|2019 U14 Grading||18th May 10:30am||Cup Round 1||SUFC Aldgate Oval|
In the first round of this years U14 AHJSA Cup, Stirling Utd U14 hosted Woodside Warriors U14 Blue for the mid-morning match. With grading completed, this match would see a clash between the division 1 rated Stirling United and division 2's Woodside Warriors Blue. Fine weather and a damp but firm track ensured that this would be a free flowing affair with goals on offer for whoever had the skills to make it happen.
And it wasn’t long before United opened the scoring with some fine transfer play and a long accurate shot on goal. They had given Woodside their first lesson – stand off us and we’ll hit the net! The young Warriors were shocked (and a little slow on the uptake) with Stirling U hitting the net no less than thrice in the next few minutes of play. Such a dazzling start by the home side threatened to bring capitulation from the visitors. But when true fighting Warriors are injured, they don’t lie down – They get back up - And step forward. And the young lads from the agricultural side of the Hills did just that. Their defenders closed down their opponents, denying time and space; Their midfield surged up and down the ground, helping their tired defence and rebounding with intent; And their forwards found the will to hassle their opponents and defend as far back as necessary! But United were too classy to be rattled, even by such dogged opposition. Their willingness to work for the space and pass the ball to a team mate in a better position, and their skills at being able to find feet through traffic, to hustle in defence and to structure up at all times saw them control the remainder of the first half and score another couple of well-earned goals.
The second half also presented an opportunity for Woodside to lie down. After all, the mountain that United had built for them to climb was of Himalayan dimensions! So, with the sceptre of a superior opponent waiting for them on the field, Woodside walked out to face the music. But the second was played in stark contrast to the first. United were on top, yes. But the Warriors were well in the match and defending out of their brains! The lesson had been learnt. Quality players feed on space and time – Deny them this and even the best will have to earn their meal! The entirety of the second half was a pitched battle. United had set camp outside the gates in a siege-like attack on their opponents fortress, while Woodside fought for their lives and threatened mightily on the counter attack. In the end Stirling proved that they were just too disciplined, too strong and too talented and managed to hit the net on another three occasions on their way to a well earned victory.
Another great Saturday morning of Hills soccer with the game played hard but fair and the better team winning on the day.