Kings Lynn Town U18’s 0 St Ives Town Youth Team 2
Date: Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Ground Address: The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Rd, King’s Lynn PE30 5PB
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division
A cracking all round performance saw the young Ives bounce back from last week’s dismal cup defeat to very much keep alive their hopes of claiming the Western Division title.
The impressive Walks Stadium, some very positive training sessions and the presence of manager Jack Cassidy and assistant Ben Seymour-Shove seemed to have the desired effect of lifting the boys as with only three changes this looked like a completely different side from last week.
One of the returnees was goalkeeper Tom Smith and he had to show his alertness in only the sixth minute as Kieron Wingfield threaded a ball through the Ives back line that looked like it had put Jack Minister clear, but Smith was quickly off his line to bravely snuff out the threat.
The home side continued to press in these early stages as Ives were taking a while to settle and the best chance of these early exchanges fell to Minister in the 12th minute. Connor Young got away down the right and drove a low cross into the box that evaded everyone in the middle and arrived at the feet of Minister by the far post eight yards out. But as he was closed by Smith and his defenders he took his eye off the ball and failed to make clean contact. The ball was eventually smuggled back to Jacob White on the edge of the box, but he hit a crisp drive a couple of feet wide of Smith’s left hand post.
The home side were moving the ball around well, but struggling to penetrate the visitor’s rigid formation. Young delivered a dangerous corner into Ives box on 25 minutes and Patrik Polhos under pressure conceded a free kick just outside the box as he pulled back White. Minister curled the free kick around Ives four man wall, but straight into the grateful hands of a well positioned Smith.
Ives were slowly working their way into the game and as the half wore on they began to look the stronger team with the pace, movement and work rate of the front pair causing the Linnets some problems. The visitors first half chance arrived in 26th minute as skipper Mark Lloyd delivered a dangerous in-swinging free kick from the left that was flicked on at the near post, by Tiago Dias, but the pace of the ball just beat Jamie Short and Callum Sheppeard arriving at the back post.
Having created one chance, more quickly followed. Only sixty seconds later Matt Wright unselfishly put his strike partner Dias through one on one with Linnets centre back Dan Harvey. Dias got the better of his man but was denied by a brave block from keeper Charlie Congreve.
Congreve had to do even better just after the half hour as good distribution from Smith picked out Martin Saunders in space he in turn picked out a perfectly timed run from Dias that saw the striker get completely clear. Congreve came to meet him and Dias chose to go round the Linnets stopper, but the keeper came out best as he plunged in to take the ball off Dias’s toe.
St Ives pressure continued to build with the pace and trickery of Annoncio Anemou and Martin Saunders adding to the problems the Linnets back line were already having. Saunders robbed Taylor King on 33 minutes and cut inside before unleashing a rising drive from the corner of the box that crept just over the angle of crossbar and post.
A goal for Ives was beginning to look inevitable and it arrived on 38 minutes as Polhos won the ball well in midfield and played it through the right channel which put Wright in a foot race with Callum South. The Linnets centre back just about managed to keep pace with him, but Wright found just enough space to clip his shot past the advancing Congreve and into the net from just inside the box.
Having got in front Ives continued to press home their advantage Anemou found space to break at pace from inside his own half and having pulled defenders to him he cleverly moved the ball inside to Dias who again played Wright in against South. This time the Linnet’s back man came out on top sliding in with a perfectly timed tackle to knock the ball away just as Wright shaped to shoot.
There were a number of lengthy stoppages in the first period, including one that saw Sam Davidson leave the field to be replaced by Saunders. Ives took advantage of the added time to double their lead. A corner from the right by Saunders was played back to him by Lloyd and this time Saunders found space to curl in an in-swinging cross that an unmarked Short deftly flicked past Congreve and in off the crossbar.
Having got their two goal cushion Ives were in no mood to give their hosts a sniff of getting back into the game. The rigid defensive lines that were prevalent in the early stages had re-appeared and although the Linnets enjoyed a lot of possession all of their passing was in front of the Ives as they could not find a way through the lines.
When they did get a sniff they found Smith in imperious form. He did very well to claim a hanging cross from King under heavy pressure from Nathan Davies on the hour. A long ball down the centre almost caused a problem as it skidded off Sheppeard’s head to put Davies clear, but he was quickly closed down by Smith and fired his hurried effort from the edge of the box high and wide.
Jack Noble and substitute Aiden Doughty combined well on the right to deliver a low cross which got through the crowded area to arrive at the feet of Foster Howlett deep in the Ives box, but he did no better than Davies failing to hit the target with a tame effort.
Having weathered the pressure from the home side with very few scares Ives began to venture out again as the half wore on. A swift break initiated by Anemou on 73 minutes should have lead to a third goal for the visitors. Anemou won another tackle in the centre of the park and fed the ball into Lloyd who played a perfectly weighted pass out to the right to pick out substitute Adam Parmenter roaming forward. He hung up an inviting cross that picked out Dias unmarked in the centre. Unfortunately the ball was millimetres to high and the stretching Dias could only direct his free header over the top from eight yards.
The final action of the evening saw Lloyd, Anemou and Dias all combine well down the left to set up a shooting opportunity for Wright that the speedy striker hit well from just inside the box and was unlucky to see it deflected just wide of Congreve’s left hand post.
The boys deserved their round of applause for a job well done at the end, but this is only half a job, so let us get as many people along as possible to cheer them on in their must win last League game which has been moved to the Pro-Edge on Monday 27th March 7.45pm kick off.
St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Ewan Smith, Zoric, Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Polhos (McFarlane 68), Davidson (Saunders 22, Parmenter 66), Lloyd (capt), Wright, Dias, Anemou
Unused subs : Kwiatowski
Goals : Wright 38, Short 45+3
Attendance : 32