St Ives Town Youth Team vs Holbeach United U18’s
Date: Monday 21st August 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn West Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
The new season for the scholars started with a team boasting four debutants in the starting line up. But this side already has the stamp of manager Jack Cassidy on it with a very solid back line and a man just in front who all did their job very effectively to ensure that the creative players further forward were given opportunities to push on and goalkeeper Tom Smith have a relatively quite evening.
The visiting Tigers had already played two games and picked up good draws against Kings Lynn and March Town United. Unsurprisingly they settled the more quickly whilst the hosts were getting used to unfamiliar territory for them at the Pro-Edge. Finn Storey was looking dangerous with his direct running style and it took a rugged tackle from Gordan Torkornoo to stop him unfairly as he looked like breaking through in 15th minute.
Two minutes later a deep cross from Lewis Harker was skilfully taken down inside the box by Callum Davies who turned his marker and fired a well struck effort a few feet wide of Smith’s right hand post.
Ives first meaningful attack came in 20th minute as the ever dangerous Tiago Dias seized on a dropping ball just outside the visitors box and thudded his powerful effort into the boards just wide of keeper Brad Waters goal.
The hosts were now beginning to get on top and went close to opening the scoring eight minutes later as tricky wide man Billy Mobbs miss hit a cross that swirled in on goal and almost beat Waters at his far post, the fast back peddling keeper just tipping the ball onto the crossbar and looking very relieved as one of his defenders hacked the loose ball clear.
Waters was a mere spectator as Ives went in front in 37th minute. Mobbs skilfully took down a long punt out of defence from Aaron Makeham and instantly slipped the ball inside into the run of Dias who took a touch and absolutely hammered the ball past the static Waters into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.
The early part of the second half remained fairly even and each side had a good opportunity in a two minute spell ten minutes in. On 54 minutes Ives broke forward in a flowing move that ended with Dias playing the ball out to Mobbs on the right hand corner of the box. The young winger struck an excellent low drive across the keeper that Waters did very well to palm away at full stretch low to his right.
Two minutes later Davies and Storey combined well down the left for the Tigers. With the former playing the latter into the box where both Ives defenders and the referee were probably thankful that the striker stayed honest as he battled his way on towards goal in spite of getting clipped twice. The shot when it finally came flashed across the face of goal and past the far post.
Soon after this Ives substitutes began rolling on and the hard working Torkornoo was released from the shackles of centre back into a midfield role where he very quickly showed his power and ability. He won a tackle in the centre of the park on 65 minutes and played the ball into the feet of Dias who cleverly knocked to the right where Jaiden Richardson had found some space. His powerful strike from just outside the box stung the hands of keeper Waters who was happy to push the shot away.
The resulting corner lead to a goalmouth scramble where three, or four, Ives players all had a go at forcing the ball over the line. Dawid Kwiatowski, up from the back, going closest. But the Tigers back line held firm and eventually smuggled the ball away.
Three minutes later the irrepressible Torkornoo was again involved playing a perfectly weighted clip over the visitors back line that put substitute Cobi Thomas clear. The young striker had only been on the field seconds and although he flicked his effort past the exposed Waters he did not quite hit it well enough and Kieran Hamilton got around behind his custodian to knock the ball away.
Martin Saunders swung in the resulting corner and Torkornoo timed his run to perfection getting above much bigger defenders to power in a header that thudded the cross bar and bounced away.
Ives were now well on top but struggled to create any more clear cut chances from open play. The closest they came to adding to their advantage came from another Saunders corner fifteen minutes from time. Captain Jamie Short had time to take a touch at the back post, but powered his effort wide from eight yards.
The final action of the game deep in added time was a 35 yard free kick which Dias swung around the wall with power forcing Waters to again palm the ball away.
Overall a good result and a very promising display from the young Ives. Tougher challenges will come, but this side is already shaping up to hopefully match last year’s record breaking side.
St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatowski, Makeham, Short (capt), Torkornoo, Garlick (Oldale 62), Mobbs (Thomas 67), King (Morris 50), Richardson (Bond 71), Dias, Saunders
Unused subs : Pereira
Goals : Dias 37
Attendance : 59