Alvechurch v St Ives Town

Alvechurch v St Ives Town

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central  18-02-2023

Ailing Ives were put to the sword by The Church in a one sided affair which saw the hosts in need of points to pull themselves away from the bottom four show no mercy to their visitors who were so decimated by illness and injury that they could only name two on the bench and had at least four players in the starting eleven still suffering badly from the virus which has laid low so many of the squad in recent weeks.

To add to Ives woes they had Nabil Shariff dismissed early in the second half by an over officious match official who deemed an innocuous tackle in the centre of the park worthy of showing the visitors striker a second yellow card. To give referee Liam Beames his due very few could have disagreed with the first card that Shariff had picked up for jumping into Ben Cassidy right in front of the home dugout just before half time but he was massively unlucky to pick up the second.

There was a little good news for Ives before the off as they welcomed back skipper Michael Richens from suspension and Ed Hottor was considered recovered enough to start, but to counter that Jonny Edwards and Tyrone Baker had both succumbed to the virus raging through the camp and had not travelled. They were added to the already missing Enoch Andoh, Myles Cowling and Callum Milne. With doubts over whether, or not, Jordan Williams, Ben Toseland, Hottor and Kellan Hickinson would last the course as they too were suffering.

The one thing that Ives needed to steady the ship was a solid start but they got anything but as Tom Edge’s attempted cross from the right struck the outstretched arm of Ben Toseland inside the box in only the second minute. Danny Waldon made no mistake sending James Dadge the wrong way with the resulting spot kick. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors ten minutes later. Edge and Ash Carter combined well just outside the box to present Waldron with another shooting opportunity. His shot is blocked by Williams but the ball ricochets to the unmarked Remi Walker who slots it home from ten yards to double the host’s lead.

Toseland was clearly suffering, but with only two on the bench an early change would be far from ideal. Another error from him in 23rd minute presented the Church with another good opportunity. The struggling centre back’s poor defensive header fell to Leo Brown just outside the box and Dadge did well to keep out his well struck effort plunging low to his left and hanging onto the shot.

Dadge was in action again in 29th minute as he leapt high to tip over a well directed header from Harry Williams. The chance had been carved out by a clever corner from the right by Edge who had picked out Ben Cassidy in space 25 yards out and his cross had in turn picked out Williams in the centre.

Ives then surprised their hosts by pulling a goal back in 34th minute. Johnny Herd delivered a long free kick into the box from the right. Keeper Dan Jezeph elected to come to try and claim it but under pressure from friend and foe alike he spilled it allowing Williams to direct an effort on goal. The initial shot was blocked but the ball ran out to the edge of the box where Hickinson unleashed a fierce drive that may, or may not, have been going in. Either way Ethan Johnston showed his predators touch by directing the ball just inside the post to put Ives back in the game.

Sadly that optimism lasted less than two minutes as Toesland was again caught out with Waldron powering past him down the right, cutting inside and beating Dadge emphatically low to his left from just inside the box to restore the host’s two goal advantage.

Shariff picked up his first yellow card for leading with an elbow as he jumped into a challenge with Church full back Cassidy three minutes before the break. He picked up his second to take Ives down to ten men eleven minutes later for what could be described as nothing more than a clumsy attempt to take the ball off Aurio Neto-Teixeira inside the centre circle. Referee Beames took plenty of time to consider his decision before eventually issuing the second yellow, followed by the red to the bemused Ives centre forward.

Manager Ricky Marheineke had already made one substitution at half time replacing Johnston with Kieran Higgs so with only one card left to play and that a defender in Charlie Johnson he had no real options to change things much to compensate for going down to ten men. The only real change was Greg Kaziboni being given a bit more licence to come inside from the right to try and fill that missing central striker role.

Three minutes after going down to ten men the visitors conceded another poor goal to allow Waldron to complete his hat trick. The struggling Toseland was again at fault as he allowed Walker to get the wrong side of him. The host’s number ten got to the bye line before picking out Edge with his pull back. The midfielder miss hit his shot across the face of goal, but the ever alert Waldron pounced on the loose ball to prod it home at the back post.

The ailing Toseland was replaced by Johnson immediately after the goal in an effort to put a little more solidity back into Ives back four. But it was the Church who continued to go in search of more goals. Brown was denied a goal by an assistants upraised flag on the hour after he had been fed clean through the centre by Walker. Three minutes later Edge had a shot blocked on the edge of the box and Walker slammed the loose ball inches wide of Dadge’s left hand post.

The ten men of St Ives had two noteworthy efforts in the second period and they came in a five minute spell starting with twenty minutes to go when Richens forced Jezeph to scramble across his goal as his thirty yard effort crept about one metre wide. The second effort in 75th minute was a genuine chance as Herd’s long throw from the left touchline fell to Johnson inside the box. But the substitute snatched at the chance and dragged his effort well wide.

The remainder of the game saw the hosts enjoying complete control and moving the ball around well against the tiring ten men. But to give them their due Ives continued to work hard to limit the chances for Church to add to their lead. Young striker Ben Beresford came close to opening his account for the club in 77th minute as he fired a ball fed in from the right by Neto-Tiexiera inches wide.

The last two chances both fell to the hard working Brown who looked desperate to claim his first goal since early November. In 86th minute he combined well with substitute Jed Abbey to get inside the box, but Williams did just enough to deflect his effort wide. The final opportunity for Brown to claim that elusive goal arrived two minutes into stoppage time as he cut inside from the right before firing in a powerful drive from just outside the box that was straight into the midriff of Dadge.

His never say die attitude earned the battling Ed Hottor the accolade as Ives man of the match from the small travelling contingent. However he blotted his copy book by picking up his ninth yellow card of the season in the closing minutes and he needs to somehow avoid picking up another before 12th March to evade a two game ban. The win moves Church three points clear of the drop zone with up to six games in hand on the teams around them and they look a certainty to stay up. Defeat sees Ives drop to thirteenth only six points ahead of the day’s victors and just nine points above the bottom four.

Final Score:  Alvechurch  4  St Ives Town  1   


ALVECHURCH: Waldron 3 (pen), 36 & 57, Walker 13

ST IVES: Johnston 34

Team Line Ups:

ALVECHURCH: Jezeph, Dugmore, Cassidy, Alabi, H. Williams, Carter (capt), Neto-Teixeira, Edge (Burton 65), Brown, Walker (Abbey 81), Waldron (Beresford 74), Unused subs:, Randle, Concannon

ST IVES: Dadge, Casey, Herd, Richens (capt), J. Williams, Toseland (Johnson 58), Kaziboni, Hottor, Johnston (Higgs 46), Hickinson, Shariff, Unused subs: none

Cards: Yellow:  ALVECHURCH: Neto-Teixeira (20), Edge (45),   ST IVES: Richens (61), Hottor (89)

Red: Shariff (54) (2 x yellows)


Attendance:  294

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones.


Alvechurch v St Ives Town

Alvechurch v St Ives Town  

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 02-10-2021

The question being asked by Ives supporters at the end “was this a hard earned point on the road, or two points dropped?”. The statistics would certainly suggest the former with the Church registering 17 shots, eight on target, to Ives four shots, three on target. But to counteract that Nathan Hicks missed the chance of the game in the last minute of the first half and had it gone in the visitors would have been sitting on a two goal advantage that they would have been fancied to defend.

With Ives in desperate need of finding a way to arrest their run of nine games without a win and even longer run without keeping a clean sheet manager Ricky Marheineke was expected to make changes and he did with Callum Milne and Eniola Agemoh-Davies recalled to the starting eleven in place of the suspended Brett Solkhon and Samir Nabi who dropped to the bench.

The hosts were quick out of the traps and would have gone in front after only ninety seconds but for a brilliant goal line clearance from Milne after Luke Yates had got clear through the right channel and beaten Paul White with a crisp drive that was heading for the far corner of the net before Milne’s timely intervention.

Sam McLintock also went close to putting the Church in front only seconds later as Zak Brown and Dave Bellis combined well to feed him through on the left, but the host’s winger pulled his shot wide from a good position.

White almost gifted the hosts the lead on ten minutes as he stopped his action part way through an attempted throw out to Josh Flanagan. The ball shot from his grasp and fell at the feet of Anthony Dwyer who should have scored but White redeemed himself by pulling off a brilliant double save to keep out his well struck effort and then bravely dive in at the feet of Nick Clayton-Phillips to prevent him slotting home the loose ball.

Ives first meaningful attack came in thirteenth minute as their high pressing game almost brought dividends. Liam Cross hounded Ash Carter into a mistake deep in his own territory, played a one two with Nabil Shariff and slammed in a low drive that brought a smart one handed save low to his right out of home keeper Dan Jezeph. Shariff almost got onto the rebound but the ball bounced wide off his knee.

Toseland needlessly brought down Dwyer 30 yards from goal in a central position in 20th minute. The resulting free kick ultimately led to a seven minute delay as Bellis got on the end of Clayton-Phillips free kick and beat White with his effort only to be denied by the assistant’s raised flag. However in his effort to keep the ball out of the net Milne had slid into the goal and torn the netting off the crossbar. A hurried call for the groundsman, search for cable ties, and call for a chair to stand on to make the repairs meant the players were all able to enjoy a long drink break.

When play eventually resumed it took a while for both sides to get back into the flow of it again. The next opportunity went the way of the hosts in 33rd minute as a corner from the right was cleverly pulled back to Clayton-Phillips on the edge of the box. His initial effort was blocked but the ball ricocheted to Carter who unleashed a screamer that brought the best out of White as the big keeper leap spectacularly to fingertip the ball over the top.

By this point Ives were beginning to look dangerous on the break and it was from just such a situation that they went in front two minutes later. Shariff showed brilliant touch to take down a ball out of defence and feed in Cross on the right. The youngster showed great composure to get his head up and picked out Dylan Williams all on his own at the back post. Williams showed equal composure as he took a touch before slotting the ball under the body of the exposed Jezeph.

The hosts responded well to going behind and they were quickly back on the attack. Clayton-Phillips and McLintock combined well down the right. The move ending with the latter firing in a dipping 25 yarder that skipped off the turf just in front off White. The big keeper could not hold onto the effort but again he reacted brilliantly to claim the loose ball just ahead of Clayton-Phillips. The keeper was in spectacular action again in 43rd minute as he leapt full length to his right to palm away and stinging effort from overlapping full back Jamie Ashmore after he had been put through by Dwyer.

In the last minute of the 45 came Hicks miss that could have put Ives on the road to victory. Cross galloped away down the right and got to the bye line before delivering an inviting ball along the six yard line where Hicks was arriving at pace unmarked. The ball only had to hit him to rebound into the net but somehow he failed to make any contact at all and the chance was gone. The added seven minutes brought no further telling action before the break finally arrived.

It was the turn of McLintock to squander the hosts first opportunity of the second half as he failed to hit the target from an excellent position having got onto the end of a ball clipped into the box by Bellis only twenty seconds after the restart.

Ives last good chance to make their afternoon a little more comfortable came in 49th minute as Williams fed in Cross cutting in from the right. His crisp low drive from just inside the box was well kept out by Jezeph who dived low to his right to palm the ball away one handed at full stretch.

All of the host’s possession and pressure finally brought them reward in 64th minute. Carter played in Yates down the left and his low driven cross was forced home at the far post from close range by Clayton-Phillips as he slid in.

Having got level the hosts continued to press forward in search of a winner but they found Ives defence in much more resolute mood than it has been in recent games. All of the visitors back line were sticking to their task well and where necessary putting their bodies on the line to block shots and crosses from being delivered into their box. When a shot eventually got through in 82nd minute it was a piledriver from Carter that stung the hands of White as he parried it away. The keeper was thankful that the follow up from Bellis was less powerful and straight at him and he held on well.  

White deserved a little good fortune and he got it in 90th minute as a free kick from the right rebounded off Ives wall and fell to substitute Charlie Dowd who carefully curled the ball off the outside of his right boot from the edge of the D, it arced around the full length dive of White but cannoned to safety off the top of his right hand upright.

The hosts had one last chance to win it in the second of five added minutes when three players all arrived together at the far post to get on the end of a corner from the right. One of them should have directed a header on target but fortunately for Ives they all got in each other’s way and the ball sailed harmlessly wide off the shoulder of Carter.

My personal verdict, although it could have been more, on the balance of play this was a good point on the road. Unlike recent games there were also a number of contenders who got a mention for Ives man of the match amongst the small group of Ives faithful followers behind the goal. Callum Milne, Dylan Williams and Ben Toseland all had their best games in a while but the accolade went to Camron McWilliams who as well as winning a whole host of vital tackles and interceptions also got forward to support the attack whenever possible.

Final Score: Alvechurch  1  St Ives Town  1      


ALVECHURCH: Clayton-Phillips 64

ST IVES: Williams 35


ALVECHURCH: Jezeph, Ashmore (Dowd 87), Sephton, Bellis, Willets (capt), Carter, McLintock (Turton 76), Brown, Dwyer (Waldron 76), Clayton-Phillips, Yates Unused subs : Patterson, Phillips

ST IVES: White, Agemoh-Davies, Toseland, Richens (capt), Milne, Flanagan, Cross, Williams (Nabi 87), Shariff (Snelus 87), McWilliams, Hicks (Parker 79)) Unused subs : Heath, Faris Rhaman

Ives Supporters man of the match : Camron McWilliams

Attendance : 102

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Alvechurch TV


Alvechurch v St Ives Town

Alvechurch v St Ives Town

BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 19-10-19

A poor performance from the lacklustre Ives saw them fall to defeat against one of their rivals in the lower reaches of the table as the Church grabbed their first maximumreturn from a League game since August.

Finley Iron’s loan period from Cambridge United had been extended into the new year in midweek and he was already earning his money as early as second minute when he had to get down smartly to his right to keep out a crisp low drive from Jordan Goddard after Aaron Birch had cut out a poor clearance from Ty Ward and fed in the midfielder.

Charlie Johnson was also earning his corn early on and he did well to bravely slide in and block a Kevin Monteiro shot at point blank range after the speedy number ten had run onto a Kyle Perry flick.

The early pressure from the Church continued and the combination of Perry and Monteiro continued to cause problems for Ives. In 27th minute Perry flicked on a long ball down the park to the feet of his fellow striker who returned the compliment to set up the big man for a rasping drive from 20 yards that Iron saved well low to his right.

The incessant pressure finally brought reward for the hosts in 29th minute as Javia Roberts picked up a ball 35 yards from goal and cut in from the left before firing in a low drive from just outside the D that crept in the bottom corner past an unsighted Iron.

Ives first real attack of the game finally arrived ten minutes before the break when Dylan Wilson pinged a perfect pass out of the centre of the park to pick out Ben Seymour-Shove wide on the left. His driven cross was spilled by home keeper Joe Slinn but he was saved from embarrassment by his skipper Jamie Willets who just scrambled the loose ball away from Matt Foy.

The visitors first shot on target came only sixty seconds later when full back Jeff Woodward got away down the right before picking out debutant George Boland just outside the box. He took a touch then fired in a right footed effort that Slinn saved well low to his left.

The final few minutes of the half were a little more even but neither side were able to create much so the hosts went into the break with their slender advantage intact. Ives supporters were not to downhearted at this point as they were still remembering Tuesday evening when in similar circumstances their heroes came out for the restart with all guns blazing and quickly got themselves in front. But sadly there was no repeat at Lye Meadow and it was the hosts who quickly returned to running the show. Iron was forced to turn a 30 yard strike from Monteiro around the post only two minutes after the restart.

With the sun still shining but rain clouds building up a rainbow appeared over the clubhouse but there was little time for the embattled Ives to enjoy its splendour as the hosts continued to enjoy the possession and the larger the life Perry continued to be a thorn in their side. He combined well with Roberts just after the hour before delivering a low cross from the left which Monteiro was just unable to turn home at the back post.

The Church continued to rack up chances but were unable to put them away. In 71st minute centre back Kyle Morrison managed to lose his marker at the near post to get a free header from a Goddard corner from the right but he failed to hit the target from eight yards. 

The hosts chances to kill the game off continued to rack up and in 74th minute Mitchell Botfield delivered a deep cross beyond the back post which Roberts diving in should have done better with but again he failed to hit the target with his free header.

Four minutes later it was Willets turn to be wasteful as he towered above the Ives defenders to get on the end of another Goddard corner but like his colleagues before him he failed to trouble Iron as his header flew well over the top.

The best opportunity for the hosts to finally kill things off came eleven minutes from time as Goddard got away clear down the centre at pace and closed on goal. But Dylan Wilson showed that he to has some real pace as he caught up with the speedy winger and did just enough to deflect his shot onto the foot of the post. Fortunately for Ives the rebound took the ball straight into the hands of the grateful Iron.

The wasteful Church had a final chance to finish off the woeful Ives three minutes later as Perry showed a surprising turn of pace to close down Iron as the keeper sprinted from his line to try to hack clear a long ball out of defence. The big striker blocked the attempted clearance and gained possession but he was still denied the goal his performance probably deserved as Johnson slid in to block his goal bound effort inside the six yard box.

Having missed so many chances to clinch the three points the hosts must have been nervous of conceding late but the closest Ives came to threatening them was a couple of corners in the last five minutes although neither of these led to an effort on goal so they happily claimed what has to be said was a fairly comfortable win.

The only few positives for Ives on such a poor day were that at least the many injured players must be getting closer to fitness and the other sides down the bottom end of the table, except rock bottom Leiston, all lost as well.

Final Score : Alvechurch  1  St Ives Town  0     

Goals :  none

Team : Iron, Phillips (Moyes 80), Ward (Dawkin 64), Wood (capt), Woodward, Johnson, Jarvis Wilson, Boland (Clifton 58), Foy, Dylan Wilson, Seymour-Shove 

Unused subs : Patrick, 

Supporters man of the match : Charlie Johnson

Attendance : 183

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.


Alvechurch vs St Ives Town

Alvechurch 2 St Ives Town 1

Evostik Southern League Premier Division Central – 13-10-18

A flowing display of passing football in a second half dominated by Ives failed to bring any reward for the visitors from their first ever trip to the windswept Lye Meadow as the Church took the spoils courtesy of a somewhat fortunate opener midway through the first half and a well taken second just after the hour. The goal that Ives build up play deserved only arrived deep in added time and proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

Ives suffered a blow in the pre-match warm up as previously ever present Jarvis Wilson pulled up with an injury to be replaced in the starting eleven by Owen Wallis. With storm Callum providing a strong breeze diagonally from the Redditch end of this small but picturesque ground in the Worcestershire hills it was never going to be an easy day for either side.

Ives came within inches of going in front from their first free kick of the game in ninth  minute. Skipper Robbie Parker curled in the kick from the right and Wallis got across in front of his marker to power in a header from ten yards that beat keeper Paul Evans but hit the inside of the post and rebounded straight to Wallis with the Ives man now on his knees he did well to redirect his second header only inches wide.

The Church came equally close to the opening goal on the quarter hour as Josh Ezewele found space on the right to curl in a cross that picked out Kieron Cook who had dropped off at the back post. Crook steered his downward header goalwards with the ball just clipping the outside of the post on its way into the side netting.

The opener did arrive in 28th minute as left back Zak Foster was not closed down as a throw was fed beck to him wide left. He curled a dangerous cross into the box, and with everyone watching big centre forward Aaron Lloyd, Mitchell Botfield managed to ghost between defenders to flick the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards.

Ives had a very good opportunity to get on level terms straight away as the hard working Ollie Snaith was hauled down by Kyle Morrison on the edge of the D only ninety seconds later. A perfect chance to get a shot on target and test the keeper but Parker chose a different option trying to play in Bailey as he peeled off the five man Church wall but he overhit the ball and it rolled harmlessly out of play.

The Church full backs were both seizing every opportunity to raid forward and six minutes later Ezewele exchanged passes with Dave Bellis before surging on into the box from the right. It took a brave last ditch challenge from Wallis to prevent him doubling the hosts advantage.

Ives were still well in this game as a contest and had a good shout for a penalty turned down four minutes before the break, Parker and Snaith exchanged passes down the right after chasing down a long Sam Wilson punt four minutes from the break. The move finished with Parker breaking into the box before being clipped from behind and going down. Referee Robbie Dadley was right on the spot and instantly waved the appeals away.

Perhaps a little unfortunate to go in one down Ives came out for the second half determined to get back on terms and went close twice in thirty seconds only five minutes after the restart. George Bailey showed an excellent touch to turn his maker and fire in a skimming left footed effort from 20 yards that Evans did well to turn around the post plunging low to his right. Joe Hood delivered the resulting corner from the right into the mix where Sam Cartwright rose highest at the back post but powered his header inches wide. 

Ives continued to move the ball around well at pace keeping it on the deck to overcome the gale force wind but on each occasion they got to the edge of the Church box they either chose the wrong option, just failed to pick out the runner with the intended through ball, or got caught offside.

Having failed to find a way through the visitors then found themselves with a bigger hill to climb as they fell two behind just after the hour Church skipper Jamie Willets managed to get a clear run inside the Ives box to power home a header from a long Botfield free kick.

Falling further behind knocked Ives confidence and it took a good save low to his left by keeper Wilson to keep out a stinging low drive from the edge of the box by Bellis as he ran onto a Botfield flick and hit it first time only seconds later.

A poor Mark Coulson back pass put Wilson under pressure in 68th minute but the young keeper sprinted from his line to just hack the ball off the toe of the fast closing Lloyd. The ball arced on the breeze to Bellis inside the centre circle and the tricky winger went for the spectacular with a first time effort that was on target. Fortunately young Wilson again showed his pace and agility to get back into his six yard box and make the save.

Manager Ricky Marheineke was still making every effort to find a route back into the game as he replaced the tiring Snaith and Jordan Patrick with Ben Baker and Dylan Wilson. With Parker and Tom McGowan ruling the midfield this pair and the pacey Bailey and Munashe Sundire continued to trouble the hosts defence but it did not crack. Another Hood corner in 76th minute carved out another half chance. The ball into the six yard box rebounded off a defender onto the head of Wallis who did well to direct his header on target but could not get any power on it and the goal bound effort was hacked away by a covering defender.

The final Ives substitution was the replacement of Sundire by Ben Seymour-Shove ten minutes from time and the wide man seemed to have a point to prove as he instantly seized every opportunity to take on the much bigger Church defenders. Baker similarly was looking to run at the hosts back line whenever possible. The two combined to go close in 86th minute. Baker burst through the centre before feeding the ball into Seymour-Shove just outside the box. He showed good touch and a turn of pace to get just enough space to fire in a left footed effort that keeper Evans did well to save low to his left.

The visitors goal arrived three minutes into added time and proved to be little more than a consolation. Hood roaming forward on the right fed the ball into Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box he turned his man well and unleashed a rising drive that keeper Evans did amazingly well to tip onto the post away from the top left hand corner of his net. The ball rebounded across the face of goal. The first man to react was left back Mark Coulson who slammed in his first ever Ives goal from close range.

Ives frustration at getting nothing from this game was personified two minutes later as Seymour-Shove foolishly managed to pick up a yellow card for kicking the ball away having failed to win a free kick to waste the few remaining seconds on the clock. The Ives first home League game for over a month offers them the opportunity to put things right quickly on Tuesday but it is certainly a tough one as they host the unbeaten Waders at Westwood Road.   

Final Score :  Alvechurch  2  St Ives Town  1

Goals :  Coulson 90+3

Team : Sam Wilson, Hood, Coulson, McGowan, Cartwright, Wallis, Sundire (Seymour-Shove 79) Parker (capt), Bailey, Snaith (Baker 62), Patrick (Dylan Wilson 69),

Unused subs : Jarvis Wilson, Kelly

Supporters Man of the match : Robbie Parker

Attendance : 254

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson