled in a dangerous cross that Ryan King made a mess of clearing and only succeeded in teeing up the ball for Fitzgerald on the penalty spot, but the young striker snatched at his shot and could not keep the ball down.
Sinclair got away again only one minute later as he took advantage of a mistake by Dwaine Thomas who let the ball bounce over his head. Sinclair delivered another excellent ball into the box that was met on the volley byMuzuimbiri, but the young Zimbabwean failed to keep his fierce effort down.
The final goal of the game arrived in the 89th minute as Fitzgerald picked up the ball thirty yards from goal and made a mazy run into the opposition defence. He was only stopped by a clumsy challenge from Walters on the edge of the box. The foul brought tempers to a head and resulted in a melee that saw both the visitor’s skipperWalters and Fitzgerald pick up yellow cards. When things had finally settled down substitute Jon Stead coolly lined up the free kick and curled a cracking shot over the wall and past the rooted Williams that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Celebrations at the end were as much about the clean sheet as the win and both were the reward for a solid hard working team performance against a battling visiting side that were desperate for the points and never gave up.
Once again man of the match was a difficult choice with so many players playing well and it was definitely a team win, but the award went to unsung hero James Peters for an excellent performance tiding up everything just in front of the back four and working tirelessly throughout in the most sapping part of the pitch.
St Ives team : Trebes, Melling, Hall (Smith 81), Lambert (capt.), Death, Peters, Sinclair, Higgs (Stead 71), Eason (Muzuimbiri 60), Fitzgerald, Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : None
Goals : Seymour-Shove 44, 48, Stead 89
Yellow cards : Sinclair 42, Muzuimbiri 77, Fitzgerald 88
Man of the Match : Peters
Final Score : St Ives Town 3 AFC Hayes 0
Attendance : 200
Next 1st team match Tue 2nd December 7.45pm kick off HOME to Marlow (League)
Next U18 match Mon 1st December 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Chatteris Town U18’s (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk