Academy 11s v Kilmarnock 11s
While the national news headlines were dominated by the up and coming Manchester United v Liverpool derby match in the Barclays Premier League, it was of no interest to anyone on the West coast of Scotland. There was only one game in town…the AYRSHIRE DERBY!
A great crowd turned out to watch the boys on a gloriously sunny day at Belmont Academy on Saturday for the first Ayrshire Derby of the season. It had been the talk of the week in the schools and at training and the boys was relishing the fixture. Once again the boys were split into two teams for two 40 minute games.
Jason’s team started off with a great tempo and got the ball down to play some neat passing football putting pressure on the Kilmarnock defence. The pressure finally told with Paul Smith (pictured) forcing the defence into a mistake and he put Ayr ahead with a great finish. Ayr’s lead was soon doubled with yet another stunning Paul Smith strike. Paul picked the ball up in midfield, breezed past two defenders and fired the ball into the top corner. Paul was having an absolute blinder and as a corner came in he tried an outrageous overhead kick that narrowly went wide.
However, careless passing from Ayr let Kilmarnock score against the run of play and they finished the half the stronger team. Kilmarnock started the second half where they left off putting Ayr under pressure and they scored two further goals to take the lead. At this stage only another great performance from Lewis McSorley in goal and a goal-line clearance from Daniel Wood kept Ayr in the game. The game was set for an exciting finish and the crowd got what they wanted with a late Kaylem Ferguson goal that earned Ayr a draw. There were stand out performances from Paul Smith, Lewis McSorley in goal and, in particular Kaylem in the centre of midfield.
The second game was a more tired performance against a strong Kilmarnock team that resulted in a defeat. However a great performance from Lewis in goal with some outstanding saves and a couple of late goals made the score-line respectable.
Ross’ team first game was more of the same as they got off to a slow start with a goal from Lewis Dean the only consolation. The second game however, was an absolute cracker. Ayr started well with some good passing moves creating chances and forcing saves from the Kilmarnock keeper. After Ayr had gone in front they were pegged back and eventually conceded after some good play by Kilmarnock. With the game tied and the clock ticking down up stepped Jay McManus to score a late winner for Ayr in front of an ecstatic home crowd and gave Ayr a well deserved victory.
Overall, the coaching team was very happy with the performances, with some good football being played and chances created. At this level the performance is more important that results but to get both was very pleasing. There is still a long way to go but the team are progressing every week and are on the right track.