|2019 U14 Grading||4th May 12:30pm||League Round 4||WWSC Main Pitch 1|
After three of five rounds of grading, Woodside Red finally drew a team in the queue for the first division. With Woodside having an undeserving place on the top of the ladder (due to only playing Division 2 teams thus far) and Murray Bridge Gold only losing by one goal to Strathalbyn Red in their run, neither Woodside or Murray Bridge Gold would possibly consider a loss in the fourth round.
The Referee, sensing the tension, was clear in addressing both teams pre-game. She wanted a clean game just as much as the coaches and supporters alike. Kick-off commenced on her whistle and the game was underway at 12:30pm on Woodside’s main pitch.
For fourteen minutes both teams tested out the boundaries of the opponents skillset. Which players were a threat on goal? Which players were a threat in preventing them? It was only a matter of time before one team’s lapse of judgement and another’s fortune opened up the scoreline. This fell in favour of the away team and right on the fifteenth minute. Murray Bridge’s coach, Ashley Williams, and team supporters were delighted in scoring first, with Gold’s Darnell Giles-Kaparny the proud owner.
It didn’t take long for Woodside to react with HAYDEN DAVIS scoring the next within a minute. It was then followed up by JETT TONKIN who landed Woodside’s second goal another minute later.
Unfortunately Gold brought minimal substitutes due to player availability. After one of their players came off second best from a 50:50 clash they were down to 11 players for the remainder of the game. Woodside’s Coach, not in the same position took the opportunity to substitute a handful of players.
With JOSH BEVAN sinking another two before half time, one coming from an impressive assist from TOBY VINCENT, Woodside entered the break with a comfortable 4-1 lead.
The second half was similar, this time with Woodside landing the first, again from Jett Tonkin. Murray Bridge, reminding the home team they were still a fight, scored the second within minutes. Despite his myriad of saves an unfortunate slip from Woodside’s keeper, JAYDEN STEWARD, saw Gold’s Cohen Naughton land his first and his team’s second goal, again to the delight of his coach and supporters.
Woodside landed the final blow for the game in the dying minutes, coming from Hayden Davis. The Referee sounded her whistle and declared the game in favour of the home team, 6-2 their way.
“It was great for my team to finally meet another Division 1 team”, said Woodside’s coach, BRUCE TONKIN, post-game. “Murray Bridge was a threat from kick-off with numerous forwards presenting unrelenting attacks at our keeper. With a full suite of players they’ll do well this season and are already a concern for the next time we meet them.”
Woodside’s man of the match was JOSH VASSOS who had no end of energy shutting down their attempts before his keeper had to step in. Another notable mention was AIDEN SUTTON, who marked his return to Woodside with a fine performance in midfield.
Next week Murray Bridge Gold goes onto play Hahndorf, another Div 1 team, in the fifth and final round of grading. Meanwhile Woodside sees Mount Barker Red at a ground to be determined.