Youth Team Result St Ives Town Youth 3 Holbeach United U18’s 0

St Ives Town Youth Team 3 Holbeach united U18’s 0

Date: Monday 22nd August 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Ground Address: Jubilee Park, Kings Ripton Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2NR
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Holbeach visited the Ives in confident mood having already beaten a fancied Kings Lynn side and sitting atop the early season table. They left having been given a footballing lesson by an equally confident and very competitive young Ives side who ended the game leapfrogging the visitors into top spot.

The visiting Tigers started the game by knocking the ball around well and they were the first side to create an opening on 16 minutes as Callum Davies, Brandin Mahin and Josh Lawrence combing well down the left to carve out a shooting opportunity for Davies that Callum Sheppeard did well to block with his body. Davies delivered the resulting corner from the right to the near post where Kieron Hamilton got a flick that would have gone inside the far post but for an excellent block and hack away by a well positioned Adam Parmenter.

Matt Wright is developing into a very promising striker and he is adding to his sheer pace with a little composure this season. This was displayed in perfect style ten minutes later when he put Ives in front with a solo effort. He picked up the ball fully 35 yards from goal and moved into space ahead of him before standing up his marker, turning inside and picking his spot with a curling effort from 25 yards that beat the despairing dive of Will Ingleby in the visitor’s goal and nestled just inside the far post.

The goal rocked the visitors who had probably just about shaded the possession up to that point. Suddenly Ives began to take control of the middle of the park with the combative trio of Sam Bedwell-Byatt, Reuben Eyles and Joe McDaid all winning tackles and knocking the ball around. The Tigers were being forced into a number of clumsy challenges as the ball was being moved around them. McDaid was brought down on the right 35 yards from goal by one such tackle on the half hour. Mark Lloyd delivered a curling free kick into the box and the ball was half cleared to the edge of the box where Jamie Short hit a first time volley that flew a couple of feet wide of the far post.

The next attack came less than sixty seconds later as Bedwell-Byatt won another midfield challenge and played the ball on to McDaid who threaded an inch perfect ball through the right channel for Wright to run onto. He tried his luck from the corner of the box and was only denied by a good block from a well positioned Ingleby.

A second goal was looking likely and it arrived in somewhat scruffy fashion on 33 minutes. Sam Davidson was looking to take on his full back at every opportunity and did so again going past Kyle Dodds only to be brought down by the struggling defender. Lloyd again delivered an in-swinging free kick into the danger zone and the ball was allowed to drop inside the six yard box. Sheppeard stuck out a foot to try and prod the ball home, but was probably beaten to the touch by a Holbeach defender. However the big Ives centre back was very much in the right area and certainly went for the ball so he claimed the plaudits for the goal.

The Tigers did create one opportunity to grab a goal back before the break as Davies drove in a free kick from the left that flashed across the face of goal with no one able to apply the finishing touch. But to his credit keeper Tom Smith appeared to have the situation under control.

The visitors may have thought that they could get back into this game with a good start to the second half. But this Ives side now has real strength in depth and the three substitutions made by manager Jack Cassidy at half time did not disrupt the pattern of the game at all in fact it only gave the Tigers a few slightly different worries. They were given no chance to build up a head of steam as the home side continued to press forward at every opportunity.

Wright went within inches of adding to his tally only 50 seconds into the second period as he battled his way between a Holbeach defender and keeper Ingleby to get a toe to a lob over the top by Bedwell-Byatt. The ball beat the keeper, but trickled inches the wrong side of the post.

Half time substitute Ammoncio Anemou was next to show his pace and trickery as Davidson picked him out with an excellent cross field ball on 56 minutes. The speedy wide man drew in his marker, before flicking the ball past him and sprinting to the bye line. He had the presence of mind to look up and pick out Wright with his pull back and the target man should probably have done better as he fired wide from ten yards.

The resulting goal kick was won in the air by Eyles who knocked the ball down to another half time sub Tiago Dias and the young midfielder found space to show his power and ability as he side stepped a defender and ran on into the box before unleashing a thunderbolt that Ingleby did very well to tip on the post and we certainly knew the keeper got a touch as he spent the next few seconds flexing his stinging fingers.

Having failed to increase their lead during this period of domination the home side began to sit back a little and the Tigers came more into the game. The visitors substitute Alex Goddard forced keeper Smith into his first save of the night on 69 minutes as he hit a powerful drive from 25 yards that the home keeper dealt with well.

Ives had a lucky escape two minutes later as Hamilton rose highest to a Davies corner at the far post and powered a header down into the crowded goalmouth the ball was somehow scrambled off the line and away by Ives defenders on the goal line and the visitors claims that the ball had crossed the line were turned down by the well positioned officials.

This escape seemed to wake up the Ives and they began to re-exert their control on the game. Their next chance arrived with ten minutes to go as an excellent patient passing move involving at least fifteen passes was concluded by a through ball from Bedwell-Byatt that gave Wright another opportunity to fire in a shot from the edge of the box that Ingleby smothered well low to his right.

The third goal finally arrived two minutes later and it came from an unlikely source as an excellent break out of defence was lead by McDaid who played the ball into the feet of Wright on the edge of the box. He teed the ball up for marauding full back Parmenter who did not need a second invitation and hit a rising drive into the roof of the net past the left hand of Ingleby from 20 yards.

To the amazement of all present the referee found eight minutes to add which gave time for two other noteworthy events. The first two minutes in was an excellent save from Smith as he plunged to his left to turn away a well struck effort from Lawrence and preserve his clean sheet. The second was a moment of madness from Tigers number eight Lewis Harker who showed his frustration by hurling himself in a Sheppeard near the corner flag to earn himself a deserved straight red card two minutes later.

So ended a well deserved win for the Ives who face local rivals St Neots next in what promises to be a cracking Preliminary Round game in the FA Youth Cup on 5th September at Jubilee Park.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Parmenter, Ewan Smith (Kwiatowski 45), Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Eyles, Davidson, Bedwell-Byatt, Wright, McDaid (Dias 45), Lloyd (capt) (Anemou 45),

Other substitutions roll on/roll off : McDaid for Davidson 63, Ewan Smith for Wright 82

Goals : Wright 26, Sheppeard 33, Parmenter 82

Attendance :  51