Sunday 15th December 2015 – Hunts Youth U18 Cup
St Ives Town Youth 3 Kimbolton U17’s 0
The Ives scholars comfortably progressed to the semi-finals of the County Cup in a very one sided affair that was transferred to the Pro-Edge by the County FA at the last minute due to the lack of facilities at Kimbolton.
Unfortunately the game was played in awful conditions on a wet pitch with the rain still continuing to fall and the conditions made it very difficult for either side to play a flowing style of football as the ball either skipped off the wet turf, or was slowed by the mud to make it look a little more like a game from the 1980’s than one on the billiard table type surfaces of today’s Premiership games.
Ives started this game as strong favourites against a Kimbolton side struggling at the foot of the table and without a win all season in their League. They had only progressed this far in the competition as two other opponents had withdrawn against them.
The first real action of the game after only five minutes saw Kimbolton lose their keeper as he suffered knee ligament damaged in a clash with Matt Wright as both slid in for a 50-50 ball. A ten minute delay followed as the keeper was treated on the pitch and then stretchered off to the medical room. This left Kimbolton with only ten men, as they had no substitutes, and a stand in keeper.
The game restarted and Ives, not surprisingly continued on top. The stand in keeper looked confident and handled a Mark Lloyd corner well and kept out two efforts from Wright and a Bailey Pillin free kick from 25 yards before he was finally beaten on the half hour mark. Pillin picked up a clearance from the keeper 25 yards out and tried his luck with a well struck return shot that caught the stand in custodian unawares and crept in the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Wright continued to get on the end of most of Ives best chances and he went close twice more, including a one on one against the keeper where he clipped the ball past the him, but just the wrong side of the post. The second goal which had looked inevitable came three minutes from the break as Wright powered home a free header from six yards as he got on the end of a Lloyd corner from the left.
I think most of us were expecting a landslide as Kimbolton’s gallant ten men tired in the second half, but it did not materialise as they battled well and Ives took their foot off the gas a little. In fact the first shot on target of the second half on 51 minutes came from Kimbolton’s skilful number ten. But the effort lacked power and was a comfortable save for Jordan Mitchell.
Chances continued to come and go for the Ives. Pillin rattled the boards with a well struck effort from 30 yards on 54 minutes, Wright shot inches wide from the edge of the box three minutes later. Ives brought on fresh pairs of legs around the 65 minute mark as Jacob Texter and Ewan Smith replaced Dan Hudson and Joseph Morgan-McDaid. But still the battling lads from Kimbolton kept the score down.
Lloyd went on a solo run down the right on 70 minutes, he cut in and fired a rasping shot that beat the diving keeper, but rattled the far upright and rebounded into play. The keeper did well to smother Texter’s follow up effort. Lloyd was enjoying a lot of the ball on the right hand side, and somehow keeping fairly clean in the mud bath that was developing in the middle. He clipped in a well flighted cross on 72 minutes that picked out Wright on the six yard line, but the centre forward glanced his header wide with the goal at his mercy.
Texter went close again five minutes later as he battled his way through the central route and got on the end of a bouncing ball in the Kimbolton box, but failed to hit the target with his close range effort. The final Ives goal came with eleven minutes left as Wright grabbed his second of the morning running onto a through ball from Callum Shepherd and calmly slotting the ball into the far corner past the advancing keeper.
Ultimately this was a game which the Ives won at a canter, but to their credit the ten men of Kimbolton battled all the way and made things difficult for the scholars throughout. A better performance will be required to get to the final, but it is sometimes difficult to raise yourselves to win a game everyone expects you to win comfortably and the conditions did make things very difficult. More news on who we pull out of the hat in the semi final as soon as it is available.
St Ives Team : Mitchell, Parmenter, Hudson, Shepherd, Eyles, Cooper, Lloyd (capt), Morgan-McDaid, Wright, Pillin, Thompson
Subs (all used roll on/roll off) : Parr, Smith, Texter
Written by Nigel Howlett, Notes Taken by Gemma Thompson
Sunday 15th December 2015 – Cambs Women’s Championship South
St Ives Town Ladies 2 Park Ladies 1
The Ladies continued their fine form beating Park Ladies this afternoon. Two goals from Georgia Rebane were enough to seal victory. The Ladies are now 8 points clear at the top of the league over Christmas.
Their next fixture is the 10th January away to Cambridge Rangers.