King’s Lynn Town U18 v St Ives Town U18
Thurlow Nunn Youth League – Western Division 15-04-19
A very young Ives side learnt a harsh lesson at title challengers King’s Lynn. With little to play for now manager Lloyd Groves is looking to the future and budding more of next seasons side but that was something of a gamble against the Linnets who had to win this game to keep their title hopes alive.
But for the heroics of sixteen year old Kai Bradley in the Ives goal the score line in this fixture could have been a lot worse. The hosts went for the jugular straight from the off and Bradley was called upon to make the first of a host of excellent saves in only the second minute. Mitchell Rasberry got to the bye line on the right and his clip to the back post bounced off Karl Frans and fell invitingly for Joseph Taylor ten yards out. Taylor struck his shot well but Bradley was equal to it leaping high to his right to palm the ball over the top.
Five minutes later Bradley was in action again this time Luke Johnson and Finlay Howe almost caught out Ives with a short corner on the left, the ball was eventually fed back to Johnson looping around and a clever step over by Taylor allowed his driven cross to skim towards the back post but the keeper had read it and made a good save low down to his left.
In these early stages Ives were creating chances on the break and they went close twice in three minutes. Initially a Joe Purse free kick from 25 yards dipped over the Linnets three man wall forcing home keeper Aydin Duran into a diving save low to his right. Three minutes later a powerful Zac Hope run from half way pulled the home defence out of position a clever ball inside to Connor Gibbs kept the move going and his slide rule pass in turn picked out Ben Smith’s well timed run into the box. Smith did everything right clipping the ball past the advancing Duran only to be denied as the ball struck Duran’s left hand post. It bounced back invitingly into the centre of goal but no Ives striker was on hand to force it home.
The game then almost seemed to become an individual duel between Bradley and Taylor which the Ives keeper won comprehensively denying the Linnets speedy front man three times in a ten minute spell. In 15th minute the young keeper was almost caught out as he sprinted from his line but failed to gather an awkward through ball allowing the Linnets striker to gain possession inside the box. It looked like Taylor must score but Bradley did not give it up and managed to recover sufficient ground to block his shot at point blank range. Four minutes later Taylor was put completely clear by a well weighted through ball from Kieron Wingfield again Bradley got his angles right narrowed the angle and blocked the shot when it came. Ives high line continued to get caught out and Bradley was forced to repeat his heroics to again deny Taylor after he had run clear onto a ball over the top in 25th minute.
With time ticking down it looked like Ives may just manage to get to half time level but a 36th minute corner was their undoing. Johnson again took it short giving Rasberry chance to run at the defence Gibbs was deemed to have fouled him 25 yards from goal. Despite it looking like Ives had got everything lined up correctly Johnson managed to find a chink in the armour as he curled and exquisite free kick over the four man defensive wall and just beyond the reach of the diving Bradley into the top corner of the net.
The goal relieved the pressure which had been building on the hosts, but it also meant they relaxed their concentration a little and Ives were within inches of levelling things up right on half time. A corner from the left was won at the back post by Connor Paine his downward header into the mix rebounded off a defender and fell to Gibbs. His shot was blocked and the ball ricocheted to Hope twelve yards out. The Ives wide man miss hit his shot but that almost deceived Duran as the ball rose in the air spinning wickedly dipped over the struggling keeper and rebounded off the crossbar, again luck was not with Ives as it fell to a defender who hacked it clear.
The game was ended as a contest with a quick fire brace from the Linnets inside the first seven minutes of the second half. Both goals were carbon copy corners delivered high to the back post from the right by Johnson. The first in 48th minute was powered home by recently contracted centre half Harry Paul who rose uncontested. The repeat performance in 52nd minute was equally emphatically headed home by his centre back partner Owen Gilbert who rose above the crowd to claim his reward.
There was still plenty of time for Bradley to continue his heroics and this time his adversary became marauding left back Howe. In 56th minute the wing back played a one two on the edge of the box with Sam Lammiman before bursting through only to be bravely denied by the well positioned Bradley. The Ives keeper repeated the feat in 63rd minute as Howe this time exchanged passes with substitute Ben Welch before again going through one on one with the keeper who again did everything right to deny him.
A fourth goal was however looking inevitable and it arrived in simple fashion in 66th minute. Howe was again heavily involved as he wriggled his way past two Ives defenders to get to the bye line before picking out Lammiman arriving at the near post a simple side foot finish completed the evenings scoring.
By this point the game was completely over as a contest and the substitutes were rolling on and off for both sides effectively breaking up the game. There were a few more noteworthy events all around the goal so admirably defended by Bradley. Fifteen minutes from time Rasberry and Johnson combined well down the right with the former delivering a cross to the back post where Frans did well to prevent Welch forcing it home. The loose ball fell to Howe inside the box but he fired wide from a good position.
Five minutes later Bradley was again up to his tricks as Welch put Wingfield clear but the Linnets leading scorer simply became the latest of his colleagues to be denied by the agility and bravery of the Ives stopper this time he went to his left to turn the effort away. The resulting corner was again won in the air by the powerful Paul but his goal bound header was headed off the line by Frans.
The final action of the evening saw Linnets substitute Imja Andrejev squander a good opportunity to increase the hosts lead as a poor clearance fell to him just outside the box, but rather than involve any of his better positioned colleagues he took a touch and then blazed his effort well wide.
To their credit Ives battled to the bitter end but it was Bradley who earned the plaudits in a losing cause. As for the Linnets they have done their bit but their title hopes now rest on Deeping Rangers doing them a favour by denying Peterborough Sports three points in the deciding game on Thursday evening.
Final Score : King’s Lynn Town U18 4 St Ives Town U18 0
Goals : none
St Ives team : Bradley, Frans, Darnell (Quinsee 59), Purse, Young, Paine (capt), Hope, Rudd (Bald 47), Stork (Smith 59), Gibbs (Laker 59), O’Donovan (Mitkov 31)
Other subs used roll on roll off : Gibbs for Hope 84, Darnell for Frans 85, Hope for Purse 90+1
Unused Subs : none
Attendance : approx. 75
Report by Nigel Howlett
|April 15, 2019||19:45||Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division||2018-19||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|Kings Lynn Town U18||1||4|
|St Ives Town U18||0||0|