St Ives Town U18 1 King’s Lynn Town U18 1
Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 27/11/17
A very young Ives squad containing nine first years in the fourteen were perhaps a little fortunate to take a point from a game where they struggled to create many clear cut chances. But to their credit every one of them battled all the way and an equaliser three minutes from time by George Cawte gleaned them a hard earned point against the young Linnets who had lead from mid-way through the first half thanks to a well taken goal by Charlie Rudland.
With so many changes to the line up it was always going to take Ives a while to get into their stride and it was the Linnets who were creating the early chances. Rudland combined well with Josh Walker on the left after six minutes. The move finishing with Walker playing in Rudland on the left hand side of the box. The skilful wide man took a touch, but fired over from a good position.
Less than a minute later the visitors were probing the Ives back line again, this time Jack Cropley and Connor Young exchanged passes before the latter fired in an effort from the edge of the box that was fortunately straight at Tom Smith who held on well.
Ives first opportunity arrived in 15th minute as a pass went astray in the Linnets back line. Tiago Dias pounced on the loose ball 25 yards from goal. He took a touch before curling in a well directed effort that forced Lewis Herbert in the visitor’s goal into a diving save low to his left. Billy Mobbs was following up and kept the ball alive, but was unable to pick out Harry Sargent with his ball back into the middle.
In spite of this escape it was still the visitors on top and they went close again in 20th minute as Rudland delivered a long free kick into the box that arrived at the feet of Callum South at the back post. Fortunately Smith was down quickly to keep out his prodded effort by his right hand post.
Ives had a massive escape three minutes later as a Rudland corner from the right was met powerfully in the air by Young eight yards out. His header beat Smith comprehensively, but rattled the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down into the goalmouth. Smith made two remarkable saves to keep the ball out in the ensuing scramble. The second of these certainly looked like he had pulled the ball back from behind the goal line, but the well positioned assistant referee waved play on and the ball was eventually hacked clear.
Having got away with that one Ives were probably looking for time to settle. But it was not forthcoming as the skilful Walker played a peach of a ball over their back line to pick out a perfectly timed run from Rudland. He took the ball in his stride and went around the exposed Smith before netting well from a narrow angle to put the Linnets in front in 24th minute.
Ives had an instant chance to respond as straight from the restart Dias went down the left and delivered a teasing ball into the middle that dropped onto the foot of Mobbs arriving at the back post. Unfortunately the young striker snatched at his chance and volleyed well over the top.
The game evened out for the remainder of the first period with most of the exchanges in midfield and neither side able to create a real opportunity.
The second period started in similar fashion to that which the first ended with both sides struggling to wrestle control in the centre of the park. The first chance of the second half arrived in the 54th minute in unexpected style as the classy Walker made probably his only mistake of the evening misplacing a pass by the half way line that Mobbs pounced on. He slotted a through ball into the channel for Sargent to run onto and the striker out muscled South as he ran onto the ball. However he was pulled back by the referee’s whistle as he bore down on goal with the match official deciding that he had fouled the big Linnets centre back as they tussled for the ball.
Nine minutes later referee Laurie Parnham played an excellent advantage as Mitchell Pillin brought down Cropley by the half way line. The ball was taken on by Young who played a one two with Walker before blazing over from a good position.
Ives substitute Louis Bald was looking very lively and he had the confidence to go for goal from 40 yards in 71st minute as a hurried clearance from keeper Herbert arrived at his feet. Although he got the direction right the attempted lob just lacked sufficient power to clear the fast retreating keeper who made a good catch.
As the game wore on Ives came more and more into it and continued to push forward in search of an equaliser. But it looked like the Linnets defence well marshalled by skipper South was going to hold them at bay. Until three minutes from time when Freddie Collison was deemed to have fouled Mobbs by the left hand corner flag. Mobbs delivered the resulting free kick to the back post where Cawte had crept in undetected and was able to steer his free header between Herbert and the post to level things up.
With their tails now up the hosts went in pursuit of a very unlikely winner. But even though they managed to win a corner deep in added time which gave them chance to crowd the box, including throwing keeper Smith forward for the third game in a row this time a second goal did not arrive and it finished with honours even on an entertaining game.
St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatkowski, Pillin, Short (capt), Locke (Harvey 81), Cawte, King (Bald 57), Sargent (Oldale 75), Mobbs, Dias
Unused subs : none
Goals : Cawte 87
Attendance : 32
Report by Nigel Howlett