Youth Team Result March Town United U18’s 1 St Ives Town Youth 5

March Town United U18’s 1 St Ives Town Youth Team 5

Date: Thursday 27th October 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division.
Ground Address: Robingoodfellows Lane, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 8HS

After the last two League fixtures had produced a glut of goals it was almost guaranteed that this game against fourth placed March was always going to be a lot tighter affair and so it proved in the first half as both sides took time to get used to the hard bumpy pitch.

The first shot in anger did not arrive until the eleventh minute when Hares skipper Toby Allen tried a speculative effort from 30 yards that only required a routine save from returning keeper Jordan Mitchell.

Ives first real attack of the game almost put them in front four minutes later as Joseph McDaid threaded a perfect ball into the channel for Matt Wright to sprint onto. Home keeper Harry Stevens was equally quick off his line to block Wright’s left foot effort at close range.

The next attack of note did not arrive until just after the half hour when McDaid and Mark Lloyd combined well in the centre of the park before Lloyd threaded a ball through an identical channel to put in Wright again. This time keeper Stevens made himself big and again bravely blocked the shot away.

The home side started to grow in confidence and came into the game a little more just before the break twice going close without troubling Mitchell. The first opportunity came as Sam Land lost possession just inside the opposition half. Charlie Revell fed the ball down the line to Brandon Robinson who delivered a fizzing cross along the six yard line that just evaded his on rushing team mates.

The second half chance was created by tricky winger Archie Murfitt who managed to get around the outside of Adam Parmenter and hang up a cross into the box that Ives struggled to clear. The opportunity for shot fell to Allen on the edge of the box, but his prodded effort was a couple of yards wide.

The way the Hares finished the first half it seemed likely that they would come out and give it a real go in the second. They came close on a couple of occasions in the first five minutes. Only 30 seconds in Mitchell was almost caught out as he dropped a cross from the right by James Youles, but fortunately Parmenter was on hand to scramble the loose ball clear.

The keeper redeemed himself only three minutes later as he made an amazing save to keep out a close range header from Allen who got on the end of a hanging cross from the right by Youles and powered in a header from six yards that seemed certain to billow the net until Mitchell intervened.

Having gone close twice the home side were unfortunate to go behind only 90 seconds after Mitchell’s wonder save. Annoncio Anemou had been very quiet on the left up to this point. But he suddenly sparked into life and got past his marker before feeding the ball into the feet of McDaid in the box. Stevens did well to parry McDaid’s stinging effort, but the ball rebounded to Anemou who tried to pick out Wright in the middle, but put a bit to much on the cross and it drifted out to the right where Sam Davidson picked it up. He too tried to delivered a flighted cross into the box, but did not quite get it right. His frustration turned to delight as the ball that looked like it was floating out, drifted over the stranded keeper and went into the net via the far post.

This was the catalyst to four goals in the next five minutes as first the Hares went straight down the other end and won a corner that Youles delivered in-swinging from the left and Allen rose highest in a group of players at the far post to power home the equaliser.

Ives went back in front straight from the kick off as the ball was played back to Jamie Short who delivered a long ball down the middle which the home defence allowed to bounce. Luke Cable tried to head it back to his keeper, but the lightening quick Wright was onto it in a flash and rounded the exposed keeper before sliding the ball home.

Jamie Short turned from provided to scorer to grab the next goal only four minutes later. Sam Davidson was giving the Hares defence a tough time down the right and he was upended by Brett Liddy 25 yards from goal. Skipper Lloyd clipped the free kick into the box and Stevens chose to try and punch the cross away, but only succeeded in knocking the ball down into the box where centre back Short reacted like a striker to smash it home from ten yards.

The goal to settle the affair came with twenty minutes to go as Callum Sheppeard won a ball in his own half and fed it into the feet of Lloyd in space just over the half way line. He played a delicate chip over the defence that looked to be heading into the arms of keeper Stevens, but once again the pace of Wright deceived the defence and he just beat the keeper to the ball to deflect it home and claim his second of the night.

With the game now won manager Jack Cassidy decided to try a change of tactics to try things out for future games. Taking off a midfielder in McDaid and replacing him with Dawid Kwiatowski to go five at the back. This invited a little more pressure from the Hares and Mitchell was called into action twice in a short spell. On 75 minutes he was forced into a double save as Allen got on the end of a free kick from Liddy on the left and powered in another header that Mitchell was forced to parry. Fortunately he stayed upright to tip the follow up effort from Tom Hinton over the top.

The Ives back line were almost caught ball watching with ten minutes to go as they allowed a long ball out of defence to bounce between them and it arrived at the feet of Hares substitute Myles Ola who had ghosted in completely un-noticed. Fortunately for the Ives defenders keeper Mitchell was alert and saved their blushes by pulling off the save of the night to tip over Ola’s first time volley.

The final goal of the evening arrived deep in added time as two Ives substitutes combined to put a gloss on the score line. Vitor Delgado Vaz got away down the right past Murfitt and delivered a cross into the box that fellow sub Sam Bond met on the volley and fired home in emphatic fashion giving Stevens no chance.

Overall a good test against a strong March side who certainly enjoyed periods in the ascendency but as has been the case this season when Ives turn it on they are unstoppable. There will be sterner tests to come, but Ives must continue to believe and anything is possible this season.

St Ives Team : Mitchell, Parmenter, Land (Ewan Smith 85), Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Eyles, Davidson (Delgado Vaz 67), McDaid (Kwiatowski 78), Wright (Bond 82), Lloyd (capt), Anemou (Saunders 69)

Other substitutions roll on/roll off : none

Goals : Davidson 50, Wright 52 & 69, Short 55, Bond 90+2

Attendance :  33