celbvisesBLUES twice came from behind to record their first win of 2018 in a seven goal thriller, on Saturday.

A very entertaining contest saw some poor defending from both sides, but Kevin Watson’s side produced a strong second half performance to take all three points.

With Dean Ager and Callum Jones called back by Colchester United for an FA Youth Cup tie, Dipo Akinyemi returned to the starting line-up as had one of his best games in a Stortford shirt.ives2

Both sides had chances to have gone ahead in the first five minutes. The visitors’ Danny Watson and Ollie Snaith had goalbound shots either blocked or deflected away for a corner. At the other end Ives’ keeper Tim Trebes, parried upwards a close range header from Jack Thomas following a cross from the left by Darren Foxley.

Poor marking by Stortford from Tom Knowles’ free-kick gave the visitors the lead in the 10th minute. Lloyd Groves’ back post header across the goal found Ben Baker in space to shoot past Tyler McCarthy from ten yards

ives1Stortford fought back and an Akinyemi low cross from the left just evaded Callum Taylor but, in the 18th minute, they were back level. A concerted attack seemed to have come to nothing but then skipper Mark Hughes gained possession at the right angle edge of the box and swept the ball over towards the far post where Akinyemi squeezed the ball into the net from an acute angle via a deflection off the keeper.

The Blues seemed to be settling down and Jordan Westcott had an effort blocked by Trebes but they fell behind again in the 28th minute.

Baker was running at the Stortford defence with ease and when he finally shot at goal the ball cannoned off Joe Robinson’s shin into the path of Ollie Snaith who fired into the net.

jc300Just after the half hour Stortford had an escape when in the matter of seconds goalbound shots from both Knowles and Miles Smith were kept out by the legs of McCarthy.

Stortford then mustered up some promising moves and two minutes before the break an Akinyemi free-kick spun out of Trebes’ grasp and spun on to the bar and rebounded to safety.

The Blues boss made a number of alterations at the interval including bringing on young defender Max Brassington on for Callum Taylor. The changes soon had an effect and Jack Thomas could have done better near goal from Hughes’ cross.

Ives’ Ben Baker had a shot held at the foot of an upright by McCarthy but Stortford were level again in the 54th minute.

When Jordan Westcott delivered a fine pass out to the right to stretch the opposing defence Jamie Cureton gained possession and then bent a great shot around a defender to hit the post and when the veteran striker collected the rebound he quickly crossed into the middle where Akinyemi had the simple task of guiding the ball into the empty net

jc300-2It took only two more minutes before Stortford were in front for the first time. This time it was Thomas who delivered a fine pass out to the right and George Casey’s first time shot-cum-cross struck a defender but fell into Cureton’s path and he found the back of the net with a clinical shot.

Knowles had an effort held by McCarthy but the on-loan Cambridge United midfielder equalised in the 66th minute when he finished an excellent solo run with a shot past McCarthy’s dive from just inside the box.

McCarthy was quickly off his line to hold a through ball at the feet of Danny Watson and then shortly afterwards, in the 74th minute, Blues hit the winner.

They won a corner on the right and Darren Foxley’s flag-kick was headed home at the far post by skipper Marvell Ekpiteta.

The visitors made a triple substitution in the 79th minute but the only time they threatened before the end was when Knowles shot wide of the target in a good position following a dangerous attack.

Three minutes from the end of normal time Cureton nearly scored again but his header from a Thomas cross was held by Trebes but the hosts comfortably held on to complete their second league double of the campaign.

STORTFORD: Tyler McCarthy; George Casey; Darren Foxley; Mark Hughes; Marvel Ekpiteta; Joe Robinson; Jordan Westcott; Jack Thomas; Callum Taylor (Max Brassington 46); Jamie Cureton; Dipo Akinyemi.

Unused substitutes: Freddie Oakman, Chad Cruse, Marcus Crowther and Joe Ryan.

ST IVES TOWN: Tim Trebes; Miles Smith; Luke Warner-Eley; Ryan McGeorge (Eugene Libertucci 79); Lloyd Groves; Danny Kelly; Tom Knowles; Ollie Snaith (Daniel Moyes 79); Peter Clark (Declan Rogers 79); Danny Watson; Ben Baker.

Unused substitutes: Jordan Jarrold and Ben Sawyer.

Referee: Mr Lee Grimsey

Attendance: 307