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STAPENHILL 0, ASHBY IVANHOE 3

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

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KAMIKAZE Stapenhill lost more ground on the Leicestershire Senior League leaders as Phil Gibson’s first-half double helped Ashby Ivanhoe to a surprise victory at Edge Hill.

Earlier, the visitors had taken the lead when Dan Stevenson found the net after a mix-up in the Swans defence.

The result leaves Mick Wood’s men looking up the table badly in need of a consistent run to seal the runners-up spot.

On a heavy pitch which survived a late inspection, the Swans had an early chance when Lewis Campbell hit Paul Furniss down the left and the midfielder’s deep cross was met by Asa Sippits, but a crucial block from defender Russ Wagg denied the winger.

Then, Sam Taylor’s cross found Sippits and this time his goalbound header was held by Ashby keeper John Noon.

On nine minutes, Ashby took the lead thanks to an underhit pass from Ben Gough, which, although intended for Ben Kelly-Walley, gifted an opportunity to Luke Thorogood, who nipped in and pulled the ball back to Stevenson for an easy finish.

It was nearly two a minute later when a dangerous ball whipped in by Wagg was partially cleared to Thorogood, who blazed over.

At the other end, a slick Swans move saw Furniss find Matt Weightman, who set up an unmarked Taylor at the far post, but he fired wide.

On 23 minutes, Ashby doubled their advantage.

A Jack Ryder ball split the Stapenhill defence and Gibson got goalside of Simon Walker, who dragged the striker down.

Walker picked up a yellow card from referee David Styles and Gibson picked himself up to bury the spot-kick.

A long range effort from Gibson then dipped just over the bar with the away fans believing the ball had found the net.

But they did not have to wait long until going 3-0 ahead with a fine goal.

On the half-hour, Gibson found strike partner Stevenson down the right and set off for the area.

Stevenson held the ball up well before whipping in an inviting cross to Gibson, who, completely unmarked, powered a header past Gough.

The Swans fought back, with Gareth Langford surging forward from midfield before sending Weightman clear, but Noon denied him with a decent save.

In first-half injury time, Chris Nettel met a deep free kick from Wagg but hit the side netting.

After a good talking-to, it was a different Stapenhill which started the second half.

Weightman fired over from a Langford free kick, Campbell set up Sippits to blaze over and Weightman headed an inch-perfect Kelly-Walley cross wide.

At this stage, a goal looked inevitable, but Noon denied Taylor and then Campbell with smart saves.

On 69 minutes, a terrific ball from Sippits released Weightman, but the striker’s first touch sent him wide and his angled shot was beaten out.

The introduction of Jacques Briscoe maintained the pressure and a dangerous cross from the midfielder saw Weightman send a diving header inches over.

The Swans huffed and puffed but never really threatened to beat Noon, and will look back at a very poor first half against a team four places below them at kick-off.

GOALS: Stevenson 9, Gibson 23 pen, 30.

SWANS: B Gough, Harding (Harrison 46), Kelly-Walley, Walker, Keenan, Furniss, Sippits, Langford, Taylor (Briscoe 70), Weightman (S Gough 86), Campbell.

IVANHOE: Noon, Ryder, Wagg, Smalley, Elkin, Nettel, Thorogood (Avins 83), Lewis, Gibson, Stevenson, Jordan (Nolan 71). Subs not used: Allsop, Hampson, Muir.

SWANS STAR MAN: Lewis Campbell – busy with dangerous crosses.

REFEREE: D Styles (Whitwick).

ATTENDANCE: 79.

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