Solid display at St Ives
St Ives Town 0 Enfield Town 1
A competitive game, full of intensity from both sides, ended in a single goal win for Town at Westwood Road on Saturday (27th July).
On a breezy afternoon, much cooler than during the week, the challenges were flying in from both sides from the first whistle. A well worked goal after 8 minutes proved to be the difference between the two sides, although there was no shortage of talking points afterwards, with the referee at the centre of a number of incidents.
After Sam Hatton’s ball in from the right had been headed home superbly by Ryan Blackman, the hosts’ no. 9 whipped a ball across the six yard box from the left and Nathan McDonald was pleased to see no-one on the end of it. On 19 minutes, one of Town’s trialists (no. 9) was quickly onto a through ball but was brought down unceremoniously by the home keeper outside the box. After much “debate” from both sides, a yellow card was shown. The free kick came to nothing; Lewis Taaffe firing off target.
On 22 minutes, the Saints had a narrow escape when their no. 6 blasted the ball at Taaffe, and it reboundedto Town’s no.9 with only the keeper to beat, but an offside flag had been raised. A couple of minutes later Town’s other trialist (no.10) was brought down on the edge of the box, but this time no card was shown. Ryan Blackman’s subsequent free-kick was well tipped over by the home keeper. Saints’ no. 10 drove low past McDonald’s outstretched right hand but wide of the post.
As has been the pattern in the majority of the pre-season matches, there was a glut of substitutions at half-time and during the early stages of the second half which changed the rhythm of the game. Sam Youngs, Sam Bantick, James Potton, Nathan Livings and a number of other trialists entered the fray at various stages to give the management team further food for thought before the 2019-20 competitive starting squad is assembled in a couple of weeks’ time.
Ten minutes into the second period, an almighty scramble in the home box ended with the keeper somehow keeping out a number of Town attempts from close range. But after that the half pretty much belonged to St Ives, with plenty of possesion and intent, and Town were on the back foot for much of the half. After a lengthy discussion between Andy Leese and the officials about a particular challenge, the man in the middle decided to show the Town manager a red card around the hour mark.
Tyler Forde, recently signed from West Ham as back-up for Nathan McDonald, came on in the second half and made a couple of good saves to keep the eager home forwards at bay and, although there were one or two other awkward moments, Town’s rearguard looked solid and determined. Weatherstone and Hatton made crucial interventions late on to preserve the clean sheet.
Town’s starting line-up: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone (capt), Dan Rumens, Junior Mubiayi, Ryan Blackman, Trialist, Trialist, Lewis Taaffe.
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