Peterborough Northern Star U18s 2 St Ives Town U18s 3
Thurlow Nunn Youth League – Western Division 01-10-18
Three goals in a sixteen minute spell at the end of the first half ensured that Ives took the spoils in this entertaining encounter, although the youngsters failure to take a number of other good chances ensured that the final twenty minutes was a little more nerve racking than it perhaps needed to be.
Coming into this game on the back of two good wins Ives should have been full of confidence but it was their hosts who started on the front foot and went close to going in front in the eighth minute as skipper Sam Sadiq put Callum Boyes clear into the visitors box. As the Star striker cut in from the left keeper Shay Griffiths came to meet him. Boyes went for the shot from twelve yards and Griffiths reacted well plunging to his right to keep the effort out.
Ives first half chance did not arrive until 20th minute when a Billy Garlick free kick from the left was knocked down into the box. The ever alert Harry Sargent spun on the ball and was perhaps unlucky to see his effort deflected wide. But Sargent was not to be denied for long and it was he that put the visitors in front nine minutes later. Louis Bald won a crunching tackle in midfield and burst forward feeding the ball into the feet of Thomas Wakley on the edge of the box. He in turn fed the ball inside to Sargent who fired home a low first time effort from 18 yards that beat keeper James Hogg low to his right.
The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the hosts briefly and Ives carved out two more chances in quick succession. In 31st minute Wakley again fed Sargent from the right. The bustling centre forward again turned his man and fired in a low right foot shot that Hogg did well to keep out low to his right. But the keeper was very fortunate not to concede a second two minutes later as Billy Mobbs ran clear through the centre onto a Sargent flick from a Griffiths punt. Mobbs was unaware of just how much time and space he had and as the exposed keeper rushed at him he went for a first time effort which he sliced horribly wide with the goal at his mercy.
Having failed to go two in front Ives suddenly found themselves pegged back in 35th minute as Bald recklessly slid in to take down Adam Steels inches outside the right hand edge of the box. Dom Szuster fired in a low free kick that failed to get past the Ives two man wall, but the ball was fed back to Szuster who this time picked out Ethan Bennett by the penalty spot and the big centre back fired home first time through the crowd.
It did not take Ives long to regain their lead as four minutes later Mobbs danced his way through a couple of tackles and got clear down the left. Hogg came to meet him, but this time from a much more difficult angle than a few minutes previously the tricky winger managed to slide the ball past the advancing keeper but the effort lacked power and seemed to take an age to bobble over the goal line Garlick unselfishly shielding it on it’s way by preventing covering defender Callum Perkins from getting to the ball.
Having got his goal Mobbs was now on fire and was showing his full range of abilities. He took down a long ball 40 yards from goal and curled a ball with the outside of his foot that arced perfectly onto the chest of Sargent just inside the box. The big striker looked certain to score only for Hogg to bravely plunge in at his feet to block the effort at point blank range.
Mobbs doubled Ives lead right on the half time whistle. Griffiths kicking had been exemplary all evening, but the only kick he got wrong brought a goal. His scuffed kick evaded any lurking Star strikers and arrived at the feet of Mitchell Pillin inside the centre circle. The Ives skipper had the composure to take a touch and slide the ball perfectly between full back and centre back to put Mobbs clear once again he made up for his earlier error by sliding the ball past the advancing Hogg into the net.
Having got two in front Ives were expecting a Star onslaught at the start of the second period and sure enough the hosts came out with all guns blazing. Five minutes after the restart Bald clumsily brought down Szuster 25 yards from goal in a central position. The Star man picked himself up and took the free kick, but again failed to clear the Ives three man wall.
Ives survived that one, but they found their lead halved in 55th minute as the ball was fed across to the left where the tricky Boyes tried to go outside his marker before turning inside Leon Quinsee and Joe Purse and curling an unstoppable effort over the despairing dive of Griffiths and into the far corner of the net.
Star were now enjoying the majority of possession but struggling to create any more clear shooting opportunities as Ives midfield and back line were working like Trojans to deny anyone time on the ball. The visitors also continued to look dangerous on the break and from any dead ball situations they could create at the other end. In 66th minute a hanging Mobbs free kick from the left was met perfectly by Sargent ten yards out. Hogg pulled off an excellent save low to his left to keep out the powerful downward header.
The hosts possession stats must have looked very good in the second half but they still struggled to break down the stubborn Ives back line and Griffiths only real save of the second half came as players began to tire ten minutes from time. The silky Sadiq found some space 25 yards from goal and fired in a skimming drive that Griffiths had to plunge to his right to keep out at the expense of a corner. But the flag kick just like six others won by the hosts in the second period was dealt with effectively by Pillin and his colleagues.
In spite of the pressure there were a number of opportunities for Ives to break at pace and kill the game with another goal but on each occasion the man in possession of the ball made a wrong choice and failed to pick out team mates who were busting a gut to get clear into space.
The hosts were always going to get chances to grab a leveller and sure enough as Ives began to tire they had two let offs in the final six minutes. In 84th minute substitute Florian Tsaguim burst through two tired tackles down the right and got to the bye line. He pulled the ball back to Segun Okurinboye by the penalty spot, but a bobble on the bumpy Chestnut Avenue pitch saved Ives as it caused the Star striker to completely miss his kick allowing the ball to be scrambled away.
The final chance for the hosts came in the last minute as two Ives defenders got in each others way allowing Boyes to get away down the left. He drew Griffiths to him and slid the ball past the advancing keeper. It was heart in mouth time for Ives as it rolled on but to much relief it bobbled inches past the far post to allow the visitors to celebrate a hard won victory which moves them up to fourth in the early season table.
Final Score : Peterborough Northern Star U18 2 St Ives Town U18 3
Goals : Sargent 29, Mobbs 39 & 45
St Ives team : Griffiths, Quinsee (Gibbs 58), Mitkov, Purse, Pillin (capt), Perriera (Paine 55), Mobbs, Bald, Sargent, Garlick, Wakley (Katz 68)
Other subs roll on roll off : none
Unused Subs : Jakes
Attendance : approx 50
Report by Nigel Howlett
|October 1, 2018||19:45||Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|Peterborough Northern Star U18’s||1||2|
|St Ives Town U18||3||3|