St Ives Town 5 Peterborough United XI
Date: Tuesday 18th July 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Last season this similar pre-season fixture was a competitive affair with the Posh bringing a mixture of Under 21’s, Under 18’s and first team fringe players. Unfortunately this year it coincided with a first team fixture and the majority of those players were selected for the first team squad.
This meant that the visitors although boasting a number of very talented players in their ranks turned out an almost exclusively Under 18 squad. Ives went about the game in the professional manner we would expect them to and it was quickly obvious that their superior strength and ability would hold sway in this men against boys contest.
The first opportunity came after only seven minutes when Danny Kelly was fouled wide on the right. Ben Seymour-Shove swung in the free kick to the back post where the keeper and his defenders just managed to scramble the ball away before a prowling Ives striker was able to prod it home.
Two minutes later the elusive Peter Clark skipped through the middle and played the ball into the feet of Lewis Hilliard just outside the box. He curled an inviting pass into the run of Seymour-Shove whose first time effort from ten yards was palmed away at his near post by keeper Lewis Elsom.
But Elsom’s efforts only kept back the tide for a few seconds as Hilliard delivered a perfect hanging corner just beyond the far post where Kelly rose majestically above the crowd and cleverly directed his header down into the six yard box where James Hall reacted first to nod the ball home from close range.
The young keeper was unfortunately at fault as he presented Kelly with a gift to double the lead on 16 minutes. He received a back pass deep in his own area and tried to thread a pass to one of his colleagues in the centre of the park. Somehow he seemed to fail to spot Kelly lurking on the edge of the box and hit the ball straight into his feet. The big striker had time and space to pick his spot and did so in spite of the keeper’s gallant effort to redeem his error.
The one way traffic continued and Hall squandered a golden opportunity to make it three on 21 minutes. Aaron Hart misjudged a clip down the middle and the ball skimmed off his head leaving the Ives striker clean through on goal. But he did not seem to realise the time and space that he had and blazed his effort wide from the edge of the box.
A brief sortie down the other end did see the Posh youngsters create an opportunity as Josh Davison was brought down just outside the box. Jack Gurney curled the free kick over the wall, but straight into the waiting arms of keeper Tim Trebes.
With Clark and Hilliard combining well in the centre of the park Ives were moving the ball around almost at will and using both flanks to good effect. It was no surprise when a third goal arrived seven minutes before the break. Hilliard fed the ball into the feet of Jordan Jarrold who quickly moved it on to the feet of Kelly inside the box. He in turn flicked it on to Hall who skilfully side stepped his marker and curled the ball into the top corner from 12 yards giving Elsom no chance.
Kelly was within inches of making it four two minutes later as he again powerfully won a Hilliard corner at the back post and directed his header back into the six yard box. Amazingly no one got a touch and the ball bounced inches past the post.
Ives made four changes at the break, but this did not interrupt their control of the game and Hilliard was unlucky not to increase their lead four minutes after the restart. Phil Draycott played a clever curling ball into space for Hilliard to run onto cutting in from the left. He took the shot on first time from just inside the box and beat Elsom at his near post. Unfortunately the ball rattled the upright and rebounded to safety.
The woodwork of Elsom’s goal took another battering four minutes later as Kelly played in Hilliard again down the left. The silky midfielder showed his class as he cut into the box, looked up and picked out Jimmy Hartley with a perfectly weighted clip to the back post. Hartley took the ball down sidestepped a covering defender and fired in a left foot effort from ten yards the screamed past Elsom, but rattled the crossbar and bounced back into play.
The inevitable fifth goal arrived in simple fashion on 55 minutes. Jarrold delivered a long ball in from the left that neither the goal keeper, nor his defenders dealt with leaving Draycott the simple task of ghosting in at the back post and heading the ball home from the edge of the six yard box.
Manager Ricky Marheineke made another five changes just after the hour and one of those introduced made it five with an exquisite first touch less than sixty seconds later. Seventeen year old Tiago Dias who had replaced Hilliard scored a goal the midfield maestro would have been equally proud of. Receiving the ball in a central position 25 yards out he deceived his marker with a swivel of the hips and curled in a right foot effort beyond the despairing dive of Elsom.
Hall rolled back on as a replacement for Kelly 20 minutes from time and instantly came within inches of his hat trick as he drove into the left side of the box and unleashed a shot that deflected off Hart and became the third Ives effort to rattle the Posh woodwork on the evening as it hit Elsom’s right hand post and bounced away.
The game was well and truly over by this point and as Ives began to ease off we saw flashes of the ability of these Posh youngsters as they were given a little time to play the ball around. The closest they came to a consolation was on 76 minutes when substitute Harry Brookes drove at the heart of the Ives defence and got to the edge of the box before releasing a shot which flashed across the face of the hosts goal to safety.
Overall verdict was another excellent all round performance, but the competitiveness of the opposition must temper the level of excitement at watching the latest Ives recruits. A much sterner test awaits on Saturday at Rushden & Diamonds, one we look forward to with enthusiasm.
Final Score : St Ives Town 5 Peterborough United XI 0
Goals : Hall 10, 38, Kelly 16, Draycott 55, Dias 62
St Ives team : Trebes (Barton 45), Longden (Short 60), Jarrold (Torkornoo 61), Ferrell (Moyes 45), De’ath (capt), Clark (Bevan 61), Seymour-Shove (Hartley 45), Hilliard (Dias 61), Hall (Mc Gowan 45), Kelly (Hall rolling on 70), Draycott (Robins 61)
Attendance : 151
Match Report by Nigel Howlett