Saturday 7th February 2015 – Southern League – Div 1 Central
St Ives Town 4 North Greenford 0
Attendance : 196
Man of the match: Stuart Eason
A brace by Stuart Eason and goals from Ben Seymour-Shove and Jack Higgs saw the Ives to a comfortable win against struggling North Greenford.
The home side needed a late pre-match re-shuffle as they lost the unfortunate Luke Smith to an eye injury in the warm up and Dan Banister came into the starting line up at left back to replace him.
In spite of this disruption to the line up they started well and good pressure in the visitors box in the first minute saw debutant James Hall find a little bit of space, but he was unable to pick out a team mate with his attempted lay off.
The first half chance came on only four minutes and again it was Hall finding space, this time on the left. He delivered a dangerous low ball into the box that visiting keeper Frankie Atwell had to be brave to claim just ahead of Eason at the near post. The next opportunity came five minutes later as Scott Sinclair just managed to beat keeper Atwell to a well weighted chip over the top from James Peters. Unfortunately Sinclair’s flick past the keeper also rolled past the upright.
Ives managed to get the ball in the net for the first time on eleven minutes as Hall got on the end of Charlie Death’s flick on to Seymour-Shove’s free kick and coolly side slotted the ball past Atwell from 10 yards only to be denied by the assistant’s flag.
The Blues had a brief sortie into Ives territory for the first time on 22 minutes and won a free kick 30 yards from goal as Peters brought down Filipe Da Silva. Da Silva picked himself up a curled the free kick over the wall, but it was a routine catch for Tim Trebes.
The home side took the lead that their possession and pressure deserved on 24 minutes, although the goal was somewhat fortunate. Hall was brought down on the edge of the box by Joe Hopla. Seymour-Shove lined up the free kick and drove in a shot that looked to be heading straight into the arms of Atwell, but it took a wicked deflection of the end of the wall to wrong foot the keeper and end up in the bottom corner of the net.
They doubled their lead with another fortunate goal only six minutes later. Josh Melling delivered a throw into the box which the home defenders allowed to bounce. Eason tried his luck with a looping overhead effort that was probably intended as a cross, but it deceived Atwell and drifted into the far corner of the net.
It should have been three from the next attack as the hard working Hall closed down Atwell on a back pass and the keeper’s attempted clearance went straight to Eason 30 yards out in the centre of goal. The Ives striker struck his effort well, but was unlucky to see the ball rebound from the post straight into the grateful arms of the stranded keeper.
Ives created another excellent opportunity on 40 minutes as a smart interchange of passes between Eason and Hall saw the latter put clean through with only the keeper to beat. He carefully side footed his effort past Atwell, but just the wrong side of the post.
The visitors had only their second foray into the Ives box one minute later as Ibrahim Bah found some space on the left and delivered a good ball into the box that found David Florescu in space 10 yards out, but he could only direct his header straight at Trebes.
The hosts suffered more disruption to their team just before half time as the powerful Luke Knight limped off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Jack Higgs. This change did not disrupt the flow of the game and Higgs was involved as they increased their lead only one minute into the second period. He won the ball in midfield and sprayed a well weighted ball out to Hall wide on the right. Eason was all on his own in the middle to meet Hall’s cross, but he could only manage to hit keeper Atwell with his close range header, fortunately he kept his compose to bundle the loose ball over the line.
The Blues had their best effort of the game on 47 minutes as Florescu got away down the left and managed to pull the ball back to Bah who hit a first time effort from 12 yards the brought the save of the game out of Trebes as he plunged to his right to push the effort round the post.
Normal service was soon resumed as the Ives continued to dominate possession and create chances. Higgs fired over from the edge of the box on 53 minutes with Hall creating the opportunity. The fourth goal came on 59 minutes and again Hall was involved. Seymour-Shove went down the right and delivered a curling cross into the box that Romeo Agebane could only head straight up in the air. Eason got his head onto the falling ball to force it to Hall at the far post, he unselfishly laid it back to Higgs who this time hit a crisp drive through a ruck of players into the net.
Ives almost claimed a comical fifth goal only four minutes later as Agebane met a long ball from Melling on the volley 35 yards from his own goal. Unfortunately for him he was facing the wrong way and the “shot” cleared his keeper, but just crept past the post. Banister came close on 67 minutes as he got on the end of a ball clipped over the defence by Hall, but his toe poked effort drifted past the far post.
Eason had a chance to claim his hat trick on 78 minutes as he got on the end of a Jon Stead cross ten yards out, but he could only direct his header straight into the arms of a grateful Atwell. With Ives comfortably in command and the sapping pitch beginning to take it’s toll the game began to drift along and the next opportunity only arrived with two minutes to go as Stead managed to get on the end of a ball clipped into the near post by Hall, but keeper Atwell stayed upright to block at point blank range.
The final chance, and the best one, for the home side to make it five, also fell to Stead as the game entered added time. The tireless Peters won yet another challenge in midfield and drove on into the box before laying the ball in to Hall at the near post. He managed to roll the ball square along the six yard line to Stead. The usually reliable Stead was beaten by a bobble as he inexplicably got under the ball and side footed it over the top of the vacant net.
Overall this was a commanding all round performance from an Ives squad that was far to strong in all departments for a youthful, but battling, Blues side. Everyone did their job and if there is a criticism it is that the score line should probably have been even more comprehensive. Stuart Eason claimed the fans man of the match for his two goals and hard working performance. But I think even he would acknowledge that he was pushed hard for the honour by an impressive debut from James Hall who was a constant thorn in the Blues side and was involved in three of the four goals as well as creating a number of other chances.
St Ives team : Trebes, Banister(replaced Smith injured in warm up), Lambert(capt), De’Ath, Melling, Seymour-Shove(Stead 60), Knight (Higgs 40), Peters, Sinclair, Hall, Eason,
Unused subs : Smith
Yellow card :
Goals : Seymour-Shove(24), Eason(30 & 46), Higgs(59)
Man of the Match : Stuart Eason
Final Score : St Ives Town 4 North Greenford 0
Attendance : 196
Next 1st team match Sat 14th February 3pm kick off AWAY to Potters Bar Town (League)
Next U18 match Thu 12th February 7.45pm kick off AWAY to March Town U18’s (League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk