End of the road for Saints
FA Vase Fifth Round Replay Needham Market 4 St Ives Town 0 A HEAVY fixture list finally caught up with St Ives as they saw their Wembley dreams shattered in Suffolk. Having three times conceded a lead in the original fixture at Westwood Road, fears that
FA Vase Fifth Round Replay
Needham Market 4 St Ives Town 0
A HEAVY fixture list finally caught up with St Ives as they saw their Wembley dreams shattered in Suffolk.
Having three times conceded a lead in the original fixture at Westwood Road, fears that Town's best chance had gone were realised.
In front of a bumper crowd of 536 the visitors got off to a nightmare start when Nathan Szyszlak netted after 25 seconds, though there was a suspicion of offside about the goal.
Saints, fielding a number of players at below full-fitness, never looked incisive enough to break down the impressive Needham back line.
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The match was put beyond doubt just before half-time when the hosts netted twice from corners.
First, Rhys Barber was left unmarked to power home before Town failed to clear their lines effectively and Tommy Smith scrambled home.
St Ives joint-manager Jez Hall let his frustration out at the referee at half-time but the travelling army of Saints supporters knew the game was all-but up.
Smith made the win safe on the hour-mark with a smart finish and, try as they might, St Ives could not score the consolation their cup run has deserved.
A disappointed Hall said: "Going out like that really hurt us. I'd much rather have gone out having given a performance.
"I was disappointed as much for the supporters as for ourselves. We brought a small army with us and they deserved more.
"The fixture list caught up with us and Needham thoroughly deserved their win, we just weren't in good enough physical shape to properly compete."
St Ives battled their way through five rounds to reach the last 16 of the FA Vase - coming within two ties of a trip to Wembley.
Hall added: "The whole run has been fantastic. It has boosted the profile of the club locally and nationally.
"It has been a brilliant experience and we hope that this will rub off in the future as we look to make progress in the league and the cups we are still competing in."
n St Ives were due to face Desborough as The Hunts Post went to press, welcome Sleaford to Westwood Road on Saturday and go to rivals Huntingdon Town in the Senior Cup on Wednesday 27.