St Ives Town fightback against Redditch United to record vital victory

St Ives Town picked up a big win over Redditch United in the Southern League.

St Ives Town picked up a big win over Redditch United in the Southern League. - Credit: ST IVES TOWN FC

A barnstorming second half comeback earned St Ives Town a vital victory against Redditch United - one of their many relegation rivals.

Crazily the three points gained not only lifted the hosts off bottom spot but moved them up seven places to 15th, the 10 sides at the bottom separated by just three points.

Ives new joint management duo of Mike Ford and Ricky Marheineke made four changes to the starting line-up following Saturday's defeat at high flying Coalville Town with Michael Richens and Dylan Williams both returning from suspension and Callum Milne and Urijah Gordon-Douglas also coming in.

Fabrice Mbola, Jason Dwumfuo and Jack Snelus all dropped to the bench and Samir Nabi missed out completely.

The game started at a frantic pace with both sides closing each other down very quickly all over the park.

The only real threat to either goal in the first 20 minutes came when Reds keeper Kieran Boucher dropped a hanging ball inside his six-yard box but veteran defender Asa Charlton was on hand to clear before an Ives player could prod it home.

The opportunity had been created when a Williams corner from the right had only been half cleared and Eniola Agemoh-Davies had delivered a deep cross beyond the far post for Brett Solkhon to head back into the mix.

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The presence of the lurking Nabil Shariff had been just enough to unsettle Boucher into his mistake.

The Reds first chance arrived in 23rd minute as Luke Rowe’s corner from the right was met in the centre by Dan Sweeney who rose amongst the crowd and managed to direct his header towards goal but it lacked power and was comfortably held by Paul White in the Ives goal.

As the pace dropped a little with half-time approaching, both sides began to create opportunities and another slip by keeper Boucher almost presented Ives with the opener on the half hour.

Williams delivered a free-kick from 35 yards into the danger zone and it eventually fell to Milne on the edge of the box. His shot was on target but was a fairly tame one, however, Boucher failed to cling onto it and was perhaps fortunate the nearest Ives player was slow to react.

Two minutes later the visitors went in front.

Williams lost possession to Rowe on halfway and the Reds midfielder fed the ball into the feet of Martin just outside the box. The debutant striker cleverly let the ball run across him onto his left foot, side stepped Milne and slammed a low shot past the diving White into the bottom corner.

Falling behind rocked Ives for a few minutes but they were soon back on the attack and it took an excellent save from Boucher to prevent them levelling things up just seconds before the break.

Milne delivered a long ball into the box from the right that flicked off the head of Ryan Wollacott and arrived at the feet of Camron McWilliams who had ghosted in unmarked at the back.

He took a touch which was just enough opportunity for Boucher to close him down and smother the shot when it came at point blank range.

Ives tore into their opponents at the start of the second half and it took them less than two minutes to get on level terms.

Another Williams free kick was delivered into the box with the initial clearing header knocked away to Milne on the right.

He delivered a deep cross to the far post where Solkhon rose above the crowd to knock the ball down into the six yard box for Gordon-Douglas to pivot and fire home through the pack of defenders on the line.

Ives continued to press forward in search of a winner. Solkhon headed over from 10 yards while Gordon-Douglas was wide with his own header and Shariff was denied by Boucher.

But the hosts finally got their noses in front with 12 minutes left on the watch.

McWilliams threaded a ball into the well timed run of Gordon-Douglas who had beaten the Reds offside trap and he was about to shoot when he was clumsily taken down by Luke Cox.

Williams confidently stepped up to send Boucher the wrong way for the win.