|2020 U12||22nd August 11:00am||League Round 9||WWSC Main Pitch 2|
Ladder leaders Stirling Utd travelled to the agricultural side of the Hills for their Round 9 encounter with Woodside Warriors U12 Gold. And with the Fortress more closely resembling a swamp this week, they were forced to get down and dirty with the locals in a tough and challenging match.
The first half was a tough, tit for tat encounter. Stirling showed why they are on top of the ladder, pushing the ball forward against a strong headwind. But the youngsters from Woodside were truly up for the challenge as they repelled their opponents, linked with their midfield and created a number of their own chances at the attacking end of the ground. But Stirling are not just an attacking force, and having conceded less than a goal a match on average this season, they were in no mood to let in a cheapy today. With both sides so committed and playing with such skill and execution it was little wonder that we went into the break with the scores deadlocked at nil all.
When play resumed, Stirling looked intent to capitalise on the wind advantage that was now filling their sails. But again Woodside came out hard and repelled a number of early chances. Eventually, something had to give, and Stirling managed to hack one passed a desperate keeper to take the lead. This took a bit of wind out of the young Warriors who were struggling with players away and only a single reserve on the bench. After a second goal, the Warriors were momentarily demoralised. After such a monumental effort for 45 minutes, they were flagging heavily and this gave their opposition a half-yard of space to pass or shoot. And when you give the top team half a yard, they take it. In all, Stirling put on 4 goals in a five minute stretch that took the game out of Woodside’s reach. The best was an elegant cross from the left of the box that was met with a deft, and beautifully timed deflection into the bottom left corner. A final goal in the dying seconds gave Stirling Utd a well-deserved 5 – 0 victory. They had cause to celebrate this victory against a tough opposition. And although the full-team rush on the final kick-off threatened to take the shine off a game that was otherwise played in such great spirit, but both teams came together, bumped elbows, applauded one another and went home to get warm and dry.