St Ives Town get a good run out against Cambridge University Press
- Credit: Archant
WHILE everyone else in the United Counties League was kicking their heels, St Ives Town managed to find a game on Saturday – on the partially snow covered 3G pitch at Comberton Leisure Centre.
Once again the weather saw postponements galore as snow continued to cause havoc to Huntingdonshire football – but a 5-2 win for the Saints over Cambridge University Press on the all-weather surface meant managers Jez Hall and Warren Everdell were able to give a run out to a squad which is in serious need of games.
Hall said: “Everybody had to have 45 minutes and we wanted to try a couple of new things because it got a bit stagnant in the last few games.
“It was a little bit of variety to see what we have got.
“It was a very good workout for us and we have seen plenty of good things out there.”
Last night, the Saints were scheduled to play Huntingdon Town at Westwood Road – but that game also fell foul of the weather, so it was just as well that Graham Daniels’ Eastern Counties Division One leaders put them through their paces.
A small band of St Ives fans made the trip for the game which the club announced on Twitter just a couple of hours beforehand. They – and Godmanchester Rovers joint boss Neville Nania – helped the players clear snow from the surface before kick-off.
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St Ives went 1-0 down following an error by goalkeeper Niall Conroy, but a first half double from striker Karl Gibbs was added to with further goals from Jon Stead (a penalty), Scott Fielding and Lee Ellison.
Gibbs was denied a first-half hat-trick when Stead was fouled in the box and the referee awarded a penalty just as the ball left the striker’s foot on its way into the goal.
“They are obviously a very good side, they are walking their league, so we knew it would be a good test – but I think we came here and played really well, we played some really nice football,” said Hall.
St Ives remain third in the United Counties Premier table – with runaway leaders Holbeach United 17 points clear at the top.
But the Saints have five games in hand over the Lincolnshire side – and one over second-placed Spalding United, who are only above them courtesy of a better goal difference.
The Saints have only played one game so far this year – a goalless draw with Desborough Town; their previous league game to that was the 8-1 drubbing of strugglers Harborough Town way back on December 8.
“It’s frustrating because games are constantly getting called off – and Tuesday will probably be off – so we are thankful to CUP for accommodating us,” Hall said.
It’s fair to say that the pitch at Westwood Road does cause it problems. When the Saints beat Desborough 4-1 there in the UCL Cup on January 8, the surface became a quagmire. The league game against the same team the following Saturday was partially played on sand and it proved too tough for either side to find the net.
But Westwood Road did host one event yesterday (Tuesday) – there was a public consultation at the club over the proposed sale of the ground and construction of a new one at Somersham Road.
A move may be a long way off yet – but a better pitch would certainly suit the Saints’ style of play. Not that Hall is
too worried about developments off
the pitch. “It’s exciting because there has been talk of it since I was a player so it’s great that something seems to be happening.
“But I have absolutely nothing to do with it to be fair, it is people like Ashley Griffiths who are running that side of things.Whatever they can do will be fantastic for the town.”
At least Saturday’s UCL game is away at Deeping Rangers. There is a possibility that that one might actually be played.