|2021 U17||1st May 9:00am||League Round 4||WWSC Main Pitch 1|
The old “a win is a win” saying alludes to the obvious counter-argument, being that “a loss is a loss”. Sure, any team in any sport should see a win over the top of the league as nothing but a win. However, to put up a fight against the ladder leaders, and only lose by a single goal, is surely a contender for “win” consideration. They might not go home with 3-points, but they certainly deserve recognition for their efforts.
On Saturday 1st of May, the AHJFA U17 League saw Murray Bridge United travel to Woodside Recreation Ground to take on ladder leaders, Woodside Warriors. For Woodside this was their first game on home turf. For Murray Bridge this was their second game on Woodside’s turf, having played Stirling United in Round 2. They lost to Stirling United 2-4 and lost by the same margin against Strathalbyn the round prior. A week ago they found success in a 6-2 win over Rangers in Round 3.
Meanwhile Woodside secured three wins in a row, all over some quality opposition, being Hahndorf, Rangers and Strathalbyn in that order. Woodside are possibly getting a little too comfy in their position and could be about to overlook the passion it took to get them there in the first place. One could argue that it didn’t begin in Round 1 2020, but rather it kicked off in the second half of last season with a solid run through a COVID shortened season.
The day was splendid and the grounds were outstanding. The game kicked off at 9am under the watchful eye of Referee William Smith.
From kick off Woodside almost replicated their previous week’s start against Strathalbyn. Their drive to take the lead early has always been paramount to their success. With Captain ANGUS WILKINS slotting in two goals within the first 10 minutes, Murray Bridge United were surely concerned. A follow-up goal from EDDIE HERMAN seven minutes later surely spelt disaster for the away team.
However, it took three goals for Murray Bridge to realise that Woodside were no longer the team they remember. It was time for them to bring the heat.
On the 36th minute EDWARD MATO managed to score. Mato would have to be the fastest person in the association. Whilst his ball control could use a little fine-tuning, if he is unchallenged fancy football is meaningless. Speed isn’t always enough, but it was enough for Mato who opened the account for the away team.
A few minutes later half-time was called. The game was currently 3-1 in favour of Woodside.
The second half saw a relaxed Woodside and a determined Murray Bridge kick on with the game. Murray Bridge’s Captain, JAYDEN VOKES, certainly invokes passion and drive within his team. Typically a keeper, Vokes has opted to spend some time outfield instead. This is as opposed to being in the sticks representing the association in the U16 Rep team. Naturally he is keen to mix things up.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Mato sunk his second goal. Again he managed to outpace his opposition, drawing admiration from all spectators. With another 25 minutes on the clock they made it clear to Woodside that they weren’t settling for anything less than a draw.
With Woodside’s forwards unable to score, and Woodside’s defenders able to prevent Murray Bridge from scoring, the game came to a conclusion on the 80th minute, 3-2 in favour of Woodside.
“It was certainly a reminder that no team is immortal”, said Coach BRUCE TONKIN after the game. “I’d like to think that this will remind my team that the first 15 minutes of the game isn’t all it takes. Well done to Murray Bridge too! It was uncomfortably close.”
ANGUS WILKINS was deserving of Best and Fairest, with CASEY GODFREY and ISAIAH HAMMAT having noticeable performances.
Woodside will continue a short run of home games next week, up against Stirling United. Meanwhile Murray Bridge will travel to Pine Avenue to play second placed Hahndorf. Good luck!