Aberdeen 11s v Academy 11s
After months of planning and recruiting new players Ayr United 11′s were finally ready for the first game of their inaugural season at SFA Performance Level. This represents a significant increase in the quality of opponent and was emphasised after being handed a tough opening game away to a very good Aberdeen side.
Coaches Kevin Bruce and Jason Butler each took a squad of ten for two 40 minute games. Jason’s team began very well and thanks to two very well taken goals from Nathan Murray (pictured) held a slender lead heading towards half time. The boys were forced to work very hard to win possession of the ball against a very good passing side highlighted by Ryan Baxter tirelessly pressuring the Aberdeen defenders into mistakes. However, Aberdeen showed their qualities combined with a slight lack of concentration from Ayr to score goals in quick succession before half time. The second half was more of the same with Ayr having a good start to the half with Nathan rounding off an excellent hat-trick and a well taken goal from Declan McPhillips as he rounded the keeper to finish the game on a positive note.
The second game again had some positive performances with more excellent work from Declan McPhillips down the right wing resulting in a superb team goal. However, similar to the first game Aberdeen were in control against a tiring Ayr side who thanks to excellent defensive performances from Daniel Wood and, in particular, the outstanding Lewis McSorley in goal kept the score respectable.
Kevin’s team got off to a slow start in their first game and quickly found themselves behind to some excellent goals from a skilful Aberdeen side. Ayr snapped into life near the end of the first half and after some neat passing were unlucky not to have scored by half time. After some feedback Ayr began to apply some pressure by finding their passing game and an excellent individual goal from Paul Smith combined with a well taken Blair McCallum goal ended the game on a positive note.
The second game was a reverse of the first as Kevin’s team got off to a great start with two Lewis Dean goals and an overall increase in performance level meaning Kevin’s team went in at half time giving as good as they got. However, Ayr tired in the sizzling highland heat resulting in Aberdeen gaining control with some excellent passing moves and well taken goals. Special mention must go to Paul Smith and Robbie Laurie who stood out even amongst the best Aberdeen had to offer and in particular Colin ‘Co-co’ Wilson in goal with both keepers in both games drawing plaudits from the Aberdeen coaching team.
Overall it was a very positive performance from the boys who have only known each other a matter of weeks compared to the Aberdeen team where the core group of players have been together for 12-18 months. The boy’s attitude and commitment to playing football in the correct manner were the most pleasing factors from the day with the boys beginning to realise the level they must now compete at. Overall a fun day was had by all and after another long bus journey home the boys are relishing their next fixture.
Special mention must also go the amazing turnout from the parents considering the length of journey and time commitment required. Your support is much appreciated.
On the only sour note of the day, towards the end of the second game Connor went in bravely at the keeper’s feet and fell awkwardly on his right arm and unfortunately suffered a break. The injury required surgery and Conner is looking at some time on the sidelines. The determination and courage shown by Connor makes him a credit to Ayr United Football Academy and everyone involved with the club wishes him a speedy recovery.