Thursday 29th October 2015 – Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division
Holbeach United U18’s 1 St Ives Town Youth 4
The young Ives returned to winning ways with a classy all round performance in a game where only an heroic performance from the home keeper prevented them winning by a cricket score as they cut the Tigers to pieces with an excellent display of attacking football from start to finish.
The visitors went in front on five minutes as Matt Wright ran onto a through ball from Joseph Morgan-McDaid. He bravely challenged the keeper for the ball which then ricocheted off the keeper and a defender before bouncing back for him to side foot home.
Seven minutes later the home keeper pulled off his first excellent save of the evening as he somehow kept out a point blank effort from Wright as he got on the end of a Bailey Pillin cross from the left. Five minutes later it was Pillin’s turn to be denied as the home keeper did well to cling on to his snap shot from 20 yards.
Ives keeper Jordan Mitchell had been a virtual spectator up to this point, but he showed he was keeping alert by plunging to his left to keep out a fierce snap shot from the Tigers skilful central midfielder on 22 minutes.
However normal service was quickly resumed as play swung to the other end again. Dalton Short powered a header just over from a Kieran Thompson corner on 31 minutes and Wright was again denied his and Ives second by the keeper’s legs five minutes before the break.
The same pattern of play continued in the second period with Ives creating chance after chance and either failing to hit the target, or being denied by the gallant home keeper. Pillin failed to hit the target after being played in by Thompson on 50 minutes. The same player shot against the keeper’s legs after being put through by Wright two minutes later.
Wright then twice failed to hit the target from good positions on 53 and 55 minutes. Pillin was again denied by the keeper’s legs after a flowing move down the right involving Sam Davidson and substitute Mark Lloyd on 68 minutes. The keeper denied Pillin yet again on 70 minutes after Sam Bedwell-Byatt had put him through.
The unthinkable then happened on 75 minutes as the Ives defence switched off as a long free kick was pumped into the box. No one picked up home substitute Brandon Manon who had the freedom of the park to head home an equaliser from the Tigers only meaningful second half attack. This sparked a further brief flurry by the home side which meant Mitchell had to make a diving save to his left two minutes later.
But then the home keeper made his only mistake of the evening to gift the Ives the lead again. He picked up an obvious back pass to present the visitors with an indirect free kick by the penalty spot. The ball was tapped sideways to Pillin who gleefully fired it home high into the net through the crowd of defenders on the line.
Ives added further goals from Mark Lloyd who was put through by the hard working Pillin on 86 minutes, and a solo goal by Davidson cutting in from the right a minute later to give the score line a more accurate reflection of the play. However the corner count probably gives a truer reflection of the actual balance of the game and this was 8-0 to the Ives.
Star man went to Bailey Pillin for his all action display which on another night, against another keeper, could have brought him four, or five goals. This was a much better display than of late and a return to the flowing football of earlier in the season. The lads are very much learning and there will be inconsistencies, but they are still improving and are shaping up into a very exciting side to watch.
St Ives Team : Mitchell, Parmenter, Smith, Short, Shepherd, Mead (capt), Davidson, Morgan-McDaid, Pillin, Wright, Thompson
Subs (all used roll on/roll off) : Land, Reader, Lloyd, Bedwell-Byatt