St Ives Town
In the newly formed Southern Central league, and for the opening day of the 2018-19 season management duo Mike Fowler and Tim Harris picked from a depleted squad, with no less than five players (Beswick, Sharpe, Lait, Dunkley, Blaney) ruled out with varying degrees of injury and Upton suspended for the first of two games held over from last season.
The Lambs ran out for the first ever time at Westward Road to face The Saints, and the home side kicked off proceedings.
The Lambs appeared to have control of the game in the opening exchanges, but were finding getting the ball forward into dangerous positions difficult against a tenacious backline and on occasion St Ives did get into the box but Wright was on hand to shepherd the ball out of play.
A freekick midway into the Lambs half on 9 was struck by Rogers and taken easily by Singh.
A 16th minute corner by the home side was whipped in from the right and Cartwright flicked his header over the bar at the near post.
At the other end, Morris and Finn lined up a freekick from the left wing and although Kettle got the header into the area but a handball as the ball bounced up on the rock hard pitch, against Waite, halted play.
Asante dropped to the floor holding his ankle on 21 and allowed the players a quick drink break, the striker was unable to continue and so on 24 Mpofu took to the field. Home keeper Trebes did well to deny the incoming run of Waite on 33 and wrong foot the striker as he jinked the ball away and out of the box.
Sundire tried a speculative effort on 36 but his shot was left wanting, after some good footwork to set himself up from 35 yards out.
On 39 Kristian Green did well to get the ball around his marker on the right wing and set up Shaw with a strike from 20 yards but it curled high and wide of the target.
A foul by Paul Green on Sundire on 40 and Kettle got his head to it only for it to deflect off home captain Parker and roll back to Singh.
Wright forced a corner on the left on 42 with a deflected cross that brought some shouts of handball but Finn’s flagkick went off Wallis past the far post.
A foul in injury time at the end of the first half delayed referee Mr. Evans blowing his whistle and also earned Morris a talking to. Wallis then upended Bailey on the left of the box on 47 and Kettle headed it away before the whistle blew.
The Saints restarted proceedings and put The Lambs on the backfoot from the off and it looked like a penalty had been conceded but the ball had gone out of play and then the Saints player went down, causing some disagreement amongst a few players, but play recommenced with a goal kick.
The only goal of the game came when Singh took a kick off the floor shortly after, it rebounded invitingly to Sundire in the left channel and he had the relatively simple task of floating the ball into the empty net to give the home side the lead (0-1, 52 mins)
Verma replaced Morris on 57 and he directed a good header well wide of the far post on 63 after a pin point driven cross from the right by Waite.
De’ath powered a header straight at Singh on 66 but the flag had already ruled it out had it gone past the keeper, and on 69 Ofori came on for his debut for Shaw.
Wright headed a long clearance out for a corner on 75 but the corner was wasted and Singh raced to get the ball back into play.
Verma hit a rising effort from the edge of the area on 82 which cleared the target by some distance and then Wallis handled it 20 yards out setting up Rogers with the freekick but he only struck the wall.
Trebes was called into action on 84 and he fumbled but Mpofu’s snap follow up was way off target. With minutes ticking away, Paul Green’s block was adjudged to be a high boot and a freekick was given but came to nothing.
Four minutes added time were shown at the end of the game and a foul set up Finn 25 yards out with the deadball but it struck the wall and the offside flag prevented play from continuing.
The Lambs whipped the ball across the box and forced a corner deep into the 94th minute and Singh came up for the flagkick but it was short to the near post and a foul halted the sprint out of the box by the home side.
Singh, Green K, Wright, Green P, Kettle, Wallis, Morris (Verma 57), Shaw (Ofori 69), Waite, Asante (Mpofu 24), Finn
Subs: Thorne, Jezeph
St Ives Town Team:
Trebes, Cartwright, Coulson, McGowan, De’ath, Wilson, Snaith (Seymour-Shove 80), Parker (c.), Bailey (Wilson 87), Rogers (Moyes 90+), Sundire
Subs: Short, Leslie
Referee: Mr. Robert Evans