|2021 U12||15th May 9:00am||League Round 6||SDFC Main Pitch 1, Bradwood Park|
After a few light showers through the week the Stirling Districts faithful stepped through the high gates of Bradwood Park and onto a damp but firm outfield to watch their young guardsmen defend their home turf. But the Warriors from Woodside had brought a host of Red and Blue fans from across the freeway and were ready to put on a show.
A fine show it was! After some early to-and-fro to feel each other out Woodside gained a sound, if not resounding, advantage – pressing firmly at their opponent’s goal to create the early running. But their accuracy let them down and Stirling clung desperately to the match despite the relentless duress accosting them. Clinging to a match under constant pressure is not an easy thing to do, but the home side showed their mettle, turning back numerous raids to desperately keep their net intact. Eventually they did crack. An emerging star of Hills Football bagged a beautiful goal, that quickly became a brace, as he combined with his mates on successive occasions to push the ball through the defensive line, share possession and finish with poise. The brace soon became a hat-trick, to give him a hat-trick of hat-tricks over the last three weeks (and earn him goal-keeping duties in the second half…). His partner-in-crime shared in the action soon after, overcoming some early “yips” in front of the woodwork, to slide one, and then another, home. But while the front-men were reviling in the accolades, it was the back-men who were grinding it out and underpinning the visiting side’s dominance. Hard work and diligence kept their card clean, team work carried the ball forward, while ambition and flair gave their mates up front time space and to finish the job.
The second half brought a change in fortunes for the home side as they stuck to their task, structured up and backed themselves going forward. Woodside may have looked stronger for the duration of the match, but the locals were far from outclassed. In the second half they matched their guests on the score card by creating two lovely goals and finding a confidence in attack that heralds their future in the comp. Woodside took a well-deserved victory out of the encounter, but there’s a lot of youngsters in this Stirling team, and they’re drinking in the experience of full-field football – priming themselves for a lifetime of success and joy in the Beautiful Game. And when it’s played simply for enjoyment and pleasure, it is The Beautiful Game!