Youth Team Result Somersham Town Blacks U17’s 0 St Ives Town Youth 1

Somersham Town Blacks U17’s vs St Ives Town Youth Team

Date: Thursday 15th September 2016
Kick Off: 7:30pm
Ground Address: West End Ground, St Ives Road, Somersham, Cambridgeshire, PE28 3EP
Competition: Hunts Youth U18 Cup Round 1

A well taken goal 18 minutes from time enabled a very youthful Ives side to progress to the second round of the Hunts County Under 18 Cup on a misty, but warm evening at Somersham.

With the FA Youth Cup tie coming up early next week manager Jack Cassidy decided to select a side filled with the new intake of first year scholars in this cup tie. The little bit of added experience was provided by goalkeeper and skipper Jordan Mitchell and midfielder Adam Cooper who were the only second years in the starting line up.

The home side play their football in Hunts Youth Saturday morning league where they are expected to mount a title challenge this season so with such an inexperienced Ives side on view this was always going to be a competitive game and so it proved.

Somersham started the best and took the game to their opposition. Mitchell was the first keeper called into action as he was forced to punch away a dangerous Ollie Stevens free kick with two home forwards in close attendance in 10th minute.

Ives were not being allowed time to settle anywhere on the park and it took them until 19th minute to create their first opportunity when Owen King slid a ball through which Bond took into the box and was perhaps a little unlucky to see his well struck effort fly inches wide of keeper Liam Ambrose’s right hand post.

Both sides were showing a lot of endeavour, but were failing to show that extra little bit of quality and composure to break down two resolute defences and neither keeper was forced into a save worthy of note in the remainder of the first half.

The pattern continued into the second half with chances very much at a premium at either end of the pitch as the Ives defence, well marshalled by Liam Zoric and the Somersham back line similarly well orchestrated by Adam Procter continued to keep their respective opposition attacks well in check.

The only attempts on goal in the early period of the second half were either coming from dead ball situations, or long range shots. Jaiden Richardson went close for the Ives as he rose highest to a corner in 56th minute and at the other end Mitchell made a routine catch to keep out a long range effort from Stevens.

Manager Cassidy decided to try and spark a little more life into his attack just after the hour as he introduced Jacob Texter and Ammuncio Anemou to replace the tiring King and Ashley Morris respectively. These changes seemed to have the desired effect as Anemou immediately started to unsettle the home defence with his pace, trickery, and direct running style. He set up a shooting opportunity for Texter six minutes later and the young striker was unlucky to see his effort from 25 yards rebound to safety off the crossbar with keeper Ambrose beaten.

The goal that settled the issue finally came on 72 minutes as Anemou picked up the ball in midfield and danced past three Somersham defenders before feeding the ball through to Bond who made no mistake slotting the ball under the advancing keeper from 15 yards.

Having got in front Ives almost let it slip as Somersham carved out their best chance of the game only four minutes later. Joshua Miller flicked on a long cross from the left to set up an opportunity for Harry Taylor to level things up. But Taylor was stretching and although he got good contact on the ball he only succeeded in lifting his effort from eight yards over the crossbar.

The home side only managed to create one more half chance in the remaining minutes as Taylor again went close firing over the top from a narrow angle with eight minutes to go. The final opportunity of the evening was created by the dangerous Anemou as he again outpaced the home defence down the right and delivered the perfect cross that none of the Ives strikers were able to get a touch on as the inviting ball floated across the goal.

Overall this was a good result for the Ives in what was an even game in which the home side will perhaps feel a little unfortunate to have not at least taken their more illustrious visitors to a penalty shoot out. But it is Ives that march on to face a Godmanchester Under 17 side in the next round.

Grateful thanks to Michelle and Louise Thompson who made the notes from which this report was compiled whilst yours truly struggled up and down the touch line as an assistant referee.

St Ives Team : Mitchell (capt), Oldale, Makeham (Hudson 71), Platt, Zoric, Cooper, Morris (Anemou 64), King (Texter 64), Richardson, Bond, Saunders (Martin 74)

Unused substitutes : none

Goals : Bond 72

Attendance :  approx 60