St Ives Town U18 v AFC Dunstable U18
FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round 30-09-19
The young Ives FA Cup adventure came to a juddering halt as they were well beaten by a good young OD’s side who held the ace card in their skipper Ben Andrews the central midfielder ran the game throughout and was probably a major cause of both Ives central midfielders being replaced with tactical substitutions before the break needless to say the replacements fared no better as Andrews and his colleagues continued to rule the roost.
The game was in some doubt right up to kick off as the incessant rain was beginning to cause a few puddles but referee Richard May decreed that the game should commence in the hope that conditions would improve and he was proved right.
The game started in explosive fashion with both sides creating chances in the first three minutes. Ives were almost caught out from the visitors first attack in the second minute as they were a little slow to close down Josiah Ramsey 25 yards from goal and the ODs striker seized the opportunity to fizz in a shot that slammed the boards only inches outside Kia Bradley’s left hand post with the keeper looking on hopefully.
Having almost been caught out with the first effort on goal Bradley then found himself beaten by the second effort less than sixty seconds later as the powerful Teddy Daniels battled his way into the box, there looked little danger as he went for goal from a narrow angle but the shot took a deflection off an Ives defender and looped over the startled Bradley and into the corner of the net.
The hosts reacted instantly as straight from the kick off the ball was hoisted down the middle with Tom Wakley in hot pursuit. Keeper Toby Collins came for the ball and was almost beaten as it skipped high off the still solid turf. He just managed to get hands to it but could not hold on the loose ball falling to the feet of Wakley who managed to get his shot on target but it was blocked by a covering defender and scrambled away.
Both keepers seemed to be struggling to come to terms with the difficult conditions early on and Bradley had a lucky escape in tenth minute as he misjudged the charge from his line to come and claim a through ball skidding off the wet surface. The ball went past him and Ramsey was onto it in a flash but fortunately for the red faced keeper Leon Quinsee read the situation well and came to his aid sliding in with a perfectly timed challenge to take the ball off Ramsey’s toe just as he was about to roll it into the empty net.
After this early activity the game seemed to settle down as both sides seemed to become accustomed to the conditions and the rain eased off a little. By this point Andrews was already showing his prowess in the centre always making himself available most things in the centre of the park were going through him. He was heavily involved in the next noteworthy action on the half hour as he combined well with Ramsey to put overlapping full back Dylan Fitzpatrick in on goal. But Quinsee again came to the Ives rescue with an excellent sliding block to keep out Fitzpatrick’s goal bound effort. The resulting corner flashed across Ives goalmouth only inches from the line at head height with amazingly no one able to get a touch.
There was still hope for a recovery ala the previous round when Ives came from two down at half time to defeat a classy Biggleswade side. However the likelihood of this happening was reduced very early after the break when the hosts were forced into their third and final substitution as Joe Cobb succumbed to illness to be replaced by debutant Jake Bond. Bond was involved in Ives first second half chance five minutes after the break as he combined well with Ben Smith before feeding the speedy winger into the box but his low drive was straight at Collins who made a comfortable save.
Any hope of a recovery was extinguished by a two goal burst from the visitors in the next three minutes. Andrews was again involved feeding the ball into the run of Ramsey across the face of the box and the big striker showed his strength and ability holding off the challenge of Ewan Young before slotting past the exposed Bradley to double the ODs advantage.
The third goal killed the game off only ninety seconds later and it was another soft goal for Ives to give away as Daniels delivered a deep cross from the left that found Fitzpatrick ghosting in completely unmarked at the far past. The full back kept his composure steering his header past Bradley and into the far corner of the net.
Now well in front the ODs began to enjoy themselves moving the ball around well despite the small puddles that were starting to appear in places again as the rain became heavier once more. Ives were still battling and had a little bit of luck in 56th minute as a clip over the top from left back Mamadou Diallo put Daniels clear. He decided to try and lob the exposed Bradley rather than take the ball down and power in on goal. Fortunately for Ives he got it all wrong and sliced his effort well wide.
Daniels was still hungry for another goal and it took a good save from Bradley to deny him in 63rd minute as he powered into the box between Karl Frans and Quinsee before unleashing a powerful low drive that deflected wide of the body of keeper Bradley who spread himself well.
Ives continued to battle and won a few free kicks deep in Dunstable territory but these were dealt with effectively by the OD’s defence without troubling keeper Collins. Who had one real save to make on the night and that came ten minutes from time. Smith got away down the left outside Fitzpatrick and cut in along the bye line but his attempt to find a team mate inside the box was cut out. To his credit though the young Ives winger pounced on the loose ball and got away a cracking right foot effort that forced Collins into a reaction save pushing the ball away high to his left.
That was the final real action of the evening for either keeper as the visitors continued to look untroubled with Andrews still making himself available at all times in the middle and feeding passes all around to his team mates with Ives not really able to prevent him at any stage of the game.
We wish the ODs every success in the next round where they will be only one win away from the professional clubs entering the competition. For Ives there is no time to dwell on what might have been as they return to League action next Monday when they entertain Wisbech St Mary at Westwood Road.
Final Score : St Ives Town U18 0 AFC Dunstable U18 3
Goals : none
St Ives team : Bradley, Frans (capt), Mitkov, Purse (Gibbs 24), Young, Quinsee, O’Donovan, McDougald (Stork 40), Wakley, Smith, Cobb (Bond 49)
Unused Subs : Darnell, Morton, Stonnell-Fitzgerald
Attendance : 60
Report by Nigel Howlett
St Ives Town U18 v Biggleswade Town U18
FA Youth Cup 1st Qualifying Round 16-09-19
Two half time substitutions, a change of formation and style turned this game on its head as Ives recovered from 2-0 down at the break to progress with a magnificent victory against a very useful Waders outfit.
Two very well taken goals in the first twenty minutes from the classy Muhammed Zilbound looked like they had put the Waders in complete control. But the introduction of Zac Hope and Ben Smith at the break and a change to 4-4-2 made the comeback possible. Goals from Tom Wakley and Ryley McDougald levelled things up with nine minutes to go before added time efforts from both half time substitutes clinched the unlikely victory.
Ives started the tie very positively and Wakley almost caught out Waders keeper Darryl Reid with a 25 yard snap shot in only the third minute, the keeper getting down smartly to his right to just prevent the low drive creeping inside the post. The same player put Reid under more pressure four minutes later as he closed down the keeper on a back pass, managed to block the attempted clearance and was unlucky to see the ball rebound to safety off the outside of the post. Wakley’s third effort on goal in the first ten minutes saw him get on the end of a Connor Gibbs clip over the top but his attempt to lob the ball over the exposed Reid failed as the ball sailed wide of the post.
Having exerted all of the early pressure Ives then fell behind to the Waders first meaningful sortie into the hosts box. Kade Bagge did well to win a corner off Mihayl Mitkov and Kyle Williams floated his flag kick to the back post where Zilbound rose majestically above the crowd to thump home a header that any of the old style centre forward would have been proud of.
Falling behind jolted Ives out of their stride a bit and they were jolted further off the rails six minutes later a Zilbound again showed his class outmuscling Ewan Young to get on the end of a Noah Bradshaw clip through the centre. The big centre forward then showed that he was more than just raw power as he deftly flicked the ball past the exposed Kai Bradley and into the net.
It took a good save from Bradley to prevent the visitors grabbing a third on the half hour as the young keeper leapt high to his left to tip over a rising drive from Alfie O’Dell after the Waders midfielder had been teed up on the edge of the box by Jacob Styles.
Ives had one chance to grab a goal back before the break as a quick Mitkov free kick from the half way line caught out the Waders back line the ball just clearing Adagun Kitan allowing Wakley to bravely challenge Reid for the high bouncing ball. The Ives striker won the clash and knocked the ball goalwards but Jack Allwood was on hand to clear up behind his keeper.
The half time team talk in the Ives dressing room was all about being positive and two positive changes at the break brought reward as wide man Hope and central striker Smith replaced Jamie Stork and Connor Gibbs respectively. The changes and a switch to a more attacking formation allowed Ives to wrestle the initiative from their opponents. Only ninety seconds after the re-start the new twin spearhead almost gained instant reward as Smith and Wakley combined to rob a struggling Kitan deep in his own half allowing Wakley to curl a shot inches wide from just outside the D.
The early goal that was needed to lift the Ives belief in themselves came five minutes later as Ewan Young pinged a perfectly weighted ball out of defence to set the speedy Smith away. He rounded keeper Reid only to see his goal bound blocked on the line by the covering Ellwood. But Wakley was following up and gleefully side footed home the loose ball to start the comeback.
As expected the goal lifted Ives and they set off in pursuit of an equaliser. An excellent break in 57th minute saw Smith weave his way into the box before losing possession. The loose ball ran on to Wakley who saw his shot well saved by keeper Reid. Smith following up was then unlucky to see his effort blocked on the line by a covering defender.
The Waders had one chance to re-wrestle the initiative from Ives in 62nd minute as Zilbound outmuscled Young to win a clip over the top. He then unselfishly laid the ball back into the path of O’Dell who seemed to miss hit his shot firing wide from a good position by the penalty spot.
Having survived that let off Ives returned to pounding their tiring opponents. With twenty minutes to go an excellent ball out of defence by Young gave Smith chance to get the run on Kitan and the Ives striker outpaced the Waders struggling centre back before lashing a shot from the edge of the box that beat keeper Reid but rattled his left hand post. That was the last action for Kitan who limped off with cramp seconds later.
The loss of their best centre back was a blow to the Waders and Ives capitalised on his absence ten minutes later as keeper Reid struggled to push away a Mitkov free kick into the box from the left. Hope pounced on the loose ball and curled it back into the space in the centre where Kitan would have been but instead McDougald found himself unmarked six yards out and he steered his header past the exposed Reid and in off the far post.
The pace and trickery of Joe Cobb, the sheer pace of Hope and the pace and direct running style of Wakley and Smith were proving a real handful for the tiring Waders back line. Hope was coming in for some particularly heavy punishment Ellwood brought him down in a very dangerous position just outside the right hand edge of the box with just seconds of the ninety minutes left. Keeper Reid did just enough to punch away Cobb’s in-swinging free kick on that occasion. But two minutes into added time another Cobb free kick from an almost identical position served up what proved to be the goal to settle the tie. Smith got in front of his man to flick on the in-swinger but the ball hit the inside of the far post. Hope was first to react to the loose ball and swooped to head home from close range and break Biggleswade hearts.
There was still time for Smith to put the icing on a very tasty Ives cake as he grabbed the goal he deserved in the fourth added minute charging down Reid’s attempted clearance after a throw had been hurled back to him to try and deliver the ball long. Having robbed the Waders custodian Smith gleefully rolled the ball into the empty net to ensure it is the hosts who go into the hat for second qualifying round draw.
Final Score : St Ives Town U18 4 Biggleswade Town U18 2
Goals : Wakley 51, McDougald 81, Hope 90+2, Smith 90+4
St Ives team : Bradley, Frans (capt), Mitkov, O’Donovan, Young, Quinsee, Stork (Smith 45), McDougald, Wakley, Gibbs (Hope 45), Cobb
Unused Subs : Darnell, Purse
Attendance : 84
Report by Nigel Howlett
Brackley Town U18 4 St Ives Town U18 2
FA Youth Cup – Preliminary Round 06-09-18
The young Ives gave higher level Brackley a huge fright before eventually bowing out of the FA Youth Cup on their long trip into Northamptonshire.
Ives started positively and Billy Mobbs went close twice in the opening three minutes. But they were then stunned by a fluky opening goal for the hosts from their first attack with only four minutes on the clock. Ives midfield were slow to shut down Ben Heath 25 yards from goal and he struck a fizzing pot shot that flew past a static Shay Griffiths. The ball cannoned into the crossbar and rebounded off the unlucky Griffiths before bouncing over the goal line.
Lifted by their fortunate opener the hosts continued to drive forward and Griffiths was nearly caught out again two minutes later as he was closed down on a back pass and robbed by Matthew Woods in a wide left position. The Saints striker managed to get the ball across into the six yard box but Mitchell Pillin was on hand to clear the danger.
Ives first corner in 14th minute lead to their first effort on target as Billy Garlick and Mobbs worked a short corner routine that allowed the latter to curl in a cross shot from wide on the left that had Saints keeper Owen Latty frantically back peddling to tip over.
Brackley’s first flag kick only sixty seconds later also resulted in an effort on goal as the ball was half cleared to Ethan Whitmore on the edge of the box and the Saints wide man should have probably done better with his first time effort from 20 yards that flew over the top.
However the hosts were not to be denied and doubled their advantage in 17th minute. A long route one ball down the centre from full back Josh Ireland was misjudged by Jordan Locke allowing Woods to get clear through the centre. The skilful centre forward made no mistake lofting the ball over the exposed Griffiths from the edge of the box.
Although now two behind Ives were certainly not out of the game and continued to look dangerous when they pushed forward. The hard working Harry Sargent forced an error from Saints skipper Alex Moffat to get the visitors back into the game in 20th minute. Mobbs was the man to capitalise as the ball ran loose and he crashed a skimming effort low to the right the diving Latty from 20 yards.
The lively Woods was still looking dangerous and he should have probably restored the hosts two goal advantage in 32nd minute as he timed his run to perfection to get between Ives defenders and get on the end of a Luke Swann cross from the left. It looked like Woods had done everything right but he only succeeded in steering his header from eight yards wide of the post.
Latty made a good save to keep out a stinging drive from Sargent in 34th minute but he was comprehensively beaten as the Ives equalised right on the stroke of half time. Garlick delivered an in-swinging corner from the left and Locke lost his marker and attacked the ball at the near post powering home a header from close range that gave the keeper no chance.
Having got level Ives came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half. Sargent should have probably put them ahead only ninety seconds after the re-start as he ran onto a clip over the top by Mihayl Mitkov and beat the on-rushing keeper to the ball taking a clattering in the process to add to his pain the loose ball bounced inches wide of the post.
Five minutes later the usually reliable Sargent spurned another golden opportunity as he found space inside the six yard box to get on the end of a Garlick free kick from the right. But again he failed to hit the target with his free header from very close range.
Now well under the cosh the Brackley manager decided to call up his big guns from the bench and made all three of his changes before the hour. One of these Owen James made an instant impact as he cleverly turned Locke 25 yards from goal in 62nd minute forcing the Ives skipper to bring him down to prevent him getting away. The yellow card picked up by the Ives man was probably seen as taking one for the team but the punishment from the resulting free kick was much greater as James picked himself up and fired a powerful effort over the wall. Griffiths flung himself to his right but could only parry the effort back into play. Woods was the first to react bundling home the loose ball from close range.
It should have been four for the home side with 20 minutes to go as Ives again failed to deal with a long ball down the centre James challenged Griffiths for the ball just outside of his box winning the ball to be left with a simple task of tapping the ball home. But out of nowhere Pillin threw himself in to deflect the big striker’s effort onto the post and the ball rebounded into the grateful hands of Griffiths.
Having survived that huge let off Ives should have got level in 75th minute. Garlick swung in another teasing free kick this time from the left. Keeper Latty came but got nowhere near it leaving Mobbs with a free header in the centre that he somehow managed to steer wide of the gaping goal.
Having failed to get level Ives suddenly found themselves two goals in arrears again in unusual circumstances. James battled hard to win a corner for the Saints. The flag kick was taken from the left by his fellow substitute Lewis Middleton who could not believe his luck as his in-swinger arced directly over Griffiths and went straight in at the far post.
Even though they found themselves two goal behind again Ives were still not out of the game and they continued to carve out chances that on another day they may well have taken. With nine minutes to go Sargent got on the end of another dangerous Garlick free kick, unfortunately like his earlier attempt he failed to hit the target with his under pressure header from eight yards. Only seconds later Mobbs flashed a 25 yard free kick inches wide of the post with a static Latty looking on.
The final Ives effort of the night came from one of their best moves as substitute Tom Wakley won a crunching tackle on the left and fed the ball into the feet of Mobbs just outside the box. He exchanged passes with Sargent before firing in a powerful drive that was blocked away by the legs of a well positioned Latty.
After a slow start Ives showed their character by coming from behind to get on level terms only for their finishing to let them down as if one of the very good chances that came their way early in the second half had been put away it is quite possible that they could have gone on to win this game. There is a long season to go and this very young team will only continue to improve.
Final Score : Brackley Town U18 4 St Ives Town U18 2
Goals : Mobbs 20, Locke 45
St Ives team : Griffiths, Bald, Mitkov, Paine (Purse 79), Locke (capt), Pillin, Garlick, Wager (Wakley 67), Sargent, Mobbs, Katz (Gibbs 30)
Unused Subs : Brown, Pereira
Attendance : 68
Report by Nigel Howlett