U18 Match Report: Royston Town v St Ives Town

Date Wednesday 14 November 2012
Match Royston Town v St Ives Town
Competition Thurlow Nunn Youth League: West Division
Result Won 4-2
Royston Scorers Stratton, Jackson, Lane, Hall
Crows MoM
Luke Shilton

St Ives Town FC were the visitors for a Thurlow Nunn League game at Garden Walk on Wednesday evening in a entertaining match which saw Royston stay top with a 4-2 victory. Elsewhere in the league, chasers Langford won and St Neots put in a fine display as they defeated Ramsey 8-0, so this proved to be a well needed win for Royston's young boys.

With stopper Harry Reynolds playing for his college in the afternoon, Alex Smits made his debut in goal but could only perform for half a game due to illness. With no centre backs in the squad, forward Callam Turner continued and skipper Matt Brennan dropped back.

Royston started at frantic pace and produced some neat football with Jamie Steele, Toby Jackson and Harry Butrius-Gair controlling the middle and making the ball do the work. Joe Maude and Luke Shilton linked nicely on the wings with their forwards as Maude's dangerous left foot proved hard to defend and Shilton's persistence to join in with play before working tirelessly hard when defending. Jordan Hall and Dejon Mullings both had early chances but nothing to trouble the visiting keeper. Stratton opened the scoring on 15 minutes as a quick free kick from Steele saw Stratton outpace the centre half to curl the ball around the stranded keeper.

Royston were often found to be lacking concentration and this allowed St Ives some cheap possession but some tame shots saw routine saves for Smits to make. However the Young Crows' keeper could do nothing about the equaliser as St Ives picked up the ball on the edge of the box and smashed home past a helpless Smits.

HT 1-1

Royston stayed composed and retain large amount of possession and Hall and Stratton had chances to extend the lead as both missed the target from close range. Royston made a tactical change as Jamie Steele moved to centre half and Callam Turner replaced Hall up top who made way from Ollie Wheeler and with minutes it looked like the change had failed, as a long ball caught Steele out as a St Ives striker fired past a static Reynolds in the home goal.

Royston are a young team that never gives up and that mentality continued when Turner caused all sorts of problems with his strength and power and nearly scored but for a excellent late challenge from their skipper. Maude nearly set up Mullings as his cross saw Mullings swipe a leg. However Steele redeemed himself as his perfectly waited free kick met the head of Turner who hit the cross bar for Jackson to slot home. Royston continued to press and Turner's lofted ball over the top of the onrushing keeper saw the St Ives captain make a tremendous goal line clearance. Mullings was involved in the third goal as his newly introduced striker Ant Lane scored a easy tap in as Mullings whipped cross found Lane unmarked. Hall was reintroduced into the game and scored with seconds to spare as his one on one saw him slot home.

Manager Jorden Gibson said after the game: “I was really pleased with our display tonight, we scored some very good goal and performed at a good level of tempo for large periods. We lacked a little bit of concentration twice on their goals but that is part and parcel of maturing in the game. Things are pleasing us at the moment, we are showing real intent to play and play in the right manner which is helping with their individual as well as collective development.”.

Squad: Smits, Shilton, Maude, Jackson, Turner, Brennan(c), Steele, B-Gair, Mullings, Hall, Stratton Subs: Reynolds, Lane, Wheeler,  Sizer.