|2020 U16||1st August 9:00am||League Round 6||WWSC Main Pitch 2|
Complacency is most likely the word of the year at the moment. With everything going on it’s easy to overlook the drive that everyone once had to follow our new world routine to stem the transmission of a virus that has had a major effect on our lives. The pandemic has had an effect across most of society, including sports.
There wouldn’t be too many coaches who haven’t referred to this word at some point in their coaching life. The higher you go on the ladder the more chance you’ve got to succumbing to it’s painful sting, being an unexpected loss to a lower ranked team. With only fourteen rounds in the season every game is important and complacency has no place.
On Saturday 2nd of August the Woodside Warriors U16 team faced off against a lower ranked Rangers side. The difference between the two teams, at least in regards to the ladder, is minor; a single position on the ladder. Both teams were on equal points with the goal difference separating them. On top of that the outcome of the game is equally as minor, albeit important to the players, with either result simply switching their ladder positions. Despite all this the game was most important to both teams, not to mention their supporters.
Woodside fielded their regular team with four players on the bench. The only niggles were light and only to a couple of players. They also had a week off last week, with the first round that the BYE came into effect. They were fit and ready to go. Meanwhile Rangers seemed to have one or two subs at most. They were also out to redeem themselves after a loss to ladder leaders Hahndorf.
After a quick switch of linesman due to one being official and the other a parent who was lined up to call offsides for the opposing team, the game was underway, kicking off at 9am on Woodside’s second pitch. After a dry week the pitch was looking particularly vibrant for August.
It was evident from kick-off that Rangers were out to give Woodside a reminder that they weren’t to be underestimated. They took advantage of this twice last season. Woodside were underprepared with the play slightly tipped the Rangers way.
However, on the 20th minute Woodside’s centre-forward, BILLY WILSON, managed to notch up a goal after a bit of fumbling by numerous players in front of goals. The following twenty minutes continued like the first with only one goal to the home team at the half time whistle. Numerous notable saves by Woodside’s keeper, SAMUEL HERMAN, impressed everyone, but also showed that Rangers were seemingly moments away from scoring.
The second half saw some changes, namely Woodside’s keeper, opting for time out on the pitch, who swapped places with IZEYAH RAYMOND. Raymond, confident in goals, reassured the team that the job is in good hands. The switch paid dividends with Herman scoring twice in 10 minutes. Meanwhile Rangers’ FELIX MENASHE caused no end of dramas for Woodside’s attackers, closing them down numerous times in the second half.
Another Woodside change saw key centre-back MASON DUNOW under instruction from his coach to move forward. It was then, and over the next three minutes, that saw Rangers’ SHANNON COX and JOSEPH BELLAMY score for their teams. From then, and over the last ten minutes of play, everything and everyone was deployed to prevent any further damage to the home team.
“The Rangers U16 side needs to be commended for bring such an outstanding game”, said Woodside Coach BRUCE TONKIN. “My players were totally unprepared for what they dished out. I’m already concerned for the next encounter with them”.
A strong performance by SAMUEL HERMAN saw him earn the title of Best and Fairest, whilst JOSH VASSOS and IZEYAH RAYMOND were also recognised for their efforts.
Rangers will now rest for the next round, whilst Woodside will take on fourth placed Strathalbyn White at Woodside.