Aberdeen 14s v AUFA 14s – 19th August 2012
The u14s and their new coaching team made an early start on their trip north to a very sunny Aberdeen. After a difficult pre-season game last week against Celtic this was a much improved performance by Ayr.
However like last week they lost a couple of early goals which made things difficult. The first resulted from a driving run from the Aberdeen player whose shot was well saved by goalkeeper Greg Connor however the rebound fell kindly to the on-rushing forward. The second was a soft goal as the striker was able to rise virtually unchallenged to back head a cross into the net.
Ayr then settled and passed the ball around well and shortly after a Dylan Robb pass set Kieran Balfour on a surging run that ended with a great shot that the keeper did well to save. This gave Ayr further confidence but instead of looking to get back on level terms they were guilty of some weak tackling and this allowed the Aberdeen midfielder to break through and strike an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the top corner.
Ayr did respond with both Nathan Baird and Kieran Balfour having good strikes on goal that tested the Aberdeen keeper who was having a great game. Just when it looked like Ayr would score they conceded a soft foul and from the resultant free-kick Aberdeen were fortunate when the ball struck the back of the head of the Aberdeen striker and found the bottom corner of the net. Despite the score line the back four of Fraser Paterson, Lyall Cameron, Callum Ogston (who captained the team) and Dylan Robb had played well and their distribution from the back was much improved.
In the second period Ayr looked more determined to win the 50/50 balls and competed well however after Ayr lost possession on the half way line the Aberdeen right winger drove to the edge of the box and chipped goalkeeper Taylor Davidson. To Ayr’s credit their heads didn’t go down and good interplay set Jamie Martin (pictured) free and he was bundled to the ground just outside the box. The resultant free-kick by Robbie Graham was a good attempt but marginally over the bar. Jamie Martin played upfront on his own and was a constant threat to the Aberdeen defence. A great ball over the top by Callum, who had moved into centre midfield set Jamie free but the Aberdeen defenders crowded him out. Just when Ayr were in the ascendency they lost two soft goals which could have been avoided.
Ayr responded with a Kieran interception in midfield setting Jamie free and his shot was narrowly wide with the keeper beaten. This was then followed up by a good strike from Kieran following a well delivered free kick that Aberdeen had managed to clear. Ayr continued to press and were rewarded when interplay between Jamie and Kieran set Kieran free and he coolly rounded the keeper before scoring. An excellent Will Graham pass then set up Jamie and from a tight angle his chip shot had the keeper at full stretch. A good shot by Lyall then followed when the central defender worked his way forward. The second goal was on the cards for Ayr and it duly arrived when a short free-kick between Lyall and Stuart Gray allowed Lyall to play in Jamie and his excellent turn and shot flew past the goalkeeper. This was just reward for all Jamie’s efforts.
Ayr were definitely in the ascendency and further shots by Nathan & Lyall could have added to Ayr’s tally.
The third period started in a similar fashion with Ayr pressing Aberdeen all over the park. However the heavy grass pitch, the heat and probably a lack of a pre-season seemed to affect the Ayr boys and they began to tire and after losing possession in Aberdeen’s half they allowed the right winger to sprint clear and his cut-back was expertly finished by the striker.
A mistake at the back followed shortly afterwards to present Aberdeen with an easy goal. To their credit the Ayr boys didn’t let their heads go down and Ryan Spiers who had come on for Jamie had a good chance to score but was thwarted by the goalkeeper. The Ayr boys competed to the final whistle and must have taken great confidence from the periods of play when they retained the ball and created several well worked openings. They will be disappointed that they lost out on some key 50 / 50 challenges and know that they will need to continue to improve on their ability to play from the back. However overall a much better team performance and great to see the first goals of the season both of which were expertly created and executed.