Monday 7th September 2015 – Thurlow Nunn Youth League
St Ives Town Scholars 3 Downham Town U18’s 1
The young Ives were pushed all the way in this fixture by a resolute Town side, whose effort and application totally belied their lowly league position.
Things started well for the home side as Matt Wright was on hand to coolly slot home the loose ball after the visitor’s debutant keeper Szymon Mylosz had dropped a long free kick into the box after only eleven minutes.
Wright missed a glorious opportunity to double his, and Ives, tally only six minutes later as he got clear of the visitors defence, but his attempted chip over Mylosz drifted the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten.
However the visitors were working hard to get a foothold into the game and were denying the Ives any time on the ball. They were winning a fair amount of possession and beginning to create opportunities. On 21 minutes Josh Ojisonyo went down the right and delivered a ball into the edge of the box that Angus Bailey fired inches over.
The home side did not heed the warning and on the half hour they allowed Bailey space just outside the box and he seized the chance squeezing home his low shot into the far corner past an unsighted Jordan Mitchell in the home goal.
The visitors almost went in front six minutes later as a corner was half cleared to Downham’s Matt Wright and he curled in an effort that looked destined for the top corner until an excellent diving save from Mitchell that tipped the ball away.
As the half drew to a close play swung to the other end and it was Mylosz chance to keep his side level as he blocked out a close range effort by Wright after he had been played into space by Sam Davidson. The ball rebounded to Wright, but covering defender Will Perry was on hand to block his effort.
Mylosz started the second period as he finished the first this time timing his dash from his line to perfection to claim the ball off Wright’s toe after it looked like he had been put clear again.
Mitchell pulled off a similar save on the hour as plunged bravely at the feet of Zack Craig after he had been put clear by Bailey. The home keeper was equally brave to dive in amongst the flailing boots and claim a loose ball in the six yard box after a well delivered Craig corner had caused havoc in the box nine minutes later.
As the second half wore the superior fitness of the Ives scholars began to tell as a number of visiting players started to go down with cramp. Mylosz saved his side once more in 80th minute as he stretched to keep out Davidson’s attempted chip.
The visitor’s keeper was finally beaten on 84 minutes as Charlie McManus got clear down the left and delivered a pinpoint cross to pick out the late arriving Ewan Smith who gleefully headed the Ives in front.
The gallant visitors put together one final effort to try and grab the point they had come for and Bailey threaded a ball into the tricky Ojisonyo who wriggled his way clear. Home skipper Olly Mead slid in with a last ditch tackle to block the shot and a well positioned Mitchell was glad to grab hold of the follow up effort from Jamie Bowler.
As the game entered it’s dying moments McManus managed to thread a well weighted ball through the tiring Town defence to put Davidson clear, but Mylosz managed to push him wide and the speedy winger could only fire into the side netting.
The final, and somewhat flattering, Ives goal came in the last minute as Mark Lloyd found space on the left and cleverly chipped the ball over Mylosz, the keeper to his credit still made a scrambling effort to get back and claw the ball away, but the eagle eyed assistant on the nearside was on hand to signal that the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal.
Attendance : 58