St Ives Town U18 4 Godmanchester Rovers U18 2
Thurlow Nunn Youth League – Western Division 24-09-18
Zac Hope ensured that the Ives Under 18’s return to Westwood Road was a triumphant one with a very well taken second half hat trick to top off a very entertaining game.
Hope probably thought that it was not going to be his night when he spurned a golden opportunity to put Ives in front in only third minute. A long free kick from inside his own half by Jordan Locke completely deceived the Rovers centre backs and Hope who had ghosted in at the back post found himself all alone eight yards out with only Rovers keeper Finn Cooper to beat. He went for power and shook the goal frame with a thunderous shot that rebounded out of the eighteen yard box to safety.
The young Ives were not to be denied for long as there were only four more minutes on the clock when Billy Garlick curled his free kick around the Rovers wall from 25 yards. Keeper Cooper spilled it and the first players to react to the loose ball were the Ives centre back pairing as Locke squared the ball across the face of goal to give Mitchell Pillin a simple tap in to claim his second goal in five days.
Rovers quickly proved that they to were a threat as they responded by going very close to an equaliser in tenth minute. Connor Gibbs lost possession inside the Rovers half allowing Jayk Mullee to bust forward at pace on the right. He cleverly turned inside onto his left foot and curled an effort around a defender and the diving Shay Griffiths and was very unlucky to see the ball rebound off an upright.
Both sides were trying to get the ball down and play and the move of the evening came from Ives in 16th minute as an intricate passing move that started from left back Elliot Jakes and involved at least a dozen passes was finished as Harry Sargent slid a ball inside Rovers full back Luke Cosbey to pick out the well timed run of Thomas Wakley cutting in from the right. Unfortunately Wakley failed to provide the finish the move deserved as he scuffed his shot across the face of goal from twelve yards.
The game continued to flow from end to end with both attacks looking likely to score on a number of occasions. Ash Humphreys went close for the visitors with a shot from a narrow angle that fizzed across the face of goal in 25th minute and Hope returned the compliment only sixty seconds later as Gibbs teed him up to hammer a shot from 25 yards that wizzed past Cooper’s right hand post and thudded the boards.
As the first half came to a close Rovers enjoyed their first sustained period of pressure. A free kick from the edge of the box was scrambled away at the expense of a corner. Skipper Fraser Kerr rose above the crowd at the near post but his goal bound header was deflected over the top. Griffiths came and got a good clean punch onto the second corner but the ball was fed back into the box and then only half cleared falling to Rovers substitute Harvey Gargiulo 25 yards from goal. He unleashed a first time pile driver that comprehensively beat Griffiths and billowed the back of the net to send the two sides in level at the break.
The second period started similarly to the first with Ives quickly going back in front. There were only five minutes on the clock when Louis Bald caught the Rovers defenders napping with a quick throw that put Hope away down the right. He powered away down the right and got to the bye line before cutting inside and getting his head up to lay the ball back Gibbs on the edge of the box. Gibbs miss hit his shot but Hope had kept on running and was in the perfect place to slot the loose ball home from inside the six yard box.
Hope came close to doubling his personal tally and Ives lead four minutes later as a log throw into the box was allowed to bounce and he quickly pounced on the loose ball spinning and shooting all in one move to fire in a shot that the static Cooper was pleased to see flash inches wide.
With Ives now well on top it was looking like only a matter of time before they got the third clinching goal. Locke went close when he got on the end of a well rehearsed free kick to fire in a low shot from the edge of the box in 68th minute. Pillin should have scored five minutes later as he got on the end of a Bald free kick from the left but failed to hit the target with his free header from eight yards.
Having failed to sew the game sure enough Ives were caught out fifteen minutes from time as the silky Jayden Rogers fed a ball into the feet of Mullee on the left side. With three Ives players in front of him there looked little danger but he crashed his way through three poor tackles to get to the bye line before firing a low cross along the six yard line that Humphreys arriving at the back post slammed home off the underside of the crossbar to level things up again.
Neither side wanted to settle for a point so the two continued to slug it out. Rovers were first to have a go as substitute Alf Swanston got between the Ives centre backs to get on the end of a clip into the box from the right by Kerr in 77th minute. Fortunately his header from ten yards lacked power and was a comfortable save for Griffiths.
Play swung straight to the other end where the ever willing Sargent battled his way through two tackles to get into a shooting position inside the box only to be bravely denied by Cooper as the keeper slid in at his feet.
Young Hope showed that he has not only got power and speed he has also got stamina in abundance as with nine minutes to go he picked up a loose ball on the half way line with only one though in his mind as he tore past the Rovers tiring defence with the pace of an express train leaving defenders in his wake. The finish past Cooper from the edge of the box was just as emphatic as he hammered the ball home giving the keeper no chance.
Any lingering doubt on the result was extinguished three minutes later as Hope completed his hat trick picking up a ball from Adam Kelly on the edge of the box the powerful striker spun onto his right foot and planted the ball low past the diving right hand of Cooper. The youngster was rightly substituted only seconds later to allow him to receive his due accolade from both sets of supporters.
The only item of note in the remaining six minutes was a near own goal from Pillin as he a Charlie Davis effort driven across the box deflected off him and rolled inches wide of the near post with Griffiths looking on.
Overall a pulsating encounter and one that promises much in the latest crop of youngsters coming through. Now they are back home at Westwood Road get along to see them soon judging on this game you will certainly be entertained.
Final Score : St Ives Town U18 4 Godmanchester Rovers U18 2
Goals : Pillin 7, Hope 50, 81 & 84
St Ives team : Griffiths, Bald, Jakes (Paine 55), Purse, Locke, (capt), Pillin (Perreira 84), Wakley (Stork 70), Garlick (Katz 61), Sargent, Gibbs (Kelly 73), Hope
Other subs roll on roll off : Garlick for Hope 84
Unused Subs : none
Attendance : 69
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|September 24, 2018||19:45||Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Final Score||Goals|
|St Ives Town U18||—||—||—||4|
|Godmanchester Rovers U18’s||—||—||—||2|