St Ives Town U18 v Deeping Rangers U18
Thurlow Nunn Youth League – Western Division 05-02-20
A well taken early goal from Joe Cobb decided this tight encounter to see the Ives return to the top of the table with their second win and equally importantly second clean sheet in a row. The way the Ives managed this game against a resilient Rangers was particularly impressive after they had attracted some negative comment a few weeks earlier for failing to see out games when in winning positions.
The hosts caught their visitors napping as they tore into them straight from the off and were unlucky not to get their noses in front even before Cobb found the net. The tricky winger showed his threat two minutes before the goal when he chased down a ball which looked like it was rolling out of play, kept it in and then ran towards goal along the bye line before picking out Connor Gibbs with his pull back. Gibbs struck his effort well and was unfortunate to find the back of a defender with the shot from ten yards rather than the back of the net.
Not disheartened from that failure to get in front Ives continued to tear at the somewhat disjointed Rangers and got the all important goal in their very next attack in sixth minute. Julinho Gomes harried a defender to win possession high up the pitch then raced down the right before delivering a dangerous low cross that Cobb coming in at pace between static defenders turned home past the startled James Hogg in the visitor’s goal.
Tom Wakley had a golden opportunity to double the advantage four minutes later as he chased down a long ball down the middle of the park from Jack Squire. Wakley outmuscled Laurence Wood to earn himself a shooting opportunity but rather than go for goal he tried to turn the ball inside to Gibbs arriving at pace but only succeeded in laying it behind him and the chance was gone.
As the first half wore on things began to even up and the visitors slowly worked their way into the game but thanks to the combined efforts of the hard working Ives side they were restricted to only one clear opportunity before the break. That came in 26th minute when Rangers skipper Ryan Olbromski found just enough space on the left corner of Ives box to step inside and fire off a rasping right foot drive that brought the best out of Kai Bradley in the home goal as he leapt high to his left to palm the shot away and preserve the Ives lead.
The remainder of the first half was fought out in a sticky midfield where the busy Connor O’Donovan, Squire and Gibbs were holding their own against the battling Rangers midfield three and thanks to the quality of both defences neither keeper was forced into dramatic action again before the break.
The visitors came out for the second half determined to find an equaliser and the second of two early corners did create a half chance as Ewan Young’s under pressure clearing header fell to Braden Henson on the edge of the box. The Rangers number four took a touch before firing well over the top as he was quickly closed down by Ives defenders.
Ives best chance to give themselves a two goal cushion came in 55th minute as Young timed his run to perfection to get on the end of Gibbs in-swinging corner at the near post but he seemed to meet the ball a little to cleanly when it just needed a glance and the effort flew just over the top.
The visitors were by this point enjoying the majority of possession but were finding it really tough to find a way through the solid Ives ranks and were generally restricted to speculative long range efforts. In 56th minute Harry Tidswell went close with a well struck effort from fully 30 yards that appeared to go close but an unconcerned Bradley was happy to wave it by.
The closest Rangers came to an equaliser was on the hour when Tidswell just managed to beat Bradley to a ball into the box by Oscar Benson, the centre forward managed to get around the struggling keeper but Bradley was saved by a well positioned Seb Darnell who got around behind his custodian to initially block Tidswell’s effort on the line and then hack the ball away to safety.
Rangers half chances continued to arrive sporadically but they were unable to take any of them. In 71st minute when an under pressure Bradley punched an Olbromski free kick down to the feet of Joe Burborough on the edge of the box but the shot from the Rangers substitute, who had only been on the field for seconds, lacked pace and Bradley recovered well to save low to his right. Ten minutes from time another Olbromski free kick evaded everyone to pick out Tidswell in space at the back post but his header sailed wide and with it went the visitors last chance of getting something out of the game.
The final half chance of the night went the way of the hosts in 82nd minute as Jamie Stork put fellow substitute Zac Hope away down the right. Hope showed his pace to get away from his pursuers but with no one to aim at in the centre he went for glory and fizzed a shot past the far post from a very narrow angle.
Perhaps not the most entertaining game but learning how to manage games and preserve a lead is a vital part of learning how to become a winning team and the second very controlled and well managed performance in a row has shown that the Young Ives have learned just how to do that quite effectively. There are certainly sterner tests to come and those will begin with a visit from title favourites King’s Lynn to Westwood Road next Wednesday (12th February)
Final Score : St Ives Town U18 1 Deeping Rangers U18 0
Goals : Cobb 6,
St Ives team : Bradley, Frans (capt), Mitkov, O’Donovan, Young, Darnell, Julinho Gomes (Hope 46), Squire (Quinsee 67), Wakley, Gibbs (Smith 70), Cobb (Stork 53)
Unused Subs : none
Attendance : 44
Report by Nigel Howlett
|February 5, 2020||19:45||Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division||2019-20||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town U18||1||1|
|Deeping Rangers U18||0||0|