Park Farm Pumas U18 v St Ives Town U18
Huntingdonshire U18 County Cup Semi-Final 25-01-20
The young Ives reached the semi-finals of this competition without playing a game as previous round opponents dropped out one by one. They were never really tested in the semi-final either as they did just enough to beat a battling Peterborough Sunday morning side Park Farm Pumas. The Pumas to their credit battled throughout and did grab a consolation goal from the spot fifteen minutes from time. The Lawson Avenue Council pitch in Stanground did not look great and the long grass was quite effective in hiding the worse of the bobbles and it was no surprise that both sides were struggling to come to terms with the surface early on.
The first opportunity of the game went the way of the visitors in eleventh minute as Tom Wakley battled hard to win the ball deep in Pumas territory and fed in Joe Cobb who raced into the box before flashing a shot across the face of goal from a narrow angle. Cobb’s pace and direct running style were causing the hosts a few problems down the left and in 20th minute he returned the complement setting up an opportunity for Wakley but the bouncing ball would not drop and he was forced to try and lob keeper Bailey Baker but did not quite get the ball high enough.
The opening goal arrived five minutes later as the hosts struggled to clear a free kick from their box the bouncing ball eventually being nodded down to the feet of Ewan Young by Wakley and the big centre back finished like a striker poking the ball over the keeper from six yards.
Cobb fired a good opportunity into the side netting in 33rd minute. It was a chance that he created himself by jinking past three defenders down the left before cutting in from a narrow angle but failing to hit the target as Baker came to meet him. Young should also have added to his tally five minutes later as a corner from the left was knocked down to him at the back post, but this time he finished like a defender screwing his effort horribly wide from close range.
Kai Bradley had been a virtual spectator up to this point but the young keeper showed that he had kept his concentration well as he made two vital saves in the last five minutes before the break. In the fortieth minute Dec King battled his way into the heart of Ives defence before feeding in the dangerous Jamal Shenille. Bradley was off his line in a flash to block the shot but the loose ball fell to Dom Chrominski following up who really should have scored but curled his shot over the top. Chrominski was also denied by Bradley right on the break after the Pumas number eight had been put through by King but the Ives keeper was again quick to close and block the effort.
Ives came out for the second half determined to kill the game off and substitute Jamie Stork should have doubled their advantage only two minutes after the restart as a Mihayl Mitkov corner from the right fell to his feet inside the box but as a few before it the chance went begging as he carefully curled the ball wide.
Mitkov made a big impression of all the wrong sorts only seconds later as he found himself sent to the sin bin for ten minutes after disagreeing a little to loudly with a decision in the centre of the park by referee Piotr Juszczyk. With Ives now temporarily down to ten men a quick reshuffle took place to reinstate a full back four by adding Leon Quinsee and sacrificing Connor Gibbs.
Going down to ten did not affect the visitors flow at all and two goal in four minutes whilst with the reduced number quickly ensured the victory. The first of the two was a gift from the Pumas as Stork was needlessly bundled over inside the box as he was going away from goal by Dontae Martin. The Ives sub got up from the deck and coolly slotted the penalty low past Baker. Four minutes later Wakley turned a harmless looking bouncing ball down the middle from skipper Karl Frans into a goal simply by his bravery and persistence. The Pumas defenders left it to their keeper but Wakley bravely challenged him for the ball right on the edge of the box and won the battle his prize to simply roll the ball into the empty net.
The chances continued to come for Ives Mitkov had a shot well saved by Baker after a swift one two with Wakley had set up the chance in the 61st minute. Zac Hope fired well over after picking up the resulting corner in space deep inside the box. Wakley beat keeper Baker to a Joe Purse free kick in 71st minute but flicked his header over the top.
The fourth goal arrived one minute later as Cobb went on yet another of his surging runs down the right before feeding the ball into Gibbs who fired his effort on target. There were a few seconds of controversy as a defender appeared to clear the ball off the line but even without goal line technology the officials were able to decide that the ball had crossed the line prior to his intervention.
A moment of panic by the usually reliable Young presented the Pumas with a consolation goal fifteen minutes from time as he pulled back the tricky Cai Taylor inside the box to give away a penalty. King beat Bradley low to his right with the resulting spot kick but was perhaps a little relieved as the ball hit the inside of the post and almost ran along the goal line before creeping just inside the opposite post.
Referee Juszczyk almost presented Pumas with a chance to get back into the game nine minutes from time as he pulled up Bradley for delaying his clearance for two long nine minutes from time. The resulting indirect free kick was touched sideways by King to Kadan Al-Gharabally who curled his effort millimetres wide of the far post with an unsighted Bradley looking on.
There were an added seven minutes at the end but the only noteworthy event in that period was Ben Smith hammering an effort against the crossbar after being set up by the persistence of Cobb who had harried and robbed a lone Pumas defender with his colleagues all pushing forward in a vain hope of another consolation goal.
So a third final in four years for the young Ives which will be at Eynesbury on 3rd April against either arch rivals St Neots Town or Godmanchester Rovers.
Final Score : Park Farm Pumas U18 1 St Ives Town U18 4
Goals : Young 25, Stork 52 (pen), Wakley 56, Gibbs 73
St Ives team : Bradley, Frans (capt) (Paine 85), Mitkov, O’Donovan (Purse 37), Young, Darnell, Smith (Stork 45), Gibbs (Quinsee 47), Wakley, Hope, Cobb
Unused Subs : none
Other Subs (roll on/roll off) : Gibbs for Mitkov 68, Smith for Wakley 78, Wakley for Purse 83
Attendance : approx. 30
Report by Nigel Howlett.
|January 25, 2020||11:00||Hunts County U18 Cup||2019-20||90'|
|Park Farm Pumas U18||1|
|St Ives Town U18||4|