Result: Ware FC 1 St Ives Town 1

Tuesday 27th October 2015 –  Southern League Division 1 Central

Ware FC 1 St Ives Town 1

The Ives came within a few minutes of claiming another excellent three points on the road against a skilful and very pacey Blues side who took every opportunity to use their two tricky wingers. However for all of the possession the home side enjoyed in this game they had been restricted to only half chances and the visitors had carved out the best two chances of the night and should have put this game to bed long before Peter Clark was robbed to allow the Blues to grab their equaliser in the 92nd minute.

With skipper Luke Knight unavailable for this game the versatile Luca Dusi was slotted into his defensive midfield role. Ben Seymour-Shove also returned to the starting line up in place of the injured Joe Peacock and Manager Ricky Marheineke reverted to the lone striker formation with Peter Clark coming in as an extra midfielder and Danny Watson the unfortunate one to miss out.

The visitors started the game on the front foot and caused unrest in the home defence as early as the third minute when Phil Draycott and Jordan Jarrold combined on the left and the latter’s curling cross into the box was met with a poor punch from home keeper Jack Smith. He was very fortunate that the ball fell to his own skipper Dan Maxwell who was able to hack the ball clear from the edge of the box.

The nervousness in the home defence was fully highlighted seven minutes later and resulted in the Ives taking a very fortunate lead. Dusi sent an over-hit hopeful ball towards the box. The ball was heading straight into the waiting hands of keeper Smith, but for some inexplicable reason centre back Jack Fowler under absolutely no pressure at all stretched to get his head on the ball. He managed to get the perfect flick and the ball sailed over the head of the stranded Smith and billowed the back of the net. A somewhat embarrassed Dusi raised an arm perhaps as much to acknowledge a poor delivery forward as claim the goal.

The main tactic of the home side was to get the ball out to their two wide men as often as possible. They created their first chance via this route on 17 minutes as Khale DaCosta managed to wriggle his way to the bye line on the left and pulled the ball back to Joshua Oyibo who fired a deflected shot against the upright from just inside the box. Fortunately the Ives defenders were alert to the loose ball and quickly cleared their lines.

This visitor’s defence were coming to terms with the home side’s plans and with Scott Sinclair and Jordan Jarrold dealing well with the regularly interchanging wingers it was Ives that began to create better chances. The first of these came from a well delivered Draycott corner into the centre of the six yard box in the 22nd minute. It took a full stretch effort from Smith to just tip the in-swinging cross off the head of Steve Gentle who had timed his run to perfection to almost get to the ball ahead of the keeper.

Three minutes later the hard working Jared Cunniff managed to battle his way past three defenders to get through on the right hand side. He drilled the ball across the box just ahead of the in-rushing Stuart Eason and the ball flew to safety past the far post.

Cunniff created a much better opportunity on 32 minutes as he again got through on the right hand side, but this time his low cross was half blocked by Maxwell and the ball rolled into the path of Draycott eight yards out who was unlucky to see his powerful effort hit covering defender Fowler on the line and spin up over the crossbar.

Half time arrived without further scares at either end of the pitch and Ives will have enjoyed their cuppa knowing that they had all put in a good half and deserved their slim half time advantage. They came out for the second half determined to sew up the three points. Seymour-Shove wriggled his way past a defender, cut in from the right and forced Smith into a diving save in the 47th minute.

However only four minutes later he was the man guilty of spurning the golden opportunity to put this game to bed. Eason chased a ball that looked to be heading out of play towards the goal line and managed to rob Fowler as he tried to shield the ball out. Eason closed in on goal with the Blues defenders all screaming at the assistant referee on the far side that the ball had gone out. As he was closed down by the keeper Eason selflessly picked out Seymour-Shove ten yards from goal, but the young winger snatched at his opportunity under late pressure from Ben Crilley and could only fire the ball over the top.

Fowler was not having the best of games and with the powerful Eason now moved across to his side of defence he was really struggling as the big striker was beating him both in the air and on the deck. He fouled Eason once too often for referee Daniel Simpson’s liking on 62 minutes and earned himself a yellow card. This was the signal for home manager Ken Kemal to put him out of his misery, by substituting him with Finbarr Robins.

This changed seemed to tighten up the home defence and Ives were only able to create one more good chance on 65 minutes as Cunniff skilfully brought down a long ball in from the right by Dusi and clipped the ball into Clark fifteen yards out in the centre of goal. Smith flung himself to his right to tip away Clark’s first time effort, but the assistant’s flag was raised anyway.

From this point on the home side began to enjoy the majority of possession, but Ives solid defensive formation was proving very hard for them to break down and their chances were very limited. The best of them in the ninety minutes came in 67th minute as Rod Young found space to fire in a low cross from the right that substitute Murat Karagul flicked on at the near post. DaCosta arriving late at the far post volleyed his powerful effort well over the top.

Young was again involved ten minutes later as he cut in from the left and fired in a powerful effort from 25 yards that Trebes did well to block, but could not hold. But Ives back line was high enough to ensure that their keeper had time to recover and pounce on the loose ball.

With the game moving into added time and Ives travelling faithful getting ready to celebrate another good night on the road Peter Clark made a wrong decision in central midfield that ultimately cost two points. The ball arrived at his feet and he had time to deliver the ball forward into space, or lay it back to Sinclair, so that he could do the same. But with no one in the wide position he chose to turn back inside and was robbed by Liam Griffin. Griffin fed the ball out wide right to Young, Jarrold blocked his attempted cross and the ball went out for a throw.

But Young picked up the ball and hurled a long throw into the box that Ives defence failed to clear, the loose ball ran to Kieran Bishop who managed to force it home through a host of players on the line to grab the Blues an unlikely share of the points and leave the Ives fans dreaming of what might have been as we again failed to rise to top spot in the table.

By a unanimous vote the supporters behind the goal gave the man of the match award, on a night when everyone battled well and gave 100% for the cause, to Scott Sinclair who did an excellent job in keeping quiet two very tricky wingers as the home pair kept interchanging. He also found a couple of opportunities to probe into opposition territory, but was always very aware of his main role and ensured he was back in position if we lost possession. His decision making could also not be faulted as he chose the right options to deliver the ball in to feet when the opportunity arose, but equally went for the safe option of the clip over the top into space when required.

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St Ives team : Trebes, Sinclair, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Gentle, Dusi, Seymour-Shove (Moyes 88), Cunniff, Eason (Watson 73), Clark, Draycott

Unused subs : O’Malley

Goals : Fowler – own goal (10)

Supporters Man of the Match : Scott Sinclair

Final Score :  Ware 1 St Ives Town 1

Attendance  :  95