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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Match Report - St Ives 0 Hereford 2

Eric reports from Cambridgeshire.

It was a very wet pitch at St. Ives. The club had worked extremely hard to get the game on and many thanks to their volunteers for all their efforts. The ground itself undulates like a golf fairway with several little slopes. In the warm up Puddy sustained a slight injury so Horsell started. St. Ives formed a guard of honour for the champions.
Hereford’s first attack saw Myrie-Williams dancing through only for him to be blocked off. A cross by Bowen was well taken by Trebes. Already the very, very wet pitch was making it hard to play football. The referee allowed generously for this. Both sides perhaps did not play with ultimate commitment. This was a day for sliding tackles, but also one when they could easily be mis-timed in the difficult conditions.
Myrie-Williams and Bowen combined, and James’ cross found Symons whose header was deflected over at the expense of a corner which was cleared. Pablo was pinging in the corners and from the next one Liburd glanced a header just wide. Good work between Richards and Smith forced another corner. When Haysham’s corner was headed back out he shot straight back but it went high and wide after ten minutes.
A surging Myrie-Williams run won a corner. Some silky skills by McGrath saw him send a good cross field ball only for the referee to intercept it, falling over in the process. The ball broke to Myrie-Williams who shot over. Trebes poor clearance was cut out by Symons who quickly sent a diagonal forward to pass to Myrie-Williams who broke on to it. As he cut in he fired in a fierce shot Trebes pushed round the post for yet another corner. 

Mike McGrath On A Run Towards Goal
Bowen had the chance to take a long throw and it was so dangerous McGeorge clipped it away at the near post for a corner. St. Ives first significant action saw Clark get down the right and cross into the middle of the box. Horsell coming out quickly to palm it away. For most of the game Green strolled through imperiously reading the game and providing the organisation and confidence that has given Hereford the best defence in the division.
An excellent long pass by O’Shea found Bowen whose first cross was headed out. Bowen sent it back in and Symons headed wide. Mike was up against the statuesque or should one say slightly Beadlesque shaped Lloyd Groves a man mountain with a good first touch. It was a battle of a young Beadle and the Beast in which Symons consistently got the upper hand.
Myrie-Williams and Bowen were co-ordinating especially well on the left the buccaneering boys constantly causing a threat. A poor clearance by Groves was sharply cut out by Richards who fed Myrie-Williams on the edge of the box. As Jennison went forward the referee adjudged a good tackle had been made as Myrie-Williams went down. A well angled long pass forward by Miles Smith was flicked on by Snaith but Liburd read the danger and shepherded the ball away. Several passes around the edge of the box found Richards. He poked through one of his trademark balls stabbing at the heart of a defence. Symons taking it rolled Miles Smith with ease and got the line pulling back for Smith to head powerfully against the crossbar. The ball bouncing out to the edge of the box for Dara O’Shea to burst onto the awkward half volley and strike pure and powerfully home on 33 minutes.

Captain McGeorge was getting through a lot of defensive work in the middle of the park and Clark occasionally got forward on the right but it was mostly one-way traffic. A particularly nice move in the difficult conditions seeing Haysham, McGrath, and Myrie-Williams passing crisply for a Richards deep cross which Symons got on the end of and Trebes saved. Hereford were comfortably on top and doing their best to contend with a gluepot of a pitch at half time.

The first corner of the second half saw McGrath head over. St. Ives applied a little pressure and Horsell made a comfortable save. Lance fed Symons who sped forward and shot into the side netting. McGrath turned his marked and fired in from 25 yards for Trebes to save. Whilst the match could not be a classic many, St. Ives supporters were bemused and confused that about 40 Hereford fans spent the first twenty minutes of the second half drinking and singing in the bar rather than supporting their team. Several Hereford fans were unhappy that a good atmosphere was being lost by a few there for the glory not the football. 

Mike Symons Gets Ahead Of Beadlesque Shaped Lloyd Groves
Baker broke away on the left but overhit his cross when well placed after 61 minutes. O’Shea was increasingly getting forward and passed to Haysham who quickly played to McGrath who shot wide. Pring came on for Bowen who had again worked hard and looked dangerous. Mills came on for Smith who again and got through a phenomenal amount of work after 63 minutes.
On 70 minutes St. Ives had a corner which Hereford easily cleared. On the edge of their box Symons pushed the ball out right to Myrie-Williams running into space on the half way line on the left. Mills cut across him to the wing and Jennison pushed the ball his way. Mills got to the edge of the box and Warner-Eley got in a desperate tackle. O’Shea had surged up from defence and picked up the loose ball. Dribbling on he pulled back the ball like a winger would be proud of turning Warner-Eley inside out. As Dara went past ready to shoot the St. Ives defender grabbed O’Shea’s arm and pulled him down for a penalty.
A few in the crowd called for a quick substitution to allow Fireman Rob to continue his fantastic and fond farewell. No sentimentalist Beadle ignored the shouts. Mills picked up the ball and which of his many and varied penalties would we see? A glorious fast Panenka down the middle, 2 0. 

Two minutes later Rob Purdie came on for his last ever league game for Hereford replacing McGrath who had got through so much work he was the winner of the dirtiest shirt competition. Good work by Richards allowed him to pass forward to Mills whose cross sailed over the box. McGeorge was a gritty captain who had tried to staunch Hereford’s attacks in the middle of the work and was taken off tired after 81 minutes being replaced by Ogbonna. Snaith who had a limited impact up front was replaced by Leslie. Clark moved into the centre as St. Ives reshuffled.
Close Call
A great Richards cross found Mills but as he controlled it the ball bounced up and hit his hand. A good Symons run won a corner. Kelly got through for St. Ives but Horsell read the danger and cleared. Torkonoo sped down the right and passed to Clark with Liburd coming in to take the ball away. A Pablo corner was headed wide by Liburd. 

Referee Rayment was struggling to keep up with play and when Smith tackled Symons he had to estimate whether it was in the area deciding against despite Mike’s insistence that the first contact was worthy of a penalty. John Mills got a shot in which Trebes tipped over as the match finished more in the style of a friendly.

A deserved win, but necessarily ugly in difficult conditions. Immense thanks to St. Ives for all their hard work and organisation to get the game on. Many decent performances but for lots of work and several super passes Richards was man of the match.
What a team, what a season, what wonderful memories you lucky, lucky Bulls fans. Thank you, Ken, Peter and so many volunteers for a silky, sinuous, superb season we’ll talk about for decades.

Trebes, Smith, Warner-Eley, Groves, Moyes, McGeorge (c), Clark, Rogers, Kelly, Snaith, Baker.
Subs Sawyer, Leslie, Ogbonna, Torkornoo

Horsell, O’Shea, Bowen, Richards, Green (c), Liburd, Smith, McGrath, Myrie-Williams, Haysham, Symons.
Subs Puddy, Purdie, Pring, Deadman, Mills.

Attendance: 702