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Olive seals late late win for the Young Saints in Championship Playoff Quarter Final

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 17:40

 

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY OFF (Quarter Final)

ST NEOTS TOWN U18        3     PETERBOROUGH SPORTS U18       2

These two sides had lost just one league match between them in the 2018/19 season, so this truly was a meeting of champions.   However, with six divisions of the Cambs Youth League this was only the first step to becoming supreme champions.   The match could hardly have been more dramatic with St Neots coming from 2-1 down with two minutes of normal time remaining to snatch victory with two goals – the second four minutes into added time.   Unbeaten in the league this season Sports had already inflicted on St Neots their only home defeat of the season in the FA Youth Cup way back in September, so this was pay back time.  

Both sides looked to take the initiative in an entertaining start to the match.    Andrew Irvine produced the first shot on target after two minutes testing Ash Brewer who saved well.   At the other end Stewart Barrand had to clear off the goal line with his keeper out of position and then Jacob Joseph burst through to force an important save with his legs by Dylan Veni.  The keeper then had to save at the feet of the same St Neots player after twelve minutes but five minutes later the home side took the lead.   An attack was broken up but the clearance went straight to Sammy Routs whose snap shot from almost 30 yards beat the diving goalkeeper.   Dan Olive shot narrowly over the bar and Reif Clarke was brought down but no penalty given as St Neots enjoyed good possession at the end of the first half.   It was then against the run of play three minutes before the break when a cross from the right was knocked down, falling to Andrew Irvine who levelled the scores with a shot wide of the unsighted home goalkeeper.

After an early second half free kick by Leon Fulianty had been parried by Veni the visiting side grabbed the initiative with a 53rd minute goal to give them the lead.   A corner by Christopher Seery was not cleared and in the resultant penalty area scuffle Andrew Irvine claimed his second goal of the match.   For a spell St Neots seemed to lose impetus and their visitors regrouped in a more defensive fashion and chances at either end were limited.   Substitute Ethan Atkins forced Brewer into an excellent save at the expense of a corner, and as St Neots rallied Routs brought two important saves from Veni.   In the final fifteen minutes all the play was towards the Sports goal as St Neots searched for an equaliser.   Jacob Joseph was inches wide with a powerful shot and a Routs free kick was gathered under pressure.   Then with two minutes left ace goal poached Joe Rider picked up a through ball to turn his marker and level the scores.   It looked like a penalty shoot out to decide but four minutes into added time Dan Olive streaked in from the right to tuck a low shot under the keeper for that dramatic match winner.  

The Semi-Final championship match will be at The Premier Plus Stadium, early in May.

 

St Neots Town Youth Team:  Brewer, Olive, Leagas, Fulianty, Goodridge, Dunnett, Joseph, Brown, Rider, Routs, Clarke

Subs used:   O’Hara, Wood, and Rowland.                                                                                                

Goals: Routs (17 mins),  Rider (88 mins), Olive (90+4 mins)

Referee:  Andrew Wilson                                                                                           

(John Walker)

 

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