Away win at last for St Ives Town after nine-goal thriller at Barwell

Nabil Shariff scored twice as St Ives Town won away in the Southern League for the first time since August.

Nabil Shariff scored twice as St Ives Town won away in the Southern League for the first time since August. - Credit: CLAIRE HOWES

St Ives Town clinched three points at the end of a real Christmas cracker away to Barwell.

They won 5-4 in a Southern League Premier Division Central match in which both sides seemed to have forgotten how to defend, but that simply raised the entertainment level up a few notches.

It may have ended with nine goals witnessed but it took 20 minutes for the first to arrive after a sluggish opening.

It came from nothing A throw-in down the line allowed Dylan Williams to thread a ball through to Nabil Shariff and he squeezed his low drive between keeper and post, the upright helping it into the net.

The second wasn't far behind, Michael Richens winning the ball in midfield and striding forward before setting up Ethan Johnston for a cool finish from just inside the box.

Ives dominated the remainder of the half, Williams going close with one attempt, and any nerves of a comeback were seemingly dispelled when Shariff made it three nine minutes after the restart.

They did allow Barwell to come back into the game at this point and the hosts were able to get one back with 20 minutes to go, Canaries skipper Brady Hickey finding a route through the centre of the Ives back four before setting up Ben Stephens for a shot that also went in off a post.

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But that appeared just to be a consolation when Williams made it 4-1 four minutes later and Shariff was only denied a hat-trick by a sliding intervention from Herve Pepe-Ngoma.

But suddenly the nerves were ramped up to 11 as first Tristan Dunkley slammed in an effort at the back post with 11 minutes to go before Hickey made it a one-goal game on 86 minutes.

Finger nails continue to receive attention from worried teeth when Harry Bower found space in the box to get away a shot but Ben Heath did well to palm it over the bar.

Barwell threw caution to the wind by sending keeper Max Bramley up for a corner but it bit them hard when the set-piece was cleared and Richens took the ball up to halfway before sending it into the empty net.

The drama wasn't over but there was only enough time for Hickey to convert a penalty as Ives claimed a first win on the road since August.