Redditch United v St Ives Town

Redditch United v St Ives Town

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central  11-02-202

A lacklustre performance saw Ives get what they deserved from the first of their four tough games on the road in the next eleven days. A small degree of mitigation might come from the fact that they were missing two inspirational characters in Michael Richens and Jordan Williams who were both serving bans having clocked up ten bookings in the season to date. To add to that a number of players were suffering from a virus with Ben Toseland not well enough to get on the pitch and Ed Hottor coughing and spluttering his way through the game.

This felt like an opportunity missed as the Reds came into the game on the back of a hefty 7-2 defeat at the hands of Rushall only seven days ago and an early goal from Ives could have dented the fragile confidence in the hosts. But sadly poor marking at an early corner allowed the hosts to get their noses in front and from that point they were never really threatened as Ives huffed and puffed but never looked like breaking their house down.

Reds manager Matt Clarke decided to give the players that had suffered so badly at the Pics a chance to redeem themselves making only two changes to his starting eleven and one of those an enforced move as Tom Hewlett came in for Bernard Mensah who suffered a concussion at Dales Lane. On the other hand Ives manager Ricky Marheineke’s hand was mainly forced on the five changes that he made to the team that had performed so well in beating sixth placed Hitchin in their previous outing.

Despite the small group of youngsters trying their best to create an atmosphere in the Trico Area the game started in a strangely subdued fashion almost like an end of season game between two mid table teams with nothing to play for whereas neither of these two can consider themselves safe from the drop zone yet.

With an unfamiliar centre back pairing of Callum Milne and Charlie Johnson Ives were always going to be a little vulnerable to high balls delivered into their box and the first real opportunity of the game came that way in eleventh minute as Lewis Hudson delivered a deep cross from the left to the back post where Max Sheaf rose highest but directed his header to close to James Dadge in the Ives goal and the keeper made a comfortable save.

But the young stopper had no chance when Ives failed to pick up Jack Byrne at a corner three minutes later. The Reds skipper made a late run to the near post where he met Reece Flanagan’s flag kick from the left cleanly to glance in past the exposed keeper from close range.

Ives first real foray into Reds territory came in 18th minute when Paddy Casey delivered a teasing cross from the right that Jonny Edwards could only hook gently towards goal giving keeper Adam Harrison a very comfortable catch. An Ethan Johnson volley that flew just wide midway through the half and an Edwards 25 yarder that flew a similar distance wide of the opposite post were Ives only other noteworthy efforts before added time at the end of the first half. 

At the other end Dadge was much busier than his opposite number. In 24th minute Flanagan danced past Hottor into the box before drilling a low cross to the near post where Hewlett stabbed it straight into the grateful arms of the Ives keeper from close range.

The same player had another good opportunity to increase the Reds lead just after the half hour. Murphy Culkin delivered a long free kick deep into Ives territory where Milne misjudged his attempt at a headed clearance and only succeeded in flicking the ball on into the run of Hewlett who was clean through but fired wide of Dadge’s left hand post as the keeper came to close him down.

The hosts did manage to double their advantage two minutes later, again from poor Ives marking at a corner. Dadge initially pulled off a very good save to set up the flag kick. Kieran Higgs lost possession on the half way line allowing Hewlett to rob him. The hosts number twelve then exchanged passes with Danny King to get a sight of goal from just inside the box, but Dadge was equal to the strike plunging low to his left to turn the ball around the post. However the visitors had completely turned off as the corner was taken Flanagan took it short to Kornell McDonald who was given all the time in the world to pick out his man with his cross and he chose Culkin powering in at the back post and the big centre back was able to rise unchallenged to head past Dadge from six yards.

The Reds wasted good chance to effectively kill off the game before the interval as the busy Hewlett lead a speedy breakaway  in 41st minute. He strode forward deep into Ives territory before feeding in Hudson cutting in from the left but the overlapping full back skimmed his shot across the face of goal and wide.

Ives had one opportunity to get themselves back in the game right on half time. Higgs did well to get to the bye line on the left before hanging up a deep cross to the edge of the box where Hottor met the dropping ball beautifully on the volley but Harrison was equal to the effort throwing himself to his right to turn the effort around the post.

Two changes at the break were meant to liven up the Ives as Tyrone Baker replaced Greg Kaziboni and Kellan Hickinson came on for Johnston. But the changes had minimal effect to the flow of the game and it continued to look more likely that the hosts would add a third rather than Ives finding a route back into the game. Johnson did just enough to prevent King heading home another Flanagan corner in 58th minute.

The first real efforts on goal in the second half arrived in 66th minute and both sides had a dib inside those sixty seconds. The hosts had the first attempt as Ives struggled to clear yet another ball into their box, the ball eventually falling to Hewlett who drilled in a cross from the left that Sheaf managed to direct over the top from close range. The resulting goal kick saw Hickinson pick up the ball just inside the Reds half before driving at their defence and then feeding in his fellow substitute cutting in from the right. Baker took on the effort first time but drilled his shot straight at Harrison who blocked it with his body and was helped out by his defenders who were quick to react and clear.

Defending corners was still looking difficult for Ives and there were ten minutes left on the watch when King rose highest at the back post to force another save out of Dadge. The visitors were also looking vulnerable to the break as they pushed forward in search of a goal and King should have finished things off in 85th minute as he arrived at pace at the back post to get on the end of Hudson’s low driven cross from the left. But the Reds centre forward got under his effort and managed to lift his shot over the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

Edwards fired Ives final opportunity about a metre wide two minutes later. The big striker had carved out the chance himself as he battled through a pack of defenders to get into the box before unleashing the right footed effort that had Harrison scrambling to get across his goal to cover before it thudded the fence.

The host will gladly take their three points and their clean sheet as they get themselves back on track and move a little closer to another season at this level. Ives must lick their wounds and patch up their squad as they face a vital trip to struggling Stratford Town on Tuesday evening.   

Final Score:  Redditch United  2  St Ives Town  0   


REDDITCH: Byrne 14, Culkin 33


Team Line Ups:

REDDITCH: Harrison, McDonald (Solomon 86), Hudson (Duggins 90+5), Byrne (capt), Wollacott, Flanagan, King, Culkin, Hewlett (Clews 77), Sheaf, Riley, Unused subs: McDonald, Solomon, Smith, Duggins, Hewlett

ST IVES: Dadge, Casey, Herd (capt), Hottor, Milne, Johnson, Kaziboni (Baker 46), Cowling, Edwards, Johnston (Hickinson 46), Higgs (Shariff 80), Unused subs: Toseland  

Cards: Yellow:  REDDITCH: Sheaf (65)    ST IVES: Edwards (15) 


Attendance:  339

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video highlights by Ollie Jones.


Redditch United v St Ives Town

Redditch United v St Ives Town 

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 05-03-2022

One moments loss of concentration cost Ives what would have been a hard earned but well deserved point. That fatal loss came late on as Ben Toseland lost possession to Kieren Donnelly on half way and then failed to follow his opposite number as the full back burst forward, fed the ball to Aram Soleman on the right and continued into the box to get on the end of the midfielders low cross and sweep the ball home off the far post.

That shot was the hosts first on target of the entire game which had otherwise been a very even encounter in which defences had ruled the roost throughout on both sides and chances had been very much at a premium with little to write home about.

The game had not started well for Ives as influential skipper Brett Solkhon limped off after only three minutes. The injury appeared to be self inflicted as he tripped when attempting a clearance. His replacement was Ed Hottor who slotted into an unfamiliar role at centre back alongside Oran Jackson and Callum Milne in a three man back line.

The first shot of the game, and the only one on target in the first 45 minutes came from Liam Cross in the eleventh minute as he cut inside from the right past Lewis Hudson and fired in a low drive from 20 yards that was straight at Reds keeper Kieran Boucher who made a comfortable save.

The other noteworthy items from a first half full of energy and endeavour but low on attacking quality were at 29th minute booking for Hottor as he clumsily upended Dan Sweeney on the right hand corner of Ives box. But as so much of the first period Ryan Edmunds’s free kick failed to get past Ives defensive wall.

An error in the Reds back line almost presented Ives with an opportunity in 32nd minute as Michael Richens pounced on a loose ball after an attempted Calum Flanagan clearance had hit Bernard Mensah. Richens burst away down the right and got to the bye line his attempted pull back found Cross but his well struck effort was deflected away for a corner.

The best chance for either side came deep into time added on for Solkhon’s injury when Donnelly overlapped down the right and fired in a low cross that was met at the near post by Mensah who was unlucky to see his flicked effort flash inches past the opposite upright.

The same pattern of the game continued after the break with attempted through balls either being over, or under hit, or simply misplaced. Tyrone Baker showed a perfect example of that when he spurned an early second half opportunity. He picked up the ball fully forty yards from goal and ran at the host’s defence which opened up ahead of him. But rather than go on and get his shot away he tried to thread a pass into the run of Nabil Shariff but overhit it allowing Boucher to comfortably gather.

A moment of unusual excitement occurred in 51st minute when keeper Boucher inexplicably picked up an obvious back pass from Jack Byrne. Referee Ben Cooke spotted the infringement and awarded Ives an indirect free kick twelve yards from goal. With all eleven Reds players behind the ball getting a sight of goal was always going to be difficult and sure enough when the kick was touched sideways to Toseland his fierce effort was bravely blocked at point blank range. The ball ricocheted to Baker on the edge of the box who blazed well over the top.

Long range shots from Edmunds and Byrne in the 57th and 68th minutes respectively flew well off target as both sides continued to work hard to prevent their opposition venturing to far into staunchly defended territory.

Having gained relief from the FA who chalked off his previous booking in the county cup quarter final as not a first team booking Richens did clock up his fifteenth of the season in needless fashion in 70th minute going down theatrically inside the box under challenge from Flanagan and earning an instant yellow for simulation from referee Cooke.

The roving Donnelly gave another glimpse of his threat in 83rd minute as he attacked the box from the right before delivering a low cross that rebounded around with Ives struggling to clear. The ball falling to Sweeney who fired wide from a good position just inside the box. Only seconds later the same player almost got onto a clip over the top through the left channel. Callum Milne and keeper Brearey doing just enough between them to prevent him doing so.

Ives had half a chance at the other end with three minutes to go but Josh Flanagan wasted it as he fouled Edmunds as he tried to bustle his way to the far post to get onto the end of Dylan Williams clip from the left.

Then with only seconds of the ninety remaining came the fatal mistake that undid all of Ives hard work and made sure that the in-form Reds extended their unbeaten league run to nine games. There was still time for Victor Aiyelabola to pick up one of the quickest yellow cards in history, within five seconds of entering the fray as a late attacking replacement for Hottor. He clattered into Edmunds who had received the throw in taken to re-start the game following his introduction to the game.

With other sides at the bottom end of the table also dropping points this was not as bad a result as it might have been which is at least something of a positive. To counteract that the talismanic Richens will now miss three of Ives vital remaining eight games as he serves his upcoming suspension. They also face the prospect of being without skipper Solkhon for some of those games as well should he take longer than hoped for to get over his latest injury setback. A hugely important period in Ives season is approaching and it will start with a true six pointer against fellow strugglers Nuneaton Borough at quattro tech Westwood Road on 19th March. Make sure that you are there to get behind the boys and be that vital twelfth man.

Final Score : Redditch United  1  St Ives Town  0    

Goals : 

REDDITCH: Donnelly 89



REDDITCH: Boucher, Donnelly, Hudson, Soleman, C. Flanagan, Wollacott, Rankin (Hewlett 49), Sweeney, Mensah, Edmunds (Digie 88), Byrne, Unused subs: Rowbottom, Dawes, Charlton

ST IVES: Brearey, J. Flanagan, Solkhon (capt) (Hottor 7, Aiyelabola 89), Richens, Milne, Toseland, Baker (Johnston 82), Jackson, Shariff, Cross, Williams, Unused subs: Kettle, Goff

Ives Supporters man of the match : Oran Jackson

Attendance : 365

Report by Nigel Howlett


Redditch United v St Ives Town

Photos by Louise Thompson


Redditch United vs St Ives Town

Redditch United 2 St Ives Town 0

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Central Division 18-08-18

Ives were brought down to earth as their exciting start to the season came to a juddering end at The Trico Stadium. But as is so often the case at this level the game hinged on fine margins. If George Bailey’s early effort that was tipped onto the post or Sam Cartwright’s free header seconds later had gone in this game could have gone on a completely different route.

Following defeats in both of their opening two games during which they shipped nine goals the Reds changed their keeper and two of the back four but they still looked very shaky at the back in the early exchanges. The game was only two minutes old when Ollie Snaith was hauled down just outside the right hand corner of the box by Jordan Mills. It looked like an ideal opportunity for Declan Rogers to curl a left footer into the danger zone but instead he went for goal and only succeeded in hitting the wall.

Ives continued to put on the early pressure and Rogers had a much more telling contribution only two minutes later as he slid a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Bailey through the left channel. The young striker took a touch and unleashed a low left footed effort across keeper Louis Conner, the Reds stopper hurled himself to his left and just got finger tips onto the ball to divert it onto the post. The loose ball was scrambled away at the expense of a corner. Cartwright lost his marker and rose majestically at the back post to get a clean header onto Rogers corner, but he could only direct his free header well over the top from ten yards.

Having failed to take either of those early opportunities Ives then found themselves behind as they gifted the hosts an opener in their first meaningful attack in tenth minute. Caolan Boyd-Munce found some space on the left and delivered a telling cross into the box. Joe Hood making his Ives debut was aware of Montel Gibson arriving behind him at the far post. In stretching to reach the ball Hood succeeded in diverting it away from Gibson, but only managed to knock it down to the feet of ex Aston Villa and St Neots striker Stefan Moore inside the box. Moore did not need a second invitation as he curled the ball high into the top left hand corner of the net giving Tim Trebes no chance.

It took a brave save from Trebes to prevent the Ives going two behind only ninety seconds later. Boyd-Munce and Gibson combined well on the right before the latter drove in another dangerous cross and Trebes had to hurl himself in to touch the ball off the feet of Moore.

Now with their noses in front the confidence began to flow through the Reds and their dangerous forward line continued to carve out chances. Full back Jamie Ashmore got forward in support of Gibson in 19th minute and delivered another telling cross into the box. The ball arrived at the back post where Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham made light of the awkward bouncing ball as he acrobatically hooked in an effort that Trebes had to plunge to his left to keep out.

The hosts continued to press forward in search of a second goal and succeeded in doubling their advantage in 22nd minute. Initially a poor clearance from Jarvis Wilson fell to the feet of Joe Stokes 35 yards from goal. He picked out Leachman-Whittingham on the left and Wilson did well to recover and block Moore’s effort as he got on the end of Leachman-Whittingham’s low cross. The resulting corner was delivered into the mix where an under pressure Trebes only managed to knock it away to just outside the box. Liam Francis pounced on the loose ball and drove in a low shot that deflected off Snaith on it’s way past Trebes and into the bottom corner of the net.

The keeper was called into spectacular action to deny Declan Benjamin a third ten minutes later. Charlie De’ath powerfully headed away a deep Leachman-Whittingham cross to the back post but the ball fell invitingly to the feet of the Reds number eight fully 35 yards from goal. He accepted the invitation and unleashed a thunderous dipping volley that Trebes did remarkably well to keep out as he hurled himself high to his right to fingertip the ball around the post.

Ives thought that they had found themselves a way back into the game ten minutes before the break as Bailey seized an opportunity to run at the Reds back line before slipping the ball through into the run of Rogers. The skilful midfielder wriggled his way away from Francis skipped around the Reds keeper and rolled the ball into the net only to be denied by an assistant’s flag.

The close shave lifted the visitors and Munashe Sundire came within inches of pulling a goal back only two minutes later. The tricky Ives winger timed his run to perfection to get on the end of a clip over the top by Bailey just ahead of Conner, but the keeper acrobatically hurled himself high to his right to turn away Munashe’s attempted flick over his head.

There was one final opportunity for Ives to get a goal back before the break as Snaith was again bundled over by Mills just outside the right hand corner of the box. This time Rogers curled free kick found a way through the melee in the centre of the goal and arrived at the feet of Bailey at the back post. But his well struck effort was bravely blocked at point blank range by the combined efforts of Francis and keeper Conner.

With Sundire carrying a knock manager Ricky Marheineke made an early change in the second half introducing Danny Kelly for his seasonal debut. The substitute spurned an opportunity to get Ives back in the game only three minutes after his introduction in 52nd minute. He received a ball from Snaith into his feet in the box and exchanged passes with Robbie Parker before failing to make clean contact with his effort from eight yards out.

Kelly was also heavily involved in carving out Ives next opportunity in 63rd minute as he skilfully took down a long throw turned his marker and rolled the ball across the edge of the box into the run of Tom McGowan but the all action midfielder tried to side foot his effort and although he got it on goal it was straight at Conner who made a comfortable save.

Ives continued to work hard, but The Reds were not about to concede their two goal advantage and in spite of two more positive substitutions by Marheineke the visitors continued to struggle to find a route through the hosts back line which began to look more and more solid as the game wore on.

The only further chances in the game both came the way of the hosts as Ives tried to chase the game. Ashmore delivered a dangerous cross from the right in 81st minute that an under pressure Cartwright almost sliced into his own net just screwing the ball past the post.

Reds substitute Luke Keen should have delivered the coup de grace two minutes into added time as he arrived on the end of a cross from the right by fellow sub Jayden McColla. He opened his body perfectly looking to side foot the ball past the exposed Trebes but got it all wrong and only managed to slice the ball well wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

This game only goes to reinforce what I think we already know that every game in this League will be a tough one and if we are going to get something from them every player must perform to their best for the full ninety minutes. Maybe it was a touch of tiredness after two very tough games in four days, or perhaps Ives under estimated their opponents Either way they were little bit off the level of the previous two games and got punished on the day. On the positive side six points from three very tough games two of them away from home is probable better than we could have wished for and hopefully this will be lesson learnt that will not be repeated.

Result : Redditch United 2 St Ives Town 0

Goals : none

Team : Trebes, Cartwright, Hood, McGowan, De’ath, Jarvis Wilson, Snaith (Seymour-Shove 76), Parker (capt), Bailey, Rogers (Dylan Wilson 61), Sundire (Kelly 52)

Unused subs : O’Connor, Leslie

Man of the match : Robbie Parker

Attendance : 202

Match report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson