Scholar’s Result: St Ives Town 0 PNS U18’s 3

Thursday 24th September 2015 – FA Youth Cup First Round

St Ives Town Scholars 0 Peterborough Northern Star U18’s 3

The Ives scholars bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle, but they can hold their heads high as a depleted team missing a number of regulars battled hard against a very confident, older, and stronger PNS outfit.

In order for their tactics to work in this tie the Ives needed to keep the game tight early on and look to use their pace to hit their opponents on the break. Unfortunately that plan was scuppered very quickly as the Star took the lead with a very well taken goal after only six minutes.

Bradlee Page found time and space in midfield to clip an exquisite ball over the top of full back Sam Land for Ian King to run onto on the left side. King expertly took the ball down and curled it into the far corner of the net giving home keeper Jordan Mitchell no chance from the edge of the box.

The Star doubled their advantage only five minutes later as Mitchell could only punch a Page corner straight up in the air and was then out jumped by Joe Kelly whose header from well inside the six yard box just managed to cross the line in spite of Reuben Eyles attempt to hack it clear.

Ives first chance of the night came in true route one fashion on 14 minutes as a long punt from Mitchell was missed by the visitors centre back and Matt Wright found himself clear, but the young striker hurried his effort and fired well over from 20 yards.

The home side were a little fortunate not to fall further behind two minutes later as the dangerous Page managed to pick up a loose ball 25 yards from goal. He drove forward and fired in a shot from just outside the box that deflected off an Ives defender, beat Mitchell’s despairing dive, but cannoned off the base of the post. The resulting scramble saw Dalton Short’s attempted clearance rebound off Eyles and fortunately land in the hands of the grateful Mitchell.

As they so often do the Ives had a good period just before the break and managed to create a couple of chances to get back in the game. On 39 minutes a deep cross by Land from the right evaded everyone in the middle and arrived at the feet of Sam Davidson beyond the far post. Visiting keeper Trent Stanley was alert and quickly closed down Davidson who could only succeed in firing his close range effort into the body of the keeper.

Only one minute later George Reader managed to pick up a loose ball 30 yards from goal and fired in a powerful effort that beat Stanley and managed to convince a few of the home fans it had found the back of the net, unfortunately the ball was only nestling in the side netting.

This game could have become very interesting if Ives had managed to grab the next goal, but it was not to be and the Star settled it with a goal after 54 minutes. Good work down the right enable Mitchell Johnson to deliver a dangerous cross into the box which was flicked on at the near post by King. Kelly skilfully brought down the ball in the centre of goal and swivelled to fire home past the diving Mitchell from 12 yards.

With the score now at 3-0 to the visitors the game was over as a contest, but the young Ives continued to battle well and the hard working defence limited the visitors opportunities. Mitchell made one good save holding on well to a powerful effort from 25 yards by substitute Callum Pacey on 75 minutes.

Three minutes later Lewis Darani missed a guilt edged opportunity to put the icing on the cake for Star as he failed to get enough of a touch on a driven cross by Amir Concoron which had beaten Mitchell and his defenders and arrived at the feet of the unmarked Darani at the far post.

This was the last of the opportunities for either side as the game petered out and Star marched on to the next round. But most of this young Ives side will get another chance in the competition next season as they are only 16, or 17, at the moment. These lads could be very competitive by then.

St Ives Team : Mitchell, Land (Parmenter 61), Parr, Short, Eyles, Reader (Bedwell-Byatt 82), Smith (Cooper 58), Morgan-McDaid, Wright, Lloyd, Davidson

Unused Subs : Thompson, Shepherd

Attendance : 89