Biggleswade Town U18’s 3 St Ives Town Youth Team 0
Date: Wednesday 5th October 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Ground Address: Langford Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9JT
Competition: The FA Youth Cup Second Qualifying Round
After Ives recent performances this was a very disappointing exit from the FA Youth Cup at the hands of a skilful and quick Waders side who certainly deserved to progress. But whether it was nervousness, or even over confidence, this was a game in which no one really got going for the Ives and they failed to take the opportunity to show their abilities on the excellent surface at a chilly Langford Road Stadium.
The home side started confidently and took the game to the Ives in the early stages as they found the space and time to get their quick passing game going. The visitors defence did well to restrict them to just a couple of long range efforts in the first 15 minutes. But they then fell behind to a scrappy goal as Malik Rickmon took on and beat Ewan Smith and Sam Land wide on the left before delivering a low cross that Ives defence failed to deal with. Cardell Flavian-Nicholas pounced on the loose ball and tucked it home past Tom Smith from close range.
Ives were still battling to get a foothold in the game, but were predominantly looking to go long ball over the top for Matt Wright to chase. In spite of his hard work Wright was being well marshalled by the Waders centre backs and was only feeding on scraps. The closest he came to picking up a scrap was on 27 minutes when he almost beat keeper Bradley Heaps to a bad back pass. But the keeper just got their first and Wright sustained an injury in the subsequent collision that left him limping and ultimately put him out of the game.
At the other end the lively Flavian-Nicholas was still causing the visitors defence plenty of problems. He set up an excellent opportunity for his captain Sam Gibson on 34 minutes as he muscled his way through the middle before teeing up Gibson who curled in an effort from the corner of the box that beat the diving Smith, but rebounded to safety off the crossbar.
Wright limped off four minutes later to be replaced by Vitor Delgado Vaz, but the game continued to flow towards the Ives goal. Reuben Eyles conceded two free kicks in dangerous positions in quick succession just before the break. Both were curled into the danger zone by Gibson. The first was powerfully headed over by Joel Ives and the second was even more comprehensively humped over the top from a good position by Isaac Charles.
The visitors best opportunity to get on level terms came only three minutes into the second half as Tiago Dias threaded a ball through the channel into the feet of Sam Davidson. He battled his way into the box before being taken down by Charles. Much to the indignation of the Ives bench the referee decided the offence had occurred outside the box and awarded a free kick at least ten yards behind where the incident actually occurred. Dias fired the free kick well over the top and the chance was gone.
The Waders soon got back into their stride and continued to enjoy some good periods of possession, but the visitors still continued to battle and restrict them to long range efforts which generally failed to hit the target. Joel Ives and Gibson both went close with well struck efforts that thudded the boards either side of the hour.
The home side were getting some success down both flanks and Flavian-Nicholas outpaced Sam Land down the right before cutting in and firing into the side netting on 73 minutes. Only one minute later keeper Smith did very well to palm away a low driven cross by substitute Milo Keane who had similarly powered down the left before delivering his dangerous cross into the box.
Keane repeated his run down the left to settle the game seven minutes from time as he left Delgado Vaz and Dawid Kwiatoski trailing in his wake before cutting in and firing past the exposed Smith from close range.
With Ives resistance now finally broken Gibson put the icing on the cake for the Waders one minute from time as he rose unchallenged eight yards out to nod home a cross from Aaron Diviney.
We must take the positives from this run in the FA Youth Cup where the players have learnt a lot in their hard fought wins over good Corby and St Neots sides. They must also learn from this experience against another good side and take it forward into the rest of the League season where a top finish must be their target.
St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Kwiatowski, Land, Jamie Short, Sheppeard (capt), Eyles (Cooper 66), Davidson, Polhos, Wright (Delgado Vaz 38), Dias, Ewan Smith (Anemou 45)
Unused substitutes : Parmenter
Goals : None
Attendance : 65