Ten out of ten for St Ives at Yaxley

ST Ives Town celebrated Boxing Day with a 5-1 defeat of Yaxley to extend their winning run to 10 games and 19 in 20.

Now up to fifth in the United Counties Premier Division, after they leapfrogged Blackstones who lost at Newport Pagnell Town, the Ives beat strugglers Yaxley at Leading Drove with goals from Junior McDougald, Conor Washington, Ozie Foster, Dan Newman and substitute Max Roberts. But, despite the scoreline, they didn’t have it all their own way on the boggy pitch.

“When we actually got the ball down and played there was a difference,” said joint manager Jez Hall. “But we did have sticky spells and they worked their socks off to be honest. But that little bit of quality, especially in front of goal, was the difference.”

McDougald opened the scoring with a superb free kick which flew into the top corner in the 26th minute. Then Stuart Cobb had a great chance saved by the busy Yaxley goalkeeper as the Saints began to pile on the pressure.

Conor Washingon finally broke through for the second goal after going close several times, his turn in the box sublime before placing the ball into the back of the net - and both Washington and Cobb had chances to further extend the lead before half time, but were thwarted by the goalkeeper.

Yaxley pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 50th minute and at times looked dangerous - but midfielder Foster went close twice before scoring the third after a wonderful one-two with Washington in the Yaxley box.

Newman scored the fourth goal following a dummy by Washington, before the best goal of the game was the last one from the right foot of teenager Roberts.

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The under-18s captain looked impressive for 10 minutes after coming off the bench but his 18-yard strike was a different class; the ball flying through a crowd and just inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post while he stood still without even the time to attempt to stop it.

Hall said: “He’s a great lad and it was a good goal. He is part of the future of this club.”

Now the Saints go to Deeping Rangers on Friday night and that match will be followed by another on the road, this one tougher, at second-placed Holbeach United on January 2, the Bank Holiday Monday.

But Hall and his co-manager Warren Everdell have a few injuries worried ahead of those games. “Conor and Junior have both got little problems. As soon as we thought the game was done we took them off,” said Hall.

“Junior’s injury might be a little bit more serious because it’s his hamstring.”