Wednesday, August 13, 2014
St Ives got their league campaign off to a cracking start, but had to rely on the woodwork, a determined defence and goalkeeper Barney McLaughlin to survive a second-half onslaught as they saw off Greenford 2-1.
Everything went so well for the visitors in the first period. They were immediately on the front foot and shots from Karl Gibbs, Ben Seymour-Shove and Jon Stead all required saves from Liam Watson in the first three minutes.
The Greenford keeper also blocked a Scott Sinclair shot with his legs before the same player earned the penalty from which Ives deservedly went ahead.
Stead’s pass released Sinclair who was brought down by a clumsy tackle just inside the box. Stead made no mistake from the spot.
Another goal looked inevitable and it came on 34 minutes when Sinclair robbed another dallying defender and set David Cobb free on the right. His inviting cross was met perfectly by Gibbs at the far post.
Greenford suddenly woke up and McLaughlin was twice brought into action, the second save being his best as he acrobatically turned over a point-blank header from O’Connor.
The home side took control in the second period and McLaughlin was called into action to push away a fierce drive by Sterling-Parker.
St Ives had a double escape on 73 minutes as a Kyle Russell drive rebounded to safety off the near upright before a last-ditch block by Jordan Lambert fell to George Moore who hit the same upright from 20 yards.
The mounting pressure paid off when Moore’s fierce, swerving effort from 25 yards gave McLaughlin no chance, but while the goal spurred Greenford on, a near post flick by O’Connor just cleared the crossbar and the keeper preserved his team’s advantage by plunging to his left to keep out an O’Connor drive from just outside the box.
The Saints drew 2-2 Daventry Town last night (Tuesday) before Saturday’s home fixture against Beaconsfield.
Tom Meechan marked his debut with a hat-trick as Godmanchester Rovers got their Thurlow Nunn Premier campaign off to a flyer by thrashing Kirkley & Pakefield 4-0.
Meechan struck first in the 25th minute and after supplying the cross from which Austin Diaper doubled the advantage, he got his second from a goalmouth scramble five minutes before the interval.
His third came on 65 minutes after a sublime piece of skill as Goddy laid a marker down for their intentions over the next nine months.
Tonight (Wednesday) Rovers play Mildenhall Town and on Saturday they start their FA Cup campaign at Yaxley.
Huntingdon are also in FA Cup action on Saturday, travelling to Great Yarmouth. Their first game is tonight at home to Harrowby United.