Girls Under 13’s Match Reports
1. Ayr United 11-Dalry 5
2. Ayr United 13-Irvine Thistle 0
3. Ayr United 2- East Kilbride Reds 2
4. Ayr United 2- Prestwick Belles 3
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Ayr Passed the ball well in this game. They dominated the game although Dalry threatened at times. Ayr had played some very difficult games in the previous fixtures earlier in the season and so the additional time and space they were given in this particular game allowed the players to get their head up and pass the ball. It was great to see them score lots of goals, and get some pay off to the hard work they had put in during previous games. There were also many goal scorers which was an additional bonus.
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A mismatch in terms of competition to the point that our goalkeeper only touched the ball about three times during the game. Despite the other team having a much greater advantage in terms of size and age they were out passed, and even out classed athletically. The girls scored within ten seconds of the match beginning and after three minutes of the game it was three nil. From then on with a great deal of self confidence gained from this start to the game, the girls played some nice passing football and on most occasions won the 50/50 challenges on the pitch. In fact, with more composure and patience in the last third more goals could have been scored. It was nice to see the girls keep a clean sheet, and it was obvious that they were determined not to lose a goal which shows they place a lot of pride in their performance thought the full 60 minutes and results that come from this.
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I was more pleased with this game than any other this season. Finally, we had a game that could truly test the girl’s ability, will to compete and teamwork. All previous games had led to one sided affairs (either in our favour in this league, or against us in the previous) but finally we had a team that was well matched against us. They were again much the older and taller team. In the first half this was the difference. East Kilbride seemed to win the 50/50 battles more often using their physical strength and used their greater stride length to cut out any of our attacks as they could always get back goal side and tackle our small strikers when they were through on goal. They scored their first after a deflected strike from a decent move. However, the game was very even with most of the play in the middle of the field and our midfield showed a lot of tenacity. Cara Graham did well as cover for goalkeeper and made one or two good saves and came out to collect the ball when there was danger. Unfortunately a defensive mix up cost us a second goal. Our two defenders left the ball for each other to take and this allowed the opposition striker to take the ball instead and drive to goal before scoring. Mistakes will happen and I’m sure they will learn from this. Half time. The coaches present discussed how to change things and we decided to overload the attack because East Kilbride were coping too well with our one up front. The idea being that with defenders more occupied the midfield could also get forward and find more space, while also putting East Kilbride on the back foot. The risk was losing more goals but it seemed worth the risk. This strategy worked and from early we started to take control. During the second half the girls worked very hard and all showed a commitment to turn the game around. They were rewarded with two goals to pull the game even, and in the last 5 minutes we even hit the crossbar! The movement from our strikers and midfield was superb and I think that made a key difference as the opposition became tired. We were also solid defensively during that half and gave them very little opportunity.
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Really this was a very similar game to the previous one which we were very unlucky to come out losing. A draw would have been a fair result. We scored first against the run of play from a fantastic control and half volley from Danielle Nicholson and then began to dominate the game before they scored against the run of play. Nicole Hendren was the stand out performer in the first half and created many chances for us by taking on her opponent and making a good cross or pass after beating her opponent. In the second half we scored a well worked goal and showed some good passing sequences although there was definitely room for improvement in this game, including better communication and composure. Prestwick to their credit battled well and gained both of their goals through scrambling the ball into the net – the winning goal being less than 5 minutes from time. Still, it was good to be involved in another close game as I believe these are the games that the girls can learn the most.