St Ives Town U18 4 Peterborough ICA Sports U18 1
Huntingdonshire Under 18 County Cup 2nd Round – 12/11/17
A well taken Sam Bond hat trick and a goal from Billy Mobbs saw Ives overcome stubborn resistance from Peterborough Sunday League side ICA on a bright, but cold morning on a windswept distant pitch at Jubilee Park.
The visitors came looking determined to get at Ives early on and it took an alert save from Sam Carter to prevent Guiseppe Spataro putting them ahead in only 2nd minute. However Ives did not heed this warning and when the hosts back line allowed Tyler Munns space to run across the edge of the box he punished them by firing a well struck left footed effort into the top corner of the net past the despairing dive of Carter in 13th minute.
The early Sunday morning start was perhaps a little much for some of Ives boys, but falling behind sparked a reaction and three minutes later Cobi Thomas cut in from the left past his marker and unleashed a rising drive that flashed past keeper Matt Wilshire and rattled the upright before rebounding away.
There were only three more minutes on the clock when Ives equalised. Sam Bond’s persistence saw him rob a dallying defender and battle to the edge of the box before squaring the ball inside to Mobbs who struck a low shot that crept underneath the body of Wilshire as he was a little slow to get down to his left.
ICA continued to battle hard and worry their illustrious hosts. In 27th minute Alesio Hoxha chased a hopeful ball down the middle and got between Matt Harvey and Jordan Locke then bravely beat Carter to the ball and was unlucky to see his toe poked effort hit the post and rebound to safety.
Ives went in front in 35th minute as a Bond effort was blocked by Ciaran Millen. The ball rebounded to Mobbs who showed great technique to hammered in a powerful volley that Wilshire did well to parry up into the air. He did even better to recover and punch the dropping ball off the head of Thomas inside the six yard box. But the ball was not cleared and it arrived back with Bond who struck a low drive through the crowd that beat Wilshire low to his left in almost identical fashion to Mobbs opener.
With half time approaching Ives were enjoying a period of good possession, but their visitors restricted them to just one more good opportunity before the break as Ash Morris battled through the centre of the park before sliding a pass through the left channel that put Bond in one against one with Wilshire. The keeper did well making himself big and although Bond slid the ball past him he also put it wide of the keepers left hand post.
Although now playing against a strengthening breeze Ives continued in the ascendency for the early part of the second half and Bond grabbed his second and the hosts third with a crisp rising drive from the edge of the box having been set up by an excellent run past two defenders and pull back from Mobbs down the left.
To their credit ICA heads did not go down and as Ives eased off the visitors came more back into the game. Munns tested Carter’s positioning and footwork with a dipping volley from fully 35 yards in 66th minute. But the big keeper was alert to the effort and made the save look easy.
James Ware should probably have reduced the arrears twenty minutes from time as he somehow found space eight yards out to get on the end of a corner from the right. But he directed his free header just wide of the upright with the goal at his mercy.
Rather than kill the game Ives went in search of more goals and should probably have added another in 76th minute. Morris put Bond clear through the right channel, but rather than go for his hat trick the Ives centre forward unselfishly tried to roll the ball square to give Mobbs a tap in, but overhit the pass.
Four minutes later a corner from the right was cleared to Jamie Short at the back of the area. He delivered a teasing ball into the box which fell to the feet of Locke at the back post. But the centre half snatched at his opportunity and hammered the ball well over the top from an excellent position.
ICA were still well in the game and could have set up a grandstand finish with seven minutes to go as a speculative effort from Spataro beat the diving Carter, but rattled the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
Skipper Short was playing in an unfamiliar midfield role and it took him a while to find his feet in the position, but as the second half wore on he was becoming more influential and enjoying getting forward more. He went close to grabbing a goal in 88th minute as Mobbs once more danced his way down the left before picking out Short on the edge of the box with his pull back. The skipper’s well struck effort was pushed away by Wilshire diving to his left.
The referee had been hot on pushes throughout the game and it was no real surprise when he spotted one inside the box in 90th minute to award ICA a penalty. Fortunately for Ives Hoxha failed to hit the target with his powerfully struck spot kick to deny ICA an even closer score line.
There was still just time for Bond to put a gloss on the final score and complete his hat trick with a clinical finish from just inside the box having been set up by an excellent run and cross from the right by substitute Adam Kelly.
Although their performance dropped well below the level of recent League games. Ives did all that was asked of them to march through to the Quarter Finals, but ICA can hold their heads high having match the hosts for long periods of this game and perhaps been a little unlucky not to add to their solitary goal.
St Ives Team : Carter, Oldale, Pillin, Harvey, Locke, Short, Thomas (Kelly 45), Morris, Bond, Jakes, Mobbs
Unused subs : Foster, Dias
Goals : Mobbs 19, Bond 35, 58, 90+1
Attendance : 25 approx
Report by Nigel Howlett