Saturday 21st March 2015 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
St Ives Town 4 Leighton Town 0
Attendance : 229
Man of the match: Luke Knight
Man of the match Luke Knight lead from the front in his first game skippering the Ives. Right from the off he was winning tackles in midfield and spraying the ball around and just when it was beginning to look like another frustrating day for the home side he powered them in front on 53 minutes and then won the penalty to settle any nerves 19 minutes later.
The game started slowly as both sides were testing each other out on a hard pitch not helped by a bitingly cold North Easterly wind. The Ives playing against the breeze in the first half created the first half chance after ten minutes when Jack Higgs played the ball across to Ben Seymour-Shove in space on the right. But Seymour-Shove took one touch to many and his effort was blocked for a corner by covering defender Dave Murphy.
The resulting flag kick was perfectly swung in by Higgs and Charlie Death found himself in space six yards from goal. His powerful header looked like being a carbon copy of his goal the previous week, but his header rattled the crossbar and was scrambled clear.
The next action came seven minutes later when Knight won the ball in midfield and tried to curl the ball around the covering Murphy to put Seymour-Shove clear. Murphy stuck out a hand to stop the ball and picked up the inevitable yellow card, only being saved from a red by the distance from goal.
The Reds created their first opportunity on 24 minutes when the skilful Danny Watson wriggled his way into space and rattled in a shot from 25 yards that the alert Tim Trebes in the home goal did well to push away.
Four minutes later play swung to the other end and Scott Sinclair drifted past two defenders to get to the bye line and laid the ball back to the onrushing James Hall, but his shot from 15 yards was bravely blocked away by Robbie Goodman. Luke Smith did equally well to block an effort from Aaron Morgan at the other end after the diminutive striker had been put through by a lob over the top on 32 minutes on the half hour.
Five minutes later a long clearance from defence was misjudged by Reds defender Alvin Ramjaram who allowed the ball to bounce over his head. Seymour-Shove got away down the right and drilled in a low cross that just beat the onrushing Stuart Eason in the centre of goal and was only turned into the hands of keeper Zaki Oualha by a stretching Sinclair.
Play swung to the other end and The Reds thought they had gone in front only one minute later as Watson got on the end of a ball over the top by Morgan, and slotted the ball into the far corner past the advancing Trebes, only to be denied by an assistant’s offside flag.
As the half wore to an end the Ives started to get well on top. On 43 minutes a curling cross from the right by Seymour-Shove was won in the air above Tyrone Taylor by Eason, but his header from ten yards lacked power and was comfortably saved by Oualah.
As the half entered added time another Seymour-Shove cross from the right was headed down by Sinclair on the edge of the box and James Hall fired in a half volley that was deflected wide. The resulting corner was punched away from the head of Death by the keeper, but the ball fell to Harry O’Malley on the edge of the box and his first time volley was blocked on the line by Murphy.
In the first minute of the second half Seymour-Shove brought down Gary Ridgway on the edge of the Ives box. Morgan curled the free kick around the wall straight into the grateful arms of Trebes. This was the last shot the visitors had on target of the match.
Seven minutes later the Ives went in front and it was captain courageous Knight who rose majestically to meet yet another Seymour-Shove cross from the right. He powered in a bullet header from 15 yards that gave keeper Oualah no chance.
The goal relieved any frustrations that had started to build up and the home side started to knock the ball around and belie the difficult conditions. One minute later Eason got a flick onto a long clearance from Trebes to put Seymour-Shove clear, but the bouncing ball would not come down for him before covering defenders managed to get it away.
The next chance came on 59 minutes when Eason flicked on a long throw by O’Malley. The ball fell to James Hall who rolled it back to the edge of the box to tee up Higgs who was unlucky to see his powerful drive deflected away for a corner. The resulting flag kick was just tipped off the head of Eason by a full stretch Oualah.
The next Ives corner delivered by Seymour-Shove on 67 minutes almost crept straight in as it sailed over the head of the fast back peddling Oualah who was mightily relieved to see Murphy save his blushes by heading the ball away at the far post. Three minutes later yet another corner lead to the second goal. It was again delivered by Seymour-Shove from the left and punched away from the head of Eason by Oualah. But the ball fell to Knight just inside the box and as he brought the ball down and tried to get his shot away Reds substitute Donik Sopa put in a clumsy challenge that was deemed unfair by the match officials who awarded a penalty. Higgs stepped up and confidently sent keeper Oualah the wrong way from the spot.
Ives continued to pile the pressure on the wilting Reds and James Hall came very close to increasing the lead on 81 minutes as he fired in a fierce drive that beat the keeper and rattled the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down into the goalmouth. Eason fouled Taylor as he tried to force home the rebound.
But Hall only had to wait four more minutes for his reward as Higgs played in Seymour-Shove down the right and the speedy winger unselfishly laid the ball across the six yard line to give Hall the simplest of tap ins.
It should have been four two minutes later as Seymour-Shove chased down a long ball that looked to be rolling out of play. He kept it in and delivered yet another pin point cross into the box that picked out Sinclair on the edge of the six yard box. Sinclair went for the spectacular and unfortunately powered a first time volley just inches over the top.
But we had to wait less than a minute for the fourth goal to arrive as Eason found acres of space beyond the far post to get on the end of a long free kick by O’Malley. He calmly headed the ball down into the six yard box where the in rushing Seymour-Shove finished it in style.
The final chance of the game came deep into added time when a long ball out of defence was flicked on by substitute George Mead to put Eason clear. But the tiring striker could only steer his shot just past the far post as he was closed down by Oualah.
It was good to see the Ives return to winning ways with another excellent all round team performance and some very well taken goals. Two tough matches to follow in the next week that should give us another opportunity to see how far we have come!.
St Ives team : Trebes, Smith, De’Ath, Jonny Hall, Knight (capt.) (Mead 88), Higgs (Moyes 88), O’Malley, Sinclair (Peters 88), Seymour-Shove, Eason, James Hall
Unused subs : Lambert, Bream
Goals : Knight(53), Higgs(pen 71), James Hall(85), Seymour-Shove(88)
Yellow Card : Knight
Man of the Match : Luke Knight
Final Score : St Ives Town 4 Leighton Town 0
Attendance : 229
Next 1st team match Tue 24th March 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Barton Rovers (League)
Next U18 match Mon 23rd March 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Chatteris Town (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk