Late goal hero Dawkin leaves St Ives Town walking tall after derby success over Huntingdonshire rivals St Neots Town
- Credit: Archant
The Huntingdonshire bragging rights belong to St Ives Town.
Ricky Marheineke’s men produced a rousing turnaround to sink local rivals St Neots Town 2-1 tonight as the two top teams in the county did battle in a league fixture for the first time in more than five years.
The dramatic conclusion the game deserved was provided by Josh Dawkin, who chose the perfect moment to open his St Ives account - and sink his former club in the process.
Dawkin, who spent the second half of last season at St Neots, struck with three minutes to go to earn victory for the hosts in front of a fine turnout of 528 fans at ProEdge Westwood Road.
That completed a fine response from St Ives as they recovered from falling behind in the opening period to a goal from another player scoring against his old club.
Peter Clark, who left St Ives for St Neots early in 2016, stylishly finished on the half-volley to open the scoring in the 27th minute after a poor punch from home goalkeeper Ollie Sutton dropped into his path.
Clark’s involvement was curtailed before the break by a nasty head wound and possible concussion which appeared to be sustained in an aerial challenge with home player Jack Higgs.
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St Neots missed his energy and creativity and they also came up against a rejuvenated St Ives side in the second period. The hosts played with renewed pace and passion.
St Ives probably should have levelled seconds before the interval when the unmarked Harry O’Malley mis-directed a diving header and he also steered another headed chance straight at visiting goalkeeper Alex Archer a couple of minutes into the second period.
Archer was later forced into his first save of note when Andrew Phillips steered a shot towards the far corner and that arrived moments after Tom McGowan had fired over.
The warning signs were certainly there for St Neots, but they failed to heed them and were duly punished with 17 minutes to go.
Lively substitute Joe Carden made his mark soon after his introduction by delivered a fierce, low cross which the excellent Ben Seymour-Shove guided into the far corner with the aid of a brush off the boot of defender Tom Wood.
And St Ives weren’t done there as Dawkin followed up a smart piece of control with a precise finish from the edge of the box to settle the contest with a goal worthy of doing just that.
Winning boss Marheineke said: “I’m delighted with the result and putting another three points on the board.
“There was a bit of added spice due to it being a local derby game, but it was all about picking up another win and we managed to pull it out of the bag.”
St Neots manager Andy Davies declined to conduct a post-match interview so it was left to director of football Iain Parr to communicate the club’s frustration at their display.
Parr admitted: “It’s a disappointing outcome for us, but I have to admit that St Ives got what they deserved out of the game.
“It was a bit of a non-event in the first half in all honesty, and we didn’t do enough once we had got ourselves in front. “St Ives were a different team in the second half and we failed to deal with them.”
ST IVES: Sutton, O’Malley (Carden), Jarrold, McDevitt, Chaffey, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (De’Ath), McGowan, Sinclair, Dawkin, Phillips. Unused: Clayton, Harradine.
ST NEOTS: Archer, Mason, Jonny Hall, Parr, Wood, Patrick, McGeorge, Clark (Hyem), Rogers, Brown (Spark), James Hall. Unused: Donkin, Butt, Hobbs.