St Ives Town U18 v King’s Lynn Town U18
Thurlow Nunn Youth League – Western Division 04-03-19
Two late goals including a penalty at the death ensured that the Linnets stayed on track for the League title but the result was harsh on the Ives who had battled gallantly throughout and were very unfortunate to be denied at least a point from a game which for long periods they looked like winning.
The hosts showed their intent almost straight from the kick off as Harry Sargent chased a ball over the top forcing Linnets keeper Aydin Duran into a hurried clearance that went straight to Zac Hope. But the Ives wide man wanted a touch and was robbed by Aironas Kuzas before he could try to flight the ball over the stranded custodian.
Sargent’s battling qualities were causing the visitor’s centre back pairing a few problems and in eleventh minute he managed to battle between Harry Paul and Freddie Collison to get a toe to Thomas Wakley’s lob over the top. The ball floated over the stranded Duran but also inches over the crossbar.
The Linnet’s managed to get the ball in the net in their first meaningful attack of the game in 15th minute. A good inter passing move through the centre saw Mitchell Rasberry feed the ball out to overlapping full back Kyle Wells on the right. Wells driven cross was turned home at the back post by Jake Smith sliding in but his celebration was cut short as the linesman on the near side had his flag raised as Smith had got just in front of his man before the cross came in.
By the midway point in the first half the game had turned into an entertaining affair with both sides looking for every opportunity to get on the front foot and both defences battling hard to deny their opposition any space. The visitors went close again in 21st minute as the tricky Joe Taylor seized an opportunity to burst into Ives box but just as it looked like he was going to test Shay Griffiths in the home goal Mitchell Pillin came sliding across to block the shot at point blank range.
Ives hard work brought them reward ten minutes before the break as a Billy Garlick free kick from the left was fed into the feet of Harry Sargent just inside the box. In spite of the close attention of three Linnets defenders Sargent managed to find room to turn and try to burrow his way through only to be unceremoniously taken down by Paul. The assistant on the far side had the best view of the incident at he instantly waved his flag to signal a foul. Sargent picked himself up to despatch the resulting spot kick low past the left hand of Duran to put the hosts in front.
It took an excellent save from Griffiths to preserve Ives lead just seconds before the half time whistle. Smith managed to get on the end of a ball lofted up to the edge of the box. He directed his downward header into the path of Ben Welch who took a touch to take him into the box before unleashing a powerful low drive that the well positioned Griffiths blocked with his legs. Ewan Young was on hand to scramble the loose ball away.
With Ives still battling hard and things not going his way the Linnets manager made a desperate looking quadruple substitution in 58th minute in a brave attempt to garner his side a way back into the game. The changes almost had an instant impact as one of the newcomers Joseph Taylor combined well with Smith to play the big number nine into a good position inside the box on the left. He battled past Pillin before trying to curl the ball right footed around Griffiths but the Ives keeper was equal to the effort leaping to his left to turn the ball away.
Ives best chance to give themselves some breathing space by doubling their advantage came in 72nd minute as the ever willing Sargent chased down a Wakley clip over the top. He beat keeper Duran to the ball and rolled it past him only to be denied as Paul got around behind his keeper to hack the goal bound effort away from inside the six yard box.
But with the clock ticking down it was becoming evident that Ives were struggling to maintain the fantastic work rate that they had kept up to that point. With fifteen minutes to go Taylor looked like he had found a way through the Ives back line as he took on Pillin inside the box going down under the challenge but the excellent referee David Osbourn was on the spot to wave away Linnets claims for a penalty.
But that attack was the start of a period of pressure that lead to the visitors grabbing a somewhat fortunate equaliser three minutes later. As the ball bounced around the Ives box it fell to Taylor who again tried bursting through only to be denied by a solid tackle from Young. Unfortunately the loose ball fell to Smith on the edge of the box and although he did not hit his shot cleanly the ball bobbled past the unsighted Grifiths and nestled in the corner of the net.
Now level the Linnets saw the potential of claiming an unlikely victory to keep their championship hopes alive. Their best hope seemed to be feeding the lively Welch who having been one of those substituted in 58th minute found himself reintroduced to replace the limping Liam Mitchell on the left in 72nd minute. Welch was now up against a tiring Ives skipper Jordan Locke and seizing every opportunity to try and get past him on the outside. Twice in quick succession Locke brought down the speedy winger in dangerous positions just outside the box. But both free kicks were wasted as Luke Johnson delivered them too deep over the heads of his colleagues arriving at the back post.
The decisive moment though came with less than two minutes of the ninety left as Welch managed to get the wrong side of Locke for the third time but on this occasion fatally inside the box. Locke clumsily went into the back of the winger again taking him down for a cast iron penalty. Welch eventually limped off after treatment which meant a long wait before Taylor could take the resulting spot kick but the youngster kept his cool and comprehensively beat Griffiths high to his left although the kicker was perhaps a little relieved as the shot rattled the underside of the crossbar before bouncing up into the roof of the net.
The visitors were very effective in playing out the remaining few minutes of added time to leave a disconsolate Ives to trudge off at the end hopefully roused a little by the applause from their supporters who were rightfully proud of the effort the lads had put in and gutted as they were to get no reward from the game. But the lads must not be downcast and should take a lot from this game as they matched the potential champions throughout and were very unlucky to get no reward in the shape of points on the board.
Final Score : St Ives Town U18 1 King’s Lynn Town U18 2
Goals : Sargent 35 (pen)
St Ives team : Griffiths, Locke (capt), Quinsee, Purse, Young, Pillin Hope (Bald 71), Cawte, Sargent, Garlick (Gibbs 61), Wakley
Unused Subs : Frans, O’Donovan, Laker
Attendance : 83
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|March 4, 2019||19:45||Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town U18||1||1|
|Kings Lynn Town U18’s||0||2|