Under 18 Match Reports 2016/17

Seasiders 1 Hadleigh United 1

Thursday 23rd March 2017

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

I don’t get to watch the under 18’s as often as I perhaps should, so it’s hard to assess where they are in the bigger picture of things, but I would have thought when they got back to the dressing room after the game, they must have sat down and wondered, “How did we let that one get away?”

It was a point in the end to halt a run of four straight defeats, but really should have been three points based on the side’s second half performance, when they spent much of the second 45 minutes in the visitors’ half, and created, then spurned, some clear cut chances. Hadleigh had their chances as well, but overall it was the Seasiders who had the greater percentage.

It was a repeat of the reverse fixture at the Millfield at the start of November, when young Rory Porter scored the Seasiders’ goal and the game marked the end of a barren run for Lewis Smy, who opened the scoring with a well taken headed goal from a Jack Mapplebeck cross.

Things didn’t look too promising early in the game - very early in fact, when the referee pointed to the spot, indicating a penalty for, I assumed, a foul on Aaron Bull, a lad who played his formative years football for the Seasiders’ youth teams. I had started my stop watch with the ref’s starting whistle, and looked at it as he blew for the penalty - just 51 seconds into the game.

Not a great start and it was Bull who stepped up to take the kick. Now, I don’t know if it was a poor finish or decent save from Toby Downing - a bit of both I suspect, but the ‘keeper guessed right, and went down to his right to comfortably get his body behind the ball!

An early let off for the Seasiders, and they were on the back foot in the opening 15 minutes but weathered the storm and began to push the visitors back, taking the lead in the 22nd minute after a passage of decent movement that ended with Jack Mapplebeck clipping in a cross for Lewis Smy to end his goal drought with a firm header.

Hadleigh responded well after going behind, and created a couple of half chances themselves, always looking a threat around the Seasiders’ penalty area, and they were behind for just ten minutes before Bull broke through and produced a fine finish inside the near post to bring the sides level.

Hadleigh kept the pressure on the home defence up to half time, and turned round probably feeling they should have been having their cup of Earl Grey tea and Parma ham sandwiches sitting on a lead they could defend in the second half.

That wasn’t to be, and while it was the Seasiders who were the dominant side in the second half, they couldn’t find a way through. Jack Mapplebeck rattled the visitors bar in the 51st minute. Will Ransom saw the ‘keeper deny him with a good save and produce another excellent stop to deny Keenan Vinyard from the resultant corner.  

In the end, it was points shared… probably a fair result on the night, but both managers will have felt their side had the chances to perhaps take all three points.

Seasiders: Toby Downing, Lewis Owen, Oscar Fossberg, Dan Horton, Lewis Hutchings, Joe Alum {c}, Jack Mapplebeck, Matt Hazell, Lewis Smy, Rory Porter, Dan Poxon, Tom Lygo, Harry Golding, Ben Laflin, Keenan Vinyard.

Referee: Jacob Butler-Wilce

Att: 55



Walsham Le Willows 4 Seasiders 0

Thursday 6th October 2016

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

It was a night best forgot, or perhaps not, sometimes more can be learned in defeat than ever it can in victory and coach Aren Howell may well have learned much about the character in his side.

On the night the young Seasiders had no complaints, the best side won and the scoreline didn’t flatter them, when I say they had no complaints perhaps that was a bit off hand and I should have written the scoreline was a reflection of the possession the home side enjoyed over the 90 minutes.

Sometimes small margins make a big difference and that was the case when the Willows took the lead in the 12th minute, a long ball was played down the right and as Joe Allum jumped to intercept a push in the back saw the ball fly over his head and with no real cover Tristan Reyes was on hand to convert Gibbs pass. The push went unpunished, the goal stood and Allum picked up a yellow card for his protestations.

It could, perhaps should have been all square in the 23rd minute when Lewis Smy looked to be away and clear down the left when he was abruptly halted by a late challenge that looked a stonewall penalty and possibly a red card for the challenge, the referee waived play on, I think to everyone’s surprise and 4 minutes later it was 2-0 when Joe Allum was caught in possession in the Centre circle and Kehan Whitby bore down on Charlie Woods goal to finish well.

Fred Stewart-Hogg produced a fine snap shot finish to add the third in the 33rd minute to dispel any hope the Seasiders might have had of staging a comeback and when Dongray headed the third in the 68th minute it completed the scoring and confirmed the win but not the end of incidents.

Joe Allum who had a frustrating night collected a second yellow card to end his game early and what looked another certain penalty when Will Ransom was pulled down in the area again saw played waived on by the referee, who like Allum will have better nights.

For the hosts it was revenge for the defeat at the Goldstar a month ago and for the young Seasiders hopefully some lessons learned.

Walsham: John, Walshe, Palmer-Frost, Crowe, Waterson, Whitby, Steward-Hogg, Sheppard, Gibbs, Reyes, Dongray, Larter, Finbow, Mourao, Dixon.

Seasiders: Woods, Laflin, Barnes, Howell, Hutchings, Allum, Hall, Hazell, Smy, Leggett-Gage, Vinyard, Gould, Turner, Ramilloza, Ransom, Debenham

Referee: Jacob Butler-Wilce. : Assistants Ian Smillie, Reece Clyne

Our scribe was unable to attend this match but a brief resume of the game is given below!

Seasiders 2 Needham Market 2

Thursday 29th September

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

The Under 18’s Produced a late goal to grab a point from a game that looked to be slipping away from them with the visitors coming from behind and leading 2-1 with three minutes of normal time left.

Dan Poxon had given the Seasiders a first half lead as they set out to preserve their 100% league record this season and should perhaps have been further ahead at the break after creating a couple of decent openings.

The two sides played out a high scoring affair a month ago at Bloomfields when the lads edged a seven goal thriller but that scoreline never looked like being repeated at The Goldstar on a warm evening.

The Marketmen were level midway through the second half through Roman Carvell and when Harry Windred put them ahead with 10 minutes left the visitors looked to have secured all three points and gain revenge for that home defeat.

But, the Seasiders are nothing if not resilient and with the clock ticking down they were presented with a life line when Nathan Thurlow handled outside his area in the closing minutes and Luke Barnes drilled the free kick into the bottom corner of the net.

The points still leave’s Aren Howell’s side top of the table and the only unbeaten side in the division, although they know they will have to play better if they are to preserve that record.


Whitton United 3  Seasiders  4

Thursday 15th September

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

Whitton: Potter, Eason, Cooper, Coldwell, Cocker, Billett {c}, Dende, Pratt, Stannard, Fricker, Nyakabau, Porter, Nabbard, Fernandes, Harris, Ahalipo

Seasiders: Thorpe, Laflin, Barnes, Howell, Allum {c}, Hutchings, Ramilloza, Hazel, Smy, Vinyard, Poxon, Ling, Debenham, Lygo, Leggett-Gage, Turner.

Referee: Gareth Moir Assistants: Joe Allen, Rhys Clyne

At 9:34 pm on Thursday, having spent 8 hours at the clubs Golf Day I quite naturally ducked when someone shouted FOUR! Before joining the cheers as the Under 18’s pulled off a magnificent win with a late, late winner to break the Greens hearts, after they had come from behind to grab what looked like a winning goal with seven minutes left.

I have to pay tribute to both sides who gave it their best shot looking for a winner to produce plenty of entertaining football for the neutral, although I doubt there were many neutrals inside the KGV ground.

In the end it was the fourth league game and the fourth time the side had scored four goals in a game. Bit of ‘fourtitude’ there methinks.

Never take anything for granted, as well as the side have done this year it is only a few short months ago they were the whipping boys of the division, picking up just 5 points from a possible 48, but with eight of that squad included in the current one that must give the lads great satisfaction. I watch a lot of football and there is an excellent atmosphere and attitude in the current squad and that will be tested for sure in the coming months but they came through a big test in this game.

I said at half time that the difference between the two sides (it was 1-0) was a touch of class separating them, referring to Lewis Smy’s finish as that moment, and in my humble opinion it was another moment of real quality that confirmed the points in the Seasiders favour as they counter attacked with a five man move that ended with Smy playing in Farron Leggett-Gage to hit a superb effort across Joe Potter to make it 4-3.

The Seasiders just about edged the first period, Joe Potter denied Smy in the eighth minute at the expense of a corner and the same player saw his shot blocked to end another attack. Charlie Billett the Whitton captain couldn’t get any real power behind an 18th minute effort and Dende tried his luck from 20 yards, unfortunately it was bad luck as his effort was comfortably saved.

The Seasiders had the better of the exchanges although it certainly wasn’t one-way traffic but it took until the 43rd minute for the game to swing the Visitors way.

A neat move found Smy who burst into the Whitton area, staying on his feet when he might easily have gone down, had he done so referee Gareth Moir would have almost certainly pointed to the spot, but, riding the attempted tackle he then produced that moment of class as he rifled an unstoppable shot beyond Potter to break the deadlock.

It had been a decent first half, with that one special moment, but it didn’t prepare anyone for what was to come. I have to say there were six goals and 45 minutes of non-stop action and both sides deserve credit for their efforts.

Whitton’s pacey wide man Fingai Nyakabau began to cause the Seasiders defence problems playing up the slope and 10 minutes into the second period he tested Kyle Thorpe who was happy to turn his shot over the bar for a corner. Unfortunately, the resultant flag kick was met with a firm header from Jake Eason who powered his effort beyond Thorpe for the equaliser, it was no more than Whitton deserved but they were level for just six minutes before Lewis Smy made space for himself to restore the Seasiders advantage.

The visitors held onto the lead for 13 minutes as Whitton pressed for the second equaliser and there was some backs to the wall defending from the Seasiders until danger man Nyakabau whipped in a low hard cross that the unfortunate Lewis Hutchings could do little to stop him diverting the ball past his own ‘keeper to make 2-2.

Smy had seen Potter turn away one effort for a corner and substitute Ben Ling had drilled a shot wide but Thorpe had also been busy with Whitton substitute Rory Porter, a Seasiders youth team player throughout his formative years, causing several anxious moments for the visitor’s defence and the home side increasing that pressure when Tyreke Harris  put his side in front for the first time with just seven minutes left.

There was little time for celebration as the Seasiders attacked from the restart, forcing a corner within seconds and Matt Hazell was the man at the far post who brought the sides level with a firm header.

At that point I think both sides would have settled for a share of the points but with three minutes of stoppage time already played the visitors built a neat attack down the right before finding Lewis Smy and he played in Farron Leggett-Gage who kept his head, set himself and drilled the ball low and hard across Potter into the bottom corner, triggering some pretty jubilant celebrations from the dugout area.  

It was a bitter pill for the home side who had been the better of the two for much of the second period and had a few chances to perhaps put the game to bed, but full credit to Arran and his team who have added some steel to the side’s outlook and a never say die attitude to leave them sitting three points clear at the top of the division they had propped up throughout last season.

Next up it is Stowmarket Town at The Goldstar next Thursday (22nd)





Wroxham 4 Seasiders 1

Thursday 8th September

FA Youth Cup

Preliminary Round

Wroxham: R. Howard, Wickham, Maddiment, Jewell, Wenn, Barber (c), Stewart, Galley, Mann, Kidd, Oliver, Nunn, Attree, Smith, Riley, J.Howard.

Seasiders: Thorpe, Laflin, Barnes, Fossberg (Turner 45), Hutchings, Allum (c) Ransom (Hall 37), Hazell, Smy, Leggett-Gage (Debenham 73) Unused Subs: Lygoe, Howell.

Referee: Jordan Sandwell

They say that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try and try again. This is a competition where that is certainly the case, in the recent past Woodbridge Town, Dereham Town, Bury Town, Cambridge United (twice) & Histon have all despatched The Seasiders at the Preliminary Round stage, so this result would hardly be classed as a shock, but there was a more positive mentality going into this game than in recent seasons, and while the hosts, who play their football in the Northern Division, were the better side on the night, it was encouraging that the boys,  several of them still sixteen, kept their heads up, kept going and scored the last goal of the game to show the kind of determination that manager Arran Howell is looking for.

It is clear to see that Howell has changed the whole mental approach the players have to the game and hopefully this experience will stand them in good stead over the coming months. Although at the bread & butter end (maybe margarine) of the competition, it was still the same one where Manchester United, Liverpool, and I’m reminded, Ipswich Town, all compete for a trophy currently held by Chelsea.

The game was marred not only by the scoreline, but also a possible serious injury to Will Ransom who went down heavily just before half time and after extended attention by both physio’s was eventually stretchered off and after an hour and twenty minutes wait for an ambulance was taken to Norwich hospital for further tests and diagnosis.

Of the game itself, all credit to the young Yachtsmen, they looked a very good side and were worthy winners of the match even if a couple of the goals were a bit fortuitous, it was not a scoreline that flattered them. They looked far more experienced than the Seasiders and linked their game from back to front very well, leaving the visitors at times chasing shadows.

The home side were ahead in the 3rd minute when the Seasiders were caught out at the back and Chay Oliver in acres of space in front of goal rifled the ball into the roof of the net, there were strong appeals for offside but to no avail and the goal stood.  

In reply Luke Barnes had a shot that lacked any power and was comfortably collected by Ryan Howard in the home goal and Lewis Smy saw his shot saved by Howard after working an opening.

While these were a couple of half chances the home side dominated possession, although the Seasiders defended well to deny them any clear cut openings and it might well have been all square just before the half hour when Matt Hazell & Farron Leggett-Gage worked the ball on the left before Hazell whipped in a cross to the waiting Smy, but he couldn’t quite get enough on his header and it glanced wide of Howards goal.

It was just after the half hour when Ransom went down injured and spent several minutes on the pitch receiving attention before being stretchered off with Kyle Hall replacing him. The game restarted after an almost ten minute delay and Wroxham should have been two ahead when Oliver hit an angled shot that crashed against the post and bar before flying away to safety. While it was a let off it was short respite, although the half time break saw the Seasiders sat on the pitch with will Ransom occupying the dressing room space awaiting the medical team. Ieuan Turner replaced Oskar Fossberg for the second half with the midfielder suffering from a dead leg but he nor anyone else could do anything to stop the home sides second goal in the 47th minute when Nathan Stewart unleashed a 25 yard effort that was a goal the moment it left his foot, giving Kyle Thorp no chance.

Two minutes later it was 3-0 when Steve Kidd’s deep cross to the far post looked to be going wide of Kyle Thorp’s right hand post but as the custodian watched, it hit the inside of the upright and rebounded back across goal on the wrong side of the goal-line from the visitors point of view.

The goal effectively settled the tie, if there was any doubt, and the Yachtsmen continued to dominate play with the Seasiders restricted to occasional forays into the home sides half. Oliver made it 4-0 with his second of the night just after the hour and at that point the young Seasiders could have folded but to their credit they kept defending and plugging away and with ten minutes left got their reward when Kyle Hall whipped in a cross from the right and Lewis Smy, unmarked at the far posts slotted the ball past Howard.

A long trip, a late night and the side eating their after match hotdogs in the clubhouse still wearing their kit, with Will Ransom missing out on his, occupying the dressing room as the ambulance service prepared him for the trip to hospital.

While obviously disappointed with the result I think the performance was a positive one against a very good side, the young Seasiders kept going and battling away and got their reward in a consolation goal, it’s a learning curve for many of them with six of the starting line-up born in this millennium.

Best wishes to our hosts in the next round, hopefully they will get an extended run in the competition, thanks for their excellent hospitality and looking after Will Ransom so well, with special thanks to their Physio for making him as comfortable as possible during the long wait.

Back to league action next Thursday and a trip to King Georg V and Whitton United who sit mid table as I type this report.


Update on the two injured players from Thursday night ..

Will Ransom has been diagnosed with severe bruising and muscle damage around the spinal cord, which means it is a case of rest and see how it is in a couple of days.

Oskar Fossberg also reported to A&E this morning (9th Sept) and we await further news on his leg injury.

We will stay in touch.


We are the Seasiders


 Seasiders 4  Walsham Le Willows  2

Thursday 1st September 2016

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

Seasiders: Thorpe, Laflin, Turner, Howell, Hutchings, Allum {c}, Ransom, Hazell, Fossberg, Smy, Barnes, Poxon, Ramilloza, Leggett-Gage, Ling, Read.

Willows: Johns, Glover, Reyes, Crowe, Daniels, Walsh, Waterson, Larter, Whitby, Mourao, Dongray, Gibbs, Finbow, Stiff, Shepherd.

Referee: Joe Fisher-Stevenson. Assistants: Toby Cousins, Joe Allen.

If someone had said to me before the season commenced that we would start September, joint league leaders with a 100% record on the same points total as the Woodpeckers, having watched the majority of Under 18 games last season, I would probably have told them to lie down in a darkened room until they felt better. Oh Yea of little faith! I hold my hands up and confess – I was totally wrong in my pre-season scepticism.

Ok, the side haven’t pulled up any trees yet and there is a long way to go, but I think I have seen enough to confirm this is a different side, with a different attitude and a coaching team that don’t accept second best, some of the same players are involved from last season, some new and one thing is for certain, age (at the younger end of the spectrum), is no barrier. I think I may be watching a few more games this season.

It was the lads first home fixture and the visitors presented a stiff test for the side, as they always do no matter what level, first team, reserves or under 18’s and 10 minutes into the game I think most Seasiders were thinking ‘Oh Dear, we are in for a tough night!’

The Willows started off on the front foot that’s for sure and were ahead inside two minutes, before the Seasiders had gotten into their stride, having kept control of the football from the whistle the Willows had the Seasiders pushed back but when Sam Waterson played a defence splitting pass for Kehan Whitby to latch on to, they could do little as he finished confidently with a low hard 18yard effort that gave Thorpe in the home goal no chance. It might have been two in the 10th minute but Dongray hooked his effort over the bar.

The Seasiders slowly worked their way into the game and began to find space on the break but again had a let off in the 16th minute when a free kick found Dongray at the far post but he headed wide of the target.

Having survived the early pressure the home side began to probe the Willows defence and might well have been level when a foul on Will Ransom gave Luke Barnes the chance to swing the free kick into the danger area, Johns in the visitors goal looked to have collected the ball but then spilled it and Ieaun Turner was first to react but couldn’t find the target with his close range effort.

As the half progressed the visitors were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but Johns was the busier of the two ‘keepers although Whitby should have collected his second goal of the night on the half hour but put his effort wide when well placed.

The Seasiders did begin to enjoy a greater share of the play in the last ten minutes of the half and Oskar Fossberg looked in on goal but saw his effort well saved by Johns and in the final seconds of the first period the same player was in again from an excellent ball into the area from Barnes, but his effort was too close to the ‘keeper.

The home side had created some openings in the first period but the visitors must have been cursing their luck that they weren’t comfortably further ahead and the proverbial game of two halves became just that.

I don’t know what they had in their half time tea but the Seasiders came out for the second period and immediately took the game to the Willows, where the visitors had been dominant in the opening 15 minutes of the first half it was the Seasiders who dominated the opening 15 of the second period. Matt Hazell shot wide in the 50th minute but the sides were level 5 minutes later when Farron Leggett-Gage produced a great finish to draw the sides level.

Will Ransom put his side in front just after the hour and Lewis Smy who had been involved in the Seasiders first two goals produced a real classy finish as he got free of the Willows defence and clipped his effort over Johns from 18 yards to make it 3-1.

Walsham did gather themselves after shipping the three goals and had a ten-minute spell of good possession football before pulling a goal back with six minutes left through Toby Finbow, but the Seasiders were not to be denied, Leggett-Gage put an excellent chance wide in the 88th minute but made no mistake as the game moved into time added on by the referee to grab his second of the night and the Seasiders fourth.

It was great to see some resilience after conceding and early goal and being under the cosh in the opening half hour and in the end they deserved their win. It’s another tough one next week when they travel to Trafford Park to take on Wroxham in the FA Youth Cup, not a competition where we have a pedigree of success.


Needham Market 3   Seasiders 4

Thursday 25th August 2016

Thurlow Nunn Youth League

Central Division

Marketmen: Thurlow, O’Donoghue, Mant, Pattison, Windcred, Nightingale, Warren, Rose (c), Arbon, Smith, Mappleback, Turner, Pina.

Seasiders: Thorpe, Laflin, Turner, Howell, Hutchings, Allum (c), Hazel, Hall, Smy, Fossberg, Barns, Ransom, Read, Leggett-Gage, Jarrod, Ling.

Referee: Scott Cullum Assistants: Peter Hart, Thomas Ling.

I have to be honest and say I didn’t know what to expect and travelled in hope to Bloomfields - last season the boys won their opening game at Stowmarket and failed to collect another win all season, picking up just two draws along the way. This season they won their opening game at Stowmarket and …. At 9:45pm surpassed their total for 2015/16 with a second win and six points on the board.

It is a much changed team this year, with several of the players at the lower end of the age spectrum who were playing under 16’s football last season and new coach Arran Howell looked to have his work cut out to mould them into a team. I know it’s early days, and as they say leagues aren’t won or lost in August, but so far he looks to have done an excellent job in shaping the side and getting the right players playing in the right position, and with strength in depth from the 90 minutes I watched at Bloomfields.

The Seasiders started in a rush and had the home defence back-peddling in the opening 15 minutes and on another night could easily have been two or three ahead before the Marketmen got into their stride. Lewis Smy put Kyle Hall away on the right and his cross flew across the face of Nathan Thurlow’s goal and away to safety.

A Luke Barnes free kick hit the defensive wall and rebounded to Smy but he couldn’t quite connect cleanly and Thurlow cleared the danger. The Market ‘keeper was again in action in the 10th minute getting his fingers to a low shot from Smy to push it against the post and away for a corner.

The home side were in the game in the 13th minute and had the ball in the net from a corner when Anton O’Donoghue drilled in a shot that Kyle Thorpe found too hot to handle, and as it ran loose Jamie Arbon put the ball in the net only to see the Assistant referee’s flag go up to indicate offside. It was a big let off for the visitors and three minutes later it was Thurlow at the other end who was in action, tipping a rising volley from a Luke Barnes free kick over the bar for a corner.

The Seasiders were certainly having the better of the exchanges and the ball spent a lot of time in the home side’s half of the pitch with Matt Hazell the pick of the midfielders on either side, but chances came and went for the Seasiders and as the half time whistle got ever closer it was the home side who opened the scoring in the 43rd minute when they worked an opening, and Jamie Arbon finished emphatically to see his side go into the half time break ahead.

The home side started the second period much better but found themselves on level terms when full back Ieaun Turner, up for a corner, pulled the sides level with his first goal for the side.

From that point it was highly entertaining stuff for the good crowd watching but a nervous forty minutes for both sets of coaches. Oskar Fossberg dispossessed Thurlow on the edge of the ‘keeper’s area and laid the ball into Lewis Smy, who placed it into the unguarded net to put the Seasiders ahead for the first time.

On the hour Needham were back level thanks to a great piece of individual play and a superb finish from O’Donoghue who skipped into the Seasiders area, jinxed past two defenders and drilled the ball past Thorpe from the tightest of angles to make it 2-2, and 8 minutes later Jack Mapplebeck produced another quality strike from the angle of the Seasiders’ penalty area curling it into the far top corner of Kyle Thorpe’s net. It put Needham in front for the second time on the night.

It was a lead that lasted just two minutes as the Seasiders built a good move, Matt Hazell’s effort was blocked and the alert Will Ransom calmly slotted the rebound into the bottom corner of Thurlow’s net to bring the sides level once more.

Lewis Smy saved the best ‘till last as he found space on the edge of the area and hit a superb effort beyond Thurlow for what proved to be the winner.

It was the end of the scoring but not the end of the incidents - Farron Leggett-Gage looked through on goal in the 81st minute when Max Nightingale took matters into his own hands, literally, by grabbing the striker’s shirt and pulling him back. Referee Scott Cullum, who had an excellent game, had little option but to reach into his pocket for a red card and reduce the home side to ten men.

On the stroke of 90 minutes it looked like Needham had found another equaliser as the ball bounced around the Seasiders’ area before Ben Laflin cleared the danger with a big boot out of the ground, and 30 seconds later it was all over and the Seasiders had collected a well earned three points.

It was excellent entertainment on a warm evening and next week the home supporters can see the boys in action for the first time when they host Walsham Le Willows on Thursday 1st September 7:45pm.