St Ives Town 4 Uxbridge 3
Man of the match: Jack Higgs
Debutants Jack Higgs and Ryan Ingrey sank ten men Uxbridge in a thriller at the ProEdge Stadium on Non-League Day. The offer of half price admission to season ticket holders from other clubs was taken up by some fans who made their first visit to Westwood Road and they got more than full value for their tickets.
The day did not start well for the visiting Reds as their coach broke down on route, 5 miles from St Ives. After a series of hurried phone calls the host club managed to arrange a convoy of cars to pick up the unfortunate visitors and ferry them to the ground.
Despite their delayed arrival the visitors matched the Ives in the early exchanges and neither side created a chance before the 10th minute when a foul on Karl Gibbs 20 yards out allowed Ben Seymour-Shove an opportunity with the free kick. Unfortunately his well struck shot was always rising and did not trouble Rourke Pickford in the visitor’s goal.
Only one minute later a slip by Jordan Lambert allowed Matty Woods the visitor’s first sight of goal, but debutant keeper Adam Lawrence was quickly off his line to smother the ball. Play continued to swing from end to end and a good advantage played by the referee on 15 minutes allowed Ollie Medwynter a run at goal, but his fierce shot from 30 yards flew past keeper Pickford’s left hand post.
The visitors were looking particularly dangerous from set pieces and two minutes later a Wayne Carter corner was won in the air by Mark Dennison, but his goal bound header was headed away by Lambert. Another set piece saw the Reds take the lead on 21 minutes as a foul on Chris Moore by Lambert 25 yards from goal resulted in a well place free kick by Carter which dipped over the wall and beat Lawrence on his near post.
This stung the home side into action and two minutes later keeper Pickford did well to hold onto a deflected shot by Seymour-Shove from 25 yards. The next opportunity fell to Ingrey who expertly took down a ball from Jon Stead on the edge of the box and turned his defender but unfortunately could not keep his shot down.
The Reds skipper Carter was still delivering some dangerous corners and Adam Pepera met the next one in the centre of goal 10 yards out on 29 minutes, but Jonny Hall was on hand to head the ball off the line.
The equaliser came on 33 minutes when Seymour-Shove was brought down by Dennison 25 yards out and Higgs opened his account by curling his free kick low around the wall to beat Pickford at his near post. Only four minutes later and the Ives were in front as Seymour-Shove won the ball in midfield and fed in Stead whose powerful shot was blocked by Dennison but Higgs was following up and gleefully fired home the loose ball from just inside the box.
The visitors defence seem to go in to panic mode after they fell behind and the Ives could easily have increased their lead before the break. Only one minute after taking the lead a flowing move involving Seymour-Shove, Ingrey and Higgs led to the latter floating in a ball to the far post that just evaded everyone, but went the wrong side of the upright. On 40 minutes a foul on Ingrey allowed Higgs another attempt from 25 yards but keeper Pickford managed to grab his curled shot at the second attempt just ahead of the on-rushing Gibbs.
Two Medwynter long throws also caused confusion in the Reds defence. From the first on 41 minutes the ball arrived at Lambert’s feet at the far post, but he was quickly closed down and could not get his shot away. Gibbs got a clean header on the next one a minute later but Pickford held it well. Uxbridge did create one more chance right on the interval when an excellent cross into the box by overlapping fullback Emmanuel Otira was headed over from a good position by Craig Tomkins.
The visitors got a roasting at half time and came out fired up for the second period. Lambert hauled down Woods after he got free on the left on 50 minutes. The free kick was only half cleared and Romaric Logon following up fired the ball well over the bar from 18 yards.
The game was turned on its head in the next six minutes. On 52 minutes Lewis Cole fed in the dangerous Woods and although his initial effort was well blocked by Lambert the ball ran loose to Logon who made no mistake from 12 yards to bring the Reds level. They followed this up by going in front only four minutes later as Moore played the ball wide to Logon whose driven cross was turned in at close range by the unmarked Cole.
The Ives were struggling to get back into the game, but manager Ricky Marheineke once again pulled off a master stroke with his substitutions bringing on Jimmy Dean and Stuart Eason to replace Gibbs and Stead on 67 minutes. These changes swung the game again as only five minutes after coming on Eason was put through by Ingrey after good work by Seymour-Shove. As he entered the box Eason was brought down by Otira, referee Feerick pointed to the spot and produced a red card for the unfortunate Otira who was deemed the last man. Higgs fired home the spot kick past Pickford to claim his hat-trick and level up the game yet again.
Two minutes later and the comeback was complete as a foul on Eason wide on the left lead to a free kick. Seymour-Shove swung the ball into the box, three Ives players all went for it at the back post with Dean winning the ball and heading it back into the middle where Ingrey firmly headed home from six yards.
The Ives were now well on top against the tiring ten men. Seymour-Shove tried his luck from 30 yards on 80 minutes Pickford could only parry his fierce drive, but Hall’s follow up was blocked by Pepera. Two minutes later Pickford pulled off an excellent double save to keep out an Ingrey drive and the follow-up by Eason. Three minutes from time a last ditch tackle on Eason by Kevin Warner kept the Reds in the game. But although they won two free kicks in the last few minutes these were comfortably dealt with by the home defence who held on well to win this thriller 4-3.
Man of the match had to be Jack Higgs for his excellently taken debut hat trick, but he was pushed close by an eye catching performance from fellow debutant Ryan Ingrey.
St Ives moved into the top six with this hard fought win and no one can deny the entertainment value of watching them at the moment as they are the second highest scorers in the division, but counter this with the fifth worse defensive record. A tough trip to League leaders Kettering on Tuesday night will test their resolve, but this team has belief and anything is possible.
St Ives team : Lawrence, Alsop, Hall, Lambert (capt.), Smith, Medwynter, Stead (Dean 67), Higgs, Gibbs (Eason 67), Ingrey, Seymour-Shove.
Unused subs : Gutierrez, Bream
Goals : Higgs 33, 37, 72 (pen), Ingrey 74
Yellow cards : None
Tue 9th Sep 7.45pm kick off AWAY to Kettering Town (1st Team League)
Thu 11th Sep 7.45pm HOME to Ramsey Colts (U18 League)
Source : www.stivestownfc.co.uk