FA Trophy run ends as St Ives Town are beaten by Leamington
- Credit: DUNCAN LAMONT
St Ives Town saw their FA Trophy run come to a sudden end - although the 5-0 loss at Leamington was not as one-sided as it first appears.
For the first 30 minutes the visitors were without doubt the better side, but having failed to take their chances they were then hit with a sucker punch of two goals in three minutes before the break.
That gave their National League North play-off chasing hosts the cushion required to take over in the second half and add three more without reply.
Manager Ricky Marheineke made just one change from the line up that won in spectacular fashion only five days earlier at Grantham Town to get to this stage in the competition for the first time in the club’s history. Tough tackling Ed Hottor came in to offer a more solid look to the centre of midfield replacing Michael Harding who dropped to the bench.
Hottor was the first to try his luck after eight minutes, his shot deflected behind for a corner, and Michael Gyasi got on the end of a quick break only to fire his effort well over the top.
Ives had the game's first shot on target sixty seconds later when Hottor seized on a loose ball 30 yards from goal before taking a touch and firing straight into the grateful arms of Jake Weaver.
The keeper was called upon to make a much better save on 23 minutes, plunging down to his right to push a fierce Gyasi drive away.
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It wasn't until the 26th minute that Martin Conway in the Ives goal was called into making a save, but Sam Osborne's effort seemed to lift the hosts and they took the lead just after the half hour.
Ives though were the architects of their own demise though, first losing possession in the middle of the park and giving away a free-kick, and then not dealing with the long ball into the box, Danny Waldron gratefully knocking the ball home from six yards.
Worse was to follow three minutes later when Osborne was given two bites at crossing the ball and Lance Smith thumped the header in at the near post.
Both sides had good chances before the interval. An unmarked Osborne directed his free header against the post and out for Leamington while Marc Richards forced Weaver into another good save, the rebound sliding just out of the reach of Gyasi.
To their credit Ives gave it a go in the early stages of the second half.
Dylan Williams produced two great crosses but both time defenders were able to block the resulting chances, more out of desperation than good positioning.
The visitor’s final opportunity to get back into the game came just before the hour when a long Liam Bateman free kick evaded the Brakes back line and landed in the box.
But unlike Waldron in the first half neither Gyasi nor Richards was able to get the necessary touch to turn the ball home.
It proved crucial as the hosts made it 3-0 five minutes later, Osborne picking out Smith again for a similar effort to the second.
This allowed Leamington to relax and they grabbed a fourth on 78 minutes, Waldron getting his second with a shot that was too powerful for Conway.
Smith then won the personal battle with Waldron to get the hat-trick first, slamming the ball home from 10 yards.
St Ives Town: Conway, Bateman, Toseland, Gyasi (Seymour-Shove 71), Jackson, Solkhon, Hottor, Howell, Richards (Boxer 88), Williams, Hicks (Harding 74).
Subs (not used): Mitkov.