Monday 5th October 2015 – Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division
St Ives Town Youth 0 Wisbech St Mary’s U18’s 6
After the excellent showing against League leaders PNS only four days earlier this challenge against another of the top three was looked forward to with eager anticipation. Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations as a tired looking young Ives side were muscled out of it by a bigger and stronger Wisbech side.
The visitors showed they were very much up for this fixture as early as the second minute when Kieran Hamilton got away down the right and drove in a low cross that home keeper Jordan Mitchell did very well to tip away from the inrushing Declan Earth.
The visitors continued to press and Reagan Brown headed just over from a corner on five minutes. Mitchell did well to hang onto a drive from 25 yards by Josh Burrows on seven minutes. On 16 minutes he did even better to gather a fierce drive from Jordan Keeble that skipped off the wet turf just in front of him.
Up to this point it had been very much a rearguard action for the scholars. But they showed they could be a threat as lone striker Sam Davidson chased down a long punt from Mitchell that had glanced off the head of Mark Samways in the visitors defence. Davidson tried to head the ball over keeper Ash Hicks, but the visitor’s custodian just managed to back peddle and tip the ball away at full stretch. The resulting corner was fired over the top by Dalton Short.
However this sortie into the visitors territory was short lived and play swung back down the other end with Mitchell again called into action to save his side Keeble fired in another pile driver from distance that Mitchell did well to block he also bravely pounced on the rebound at the feet of Earth.
The Ives looked like they might just hang on until the break, but fell behind in the 38th minute as a mix up between Short and Mitchell ended with the centre back miss kicking a clearance straight to Keeble who gratefully accepted the gift by firing the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards past Mitchell’s despairing dive.
The Ives made three substitutions at the interval, however before they could have any influence on the game Mitchell was called in to action again to tip away a well struck effort from Hamilton with the second period only two minutes old. The home side failed to deal with the resulting corner and the ball arrived at the feet of Keeble who gave Mitchell no chance from eight yards to double the visitor’s advantage.
Ives best chance to get back into this fixture looked like it might be the pace of substitute Matt Wright and twice in the space of a minute he skinned Haime to get to the bye line. On the first occasion on 49 minutes he laid the ball back to Davidson eight yards out with the goal at his mercy, but he rushed his shot and fired well over the top. Less than one minute later Wright’s ball along the six yard line was touched away from the waiting Davidson by Hicks and Ives opportunity to get back into this game was gone.
Hamilton sewed up the points eight minutes later as he received a short corner on the edge of the box and was given time and space to place his shot through the crowded goalmouth into the far corner of the net.
In spite of rolling on and off their players the young Ives showed just how much last Thursday’s game had taken out of them and they were beginning to run out of steam In spite of Mitchell’s heroics they conceded a further three goals in the last ten minutes.
On 81 minutes Hamilton again found space on the left and fired in a powerful drive from 20 yards that Mitchell did very well to block, but his defenders were slow to react to the loose ball and Brown was allowed to slot it home. Four minutes later Burrows danced his way past three lunging tackles, before unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box that flew in the bottom corner.
The final nail in the coffin came as the game entered added time and involved two of the Wisbech substitutes. Ross Beart got away down the right and laid the ball in to Ben Garner ten yards out in space. Garner turned and fired in a low drive that Mitchell did well to block low to his left, but Beart following up pounced on the loose ball to rifle home.
This game was a disappointment after the huge effort the boys had put in to pick up a point at PNS. It certainly looked as if a lot of them were still suffering from their efforts in Peterborough. It is also a part of their football education and as always in these situations it will be how they all bounce back from this game that will show the character these lads have.
St Ives Team : Mitchell, Smith, Parr, Shepherd, Short (capt), Eyles, Thompson, Reader, Davidson, Morgan-McDaid, Bedwell-Byatt
Subs (all used roll on, roll off) : Land, Cooper, Lloyd, Wright, Pillin
Attendance : 50