|2021 U9||28th August 11:00am||League Round 15||SUFC Aldgate Primary School Oval|
Stirling Districts Football Club versus Woodside Warriors Soccer Club U9 Blue
Football is full of fantastic David versus Goliath matches: just a fortnight ago newly promoted Brentford stuck a couple of goals past English Premier League giants Arsenal. That very same weekend Dundee United ended a record-breaking unbeaten run for Rangers by putting a goal past them without reply at Tannadice Park. Some other great giant-killing matches that spring to mind – completely at random – include Dundee United beating Roma two-nil in the European Cup semi-final in 1984, or Dundee United beating Barcelona one-nil in the UEFA cup quarter-final first leg in 1987, or Dundee United beating Barcelona two-one in the UEFA cup quarter final second leg in 1987. Or, ahem … anyway, with Stirling Districts scoring for fun in our Round 6 encounter back in May and certain of our midfielders viewing them as our arch nemesis, this match took on a special significance for the Warriors Blues as our kids hoped against hope that they could find a way to overcome such a strong side.
Woodside set-out to frustrate Stirling Districts from the start, sitting deep with all seven players behind the ball at times, ready to launch forwards at the first sign of an attack. The game plan worked beautifully in the first half, with Woodside nullifying everything that Stirling Districts could conjure-up. Leo Tucker put in his best performance in defence this season, hounding the Districts’ forwards and taking the ball off of them with some accomplished tackles. Forward and this week’s Captain Austin Levy was quick on the break and after a nice passage of play from Woodside that started with a brace of dangerous attacking throw-ins by midfielder Charlotte Cosgriff, found himself in a shooting position but unfortunately the ball didn’t sit quite right for him and his effort was gathered up by the Stirling keeper. Lucas March-Feltham had another flawless performance in goal, scooping up every ball coming into his box and ending his shift at the half time whistle with a clean sheet.
In the second half Woodside dug in once again, making life hard for the Stirling forwards who just couldn’t find an opening. Woodside very nearly found the upset they had been hoping for, with Noah Paech setting off on one of his trademark forward runs that cause hearts to leap into mouths, but unfortunately his shot was just wide of the post. Stirling committed more players to attack with the obvious intention of overloading the Woodside defence, and sadly for our plucky Blues they managed to find the net in the latter stages of the game.
So, Woodside’s fairy-tale didn’t quite come off, but they showed that when they work hard, maintain discipline in defence and look for clever passes they can match some of the most skilful teams in the division. They might not be ready to cause upsets in the top European competitions yet, but with performances like this they are showing that on their day they can make life very difficult for their opposition.