Tuesday 28th October 2014 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
St Ives Town 3 Barton Rovers 1
Attendance : 183
Man of the match : Stuart Eason
Substitutes Stuart Eason and Salim Relizani were the hero’s as Ives came from behind to grab their first League victory in eight games against ten man Barton Rovers on Tuesday evening. Eason grabbed a ten minute hat trick, all from close range, and Relizani had a big hand in all three.
The already stretched Ives squad suffered further bad blows in the days before the match with news that long serving centre back Jordan Lambert had damaged his ribs in a tumble down the stairs at home and young utility player Hayden Bream had been admitted to hospital with a stomach problem. We wish them both a speedy recovery, along with groundsman Dave Claridge who added to the drama of the second half by injuring himself in a fall at the ground which also ended in a trip to hospital for him.
In spite of their pre-match problems the home side started the game well and the first chance of the game fell to Jack Higgs on only four minutes when an Ollie Medwynter long throw was half cleared to him on the edge of the box. Unfortunately he failed to keep his first time shot down. Skipper Jimmy Dean was next to try his luck five minutes later from just outside the box after a good lay off into space for him by Will Muzuimbiri, but his well struck effort from 20 yards flew well wide of the goal.
The Ives were well on top at this stage and the next chance fell to Scott Sinclair on 15 minutes. The elusive winger picked up the ball on the half way line and ran at the visitors defence, Muzuimbiri made the perfect dummy run to pull away defenders and things opened up for Sinclair, unfortunately his rasping drive from 20 yards flew just over the top. Four minutes later and another Medwynter long throw was partially cleared to Higgs, but once more he failed to hit the target with his snap shot as he was quickly closed down.
The visitors managed to create their first opening of the game on 22 minutes when a long free kick by keeper Kyle Forster found Mahmut Caglar in space on the left he fed in Liam McDevitt down the line and McDevitt’s teasing cross was met eight yards out by Bilal Hassan, but he failed to keep his header down under pressure from the home centre backs.
Six minutes later and the Ives replied with a similar long kick from keeper Tim Trebes which evaded everyone and would have set Sinclair away but for the hand of full back Sam Addae. Higgs fired the free kick from 25 yards just over the top.
Addae was having a torrid evening against the quicksilver Sinclair and on 35 minutes the young full back came close to putting the Ives ahead. Jonny Hall played a long ball into the box and Addae, under no pressure, decided to turn the ball back to his keeper from near the penalty spot. Unfortunately Forster slipped and did well to plunge to his right to keep the ball out.
Things went from bad to worse for Addae only three minutes later as Sinclair skipped past him again on the right touchline and his clumsy challenge earned him a second yellow card to go with his first picked up for a similar ill timed challenge in only the seventh minute. The Ives continued to enjoy good possession against the reduced numbers of the visitors, but could not create another clear opportunity before half time.
The break gave ten man Rovers chance to re-organise and they started the second half the better side. Only one minute in a long ball down the middle saw Trebes smartly off his line to head clear from just outside the box, but the ball fell to Hassan 35 yards out, he cleverly played the ball to Sawyer in space who precisely curled the ball past the fast retreating Trebes and was unlucky to see it cannon back into play from the inside of the far post.
Two minutes later a foul by Charlie Death on Sawyer on the edge of the box gave the visitors another opportunity, but Caglar failed to keep his well struck effort down. The Rovers were now well on top and on 52 minutes a powerful run at the home defence by full back Louis Lee ended in him hitting a powerful drive from 20 yards that Trebes was pleased to watch thud into the boards just wide of his right hand post.
The Ives managed to get their first shot on target on 54 minutes as Muzuimbiri flicked on a long ball which fell to Ben Seymour-Shove 20 yards out, but his tame effort was straight at keeper Forster.
Play swung back to the other end and Ives had another lucky escape only two minutes later when an interchange of passes between McDevitt and Caglar ended with the latter playing a well weighted cross field ball to Hassan who cut in from the right and rattled the home crossbar with a fierce drive from just outside the box.
The home side’s relief was short lived as only one minute later the visitors took the lead a cross from the left by Jack Keating was met with a header by Sawyer on the penalty spot. Trebes dived to his left to keep out the header, but failed to hold the ball, Hassan was first to react to turn in the loose ball from close range.
At this point it was difficult to say which side had only ten men on the park as it was Rovers who were running the show with their classy substitute Keshi Anderson showing some nice touches in midfield and Sawyer and Hassan looking threat up front. On 61 minutes Anderson played in Hassan at the far post, but the lively striker snatched at his shot from a good position and fired over.
Two inspired substitutions by home manager Ricky Marheineke in the next ten minutes changed the course of the game. First Stuart Eason entered the fray to replace the unusually quiet Seymour-Shove on 62 minutes. This was followed on 71 minutes by the introduction of young loanee Salim Relizani replacing full back Medwynter. A quick re-shuffle saw Eason joining Muzuimbiri up front in a two man strike force and Relizani coming in wide right with Sinclair slotting in behind him on the that side.
The impact was almost instant as within seconds of coming on Relizani was brought down on the right. Stead’s well rehearsed free kick was laid back to the young winger in space and he fizzed his shot through the crowded goalmouth, but just past the far post. Two minutes later the substitutes combined to put the Ives level Relizani got away down the right and turned an inviting ball across the six yard line, Eason arriving at the far post gratefully accepted the invitation and fired the ball back across the scrambling keeper and just inside the post.
The same two players were also involved in a flowing move that put the home side in front five minutes later. Relizani held up the ball and fed in the overlapping Sinclair down the right his teasing low cross into the box was met with a bullet like diving header from Eason six yards out in the centre of the goal to give Forster no chance.
The now rampant home side settled the game against the fast tiring visitors on 86 minutes as a perfectly flighted cross field ball from Higgs picked out Relizani in space, he cut in from the right and fired a fierce drive across the keeper that Forster did well to keep out, but he could only parry the ball directly to the delighted Eason who completed his hat trick from close range and sent the home fans into raptures.
All of the fight had now gone out of the ten man visitors and Ives did a good job of keeping possession to run down the remaining time. They created one more half chance as yet another dangerous Relizani cross was headed down by Eason, but Stead was crowded out before he could get his shot away.
The two leading man of the match contenders were only on the pitch for 30 minutes and 20 minutes respectively, but in that short period they turned the game on it’s head. Eason has to win it for his hat trick, but Relizani pushed him close with an equally inspired performance. Everyone played their part in this vital victory, but it was particularly good to see Jimmy Dean back to his inspirational best after illness and Scott Sinclair much nearer to his true self after his long injury lay off.
St Ives team : Trebes, Medwynter (Relizani 71), Hall, Death, Smith, Dean (capt), Sinclair, Stead, Muzuimbiri, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Eason 62).
Unused subs : Scott
Goals : Eason 76, 81 & 86
Yellow cards : None
Final Score : St Ives Town 3 Barton Rovers 1
Next 1st team match Sat 1st November 3pm kick off Away to Bedworth Utd (League)
Next U18 match Thu 30th October 7.45pm kick off AWAY to St Neots Town (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk