Youth Team Result PNS U18’s 3 St Ives Town Youth 9

Peterborough Northern Star 3 St Ives Town Youth Team 9

Date: Thursday 29th September 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

This was one amazing game as the young Ives gave previously unbeaten PNS a two goal start before coming back to lead at half time and then simply sweeping them away with an outstanding display of fast attacking football in the second half.

The visitors almost went straight in front from the kick off as Reuben Eyles fed the ball through the right hand channel for Matt Wright to run onto and it took a smart block with his legs by keeper Trent Stanley to keep out Wright’s snap shot from 20 yards.

But having almost gone in front from the off Ives switched off at the back and conceded two goals from corners in the fifth and seventh minutes. The first corner was won by a well struck free kick from 30 yards by Jamie Scott that Ives keeper Tom Smith was forced to tip over. The resulting corner from the left was delivered to the near post by Alessio Della Russo where Kyial West got in front of his marker to deflect the ball home from close range.

The second corner two minutes later was again won by Scott who unleashed a 25 yard thunderbolt that Smith again had to tip over. This time Della Russo delivered the corner to the back post where Lewis Wells rose highest to force the ball home.

With Ives 2–0 down this looked likely to be a mountain to climb against a home side who had only conceded a total of five goals in their previous four League games. But this Ives side is built of resilient stuff and it only took them eight minutes to get back into the game. As Tiago Dias and Matt Wright combined before the latter played Sam Davidson into the box. The speedy winger was just shaping to shoot when Wells took his legs from under him to leave the referee with no choice but to award a spot kick. Dias made no mistake sending Stanley the wrong way with a composed penalty.

The visitors were now dominating the game and drew level on 24 minutes with an exquisite goal from Dias. The hard working Patrik Polhos won the ball in midfield and played it sideways to Dias who had the composure to look up and spot Stanley off his line and also the skill to deliver the perfect chip over the retreating keepers head from 25 yards.

Dias completed his thirteen minute hat trick and completely turned the game on its head only five minutes later. Reuben Eyles was brought down in midfield by Scott who picked up a yellow card for his troubles. The free kick was taken short to Eyles who tried his luck from 25 yards, but the shot was blocked. Polhos tried his luck with the follow up with similar results, but the ball ran loose to Wright on the edge of the box. He played it in to the path of Dias who held off a challenge from Jordan O’Rourke and slammed the ball home under the diving body of Stanley from ten yards.

It took two excellent saves from keeper Smith to ensure Ives went into the break still in front. The first was an amazing point blank stop on 35 minutes to deny Kian Meadows who had run clear onto a deflected shot and looked certain to score as he struck his effort on goal from only eight yards. But Smith not only bravely blocked the shot at point blank range he somehow managed to smother the ball ahead of the disbelieving striker. The second was a somewhat more routine stop, but still a very good one four minutes later as the Ives stopper plunged full length to his right to turn away a crisp low drive from West.

With one goal in it at the break we were all expecting a close, and perhaps tight, second half. We got the most open half of football I have witnessed in a long time. Ives tore into the home side from the off and increased their lead only three minutes in as they broke out of defence at pace and Eyles put Wright clear through the left channel. The speedy striker struck his effort well, but keeper Stanley did well to block the shot with his legs. However the danger was not past as the ball looped up in the air towards goal where defender Wells completely misjudged his attempt at a clearing header under pressure from Davidson. The ball ended up in the roof of his own net.

But it was by no means all one way action and Smith was called into action again to preserve Ives two goal lead on 51 minutes as another corner into Ives box caused problems. Wells won Della Russo’s kick at the back post and directed the ball into the crowded goalmouth where Tom Mucklin got good contact and was only denied by an excellent flying save from Smith.

The pacey Wright grabbed the goal he deserved to put Ives 5-2 up on 54 minutes. Sam Land played a perfectly weighted ball out of defence to put Wright clear and this time he made no mistake steadying himself before thumping the ball past the exposed Stanley from the edge of the box.

Ewan Smith almost got in on the act only sixty seconds later. Davidson played in a ball from the right and with Wright taking almost the whole defence with him as he ran to the near post the ball passed them all and arrived at the feet of Smith at the far post. He went to side foot the ball home only to be denied by a last ditch sliding block from Mucklin.

But we did not have to wait long for the sixth Ives goal which came just before the hour. Davidson was brought down wide right. Dias delivered one of his perfect teasing free kicks into the danger area that skipper Callum Sheppeard attacked powerfully in the box. He met his header perfectly and directed the ball down only to be denied from an excellent block from Stanley. Davidson was first to react to slam home the loose ball from close range.

Even with the score line as one sided as it was the home side still did not give up and kept probing forward. Smith did well to keep out a powerful Wells header from another corner on 62 minutes. He also had to make a more routine save to deny substitute Ryan Coulson two minutes later.

The Ives custodian became provider on 68 minutes as he fired a long punt down the middle that Wright chased. The two PNS central defenders got in a tangle and neither made contact with the ball. Wright went up with keeper Stanley and fairly won the ball in the air leaving the keeper in a heap and Wright with the simplest of tasks to tap home from about six inches.

Two PNS substitutes combined to test Smith again on 72 minutes as Harry Catavach set up Bradley Page who fired in a fierce shot from the corner of the box that Smith was forced to tip away low to his right.

The final three goals of this crazy game came in a five minute spell. A quick throw from Ives substitute Annoncio Anemou picked out Dias on 82 minutes. His dipping drive from 25 yards was tipped over by keeper Stanley. But Stanley’s relief was short lived as the corner from the left was met a close range by Vitor Delgado Vaz who claimed his first competitive goal for the Ives with a well directed header.

Keeper Stanley was by this time completely shell shocked and he gifted Land the goal of the game only one minute later. The Ives full back directed a well struck free kick from fully 65 yards into the PNS box. The ball cleared all of the outfield players and should have been heading harmlessly to the keeper. But the nervous custodian completely misjudged it and allowed the ball to bounce over his head and into the net.

The final goal at the other end was another defensive error, this time on the part of the Ives. Unlike some of his team mates the battling Page had not given up the cause and he gallantly battled his way past a couple of Ives defenders on the left before delivering a well struck cross to the near post where Sheppeard inexplicably powered a header past his own keeper.

For those in the crowd without pen and paper I can confirm that the final score was 9-3 to the Ives (the referee also confirmed this). This was a hugely entertaining game, particularly for Ives fans and any neutrals in the crowd. This result against the previously unbeaten home side will send shock waves through the League. But I am sure Jack will be disappointed at the goals which were conceded and the scary thing is I am sure that these lads are capable of even better.

The shame is that we have not got a home game scheduled for over a month, but anyone able to get to Biggleswade next Wednesday evening (5th October) should get along to support them in the FA Youth Cup.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Parmenter (Kwiatowski 73), Land, Jamie Short, Sheppeard (capt), Eyles, Davidson (Anemou 60), Polhos (McDaid 65), Wright, Dias, Ewan Smith (Delgado Vaz 60)

Other substitutions roll on/roll off : Davidson for Wright 83

Goals : Dias 16 pen, 24 & 29, Wells own goal 48, Wright 54 & 68, Davidson 59, Delgado Vaz 82, Land 83

Attendance :  65 approx