Ayr United 14’s V Queen of the South 14’s
8th May 2011-05-08
Ayr United Under 14’s hosted their southern counterparts Queen of the South at Prestwick Academy in ever changing weather conditions on the South West coast.
The 14’s knew this would be a tough test as Queens are one of the better teams at this age group and in the early spells Ayr struggled to cope with the strength and quick football of their visitors. Queens dominated the game in these exchanges and their pressure was to get its reward after only 7 minutes when a low, driven shot from the edge of the area, by the Queens number 9, managed to slip under the unfortunate Lewis McMurdo who was left helpless by the slippery surface.
Ayr were stunned by their visitors start and continued to struggle in the west coast wind. Queens sensed this hesitancy and looked to capitalise with continuing pressure. Further reward was to come six minutes later as the visitors crashed a header off the bar from a corner kick….Ayr’s hesitancy meant they failed to react to the dropping ball in the six yard box and the Queens number 8 swept home from 2 yards out.
It was only now that Ayr sparked into life and began to play the brand of disciplined pass and move football which they have become known for, the hosts almost got their reward on the 20 minute mark when a flowing move down the left hand side involving Donnie Campbell and Blaine Swift, resulted in a glorious cross from Campbell and a chance for Roy Barr, who beat his man at the front post and looked to have scored but the impressive Queens goalkeeper was more than a match and pulled of a great instinctive reaction save.
The 1st 30 minute period ended as it had started with the visitors on the front foot, but they failed to add to their lead.
Ayr were reminded, during the break, that they are a good team of talented footballers and that they had to stay disciplined in their 4-4-2 formation whilst playing good two touch football. They were also reminded that the chance to get back in the game would present itself if they were patient.
Ayr began the 2nd 30 minute period as though they were a totally different team, they looked hungry and began to press their visitors high up the park….this stronger, more determined outlook payed off immediately when Micheal Stewart played a ball forward to the edge of the area which Roy Barr controlled for Ryan Wilson. Wilson then played a delicious little flick that released Sean McKenzie to fire the ball home from ten yards out.
Only two minutes later Ayr had the ball in the net again when a searching pass from Sean McKenzie found the lively Ryan Wilson in space in the box, Wilson then slotted past the on-rushing ‘keeper only to have his goal ruled out for offside. The second 30 minute period ended with Ayr dominant, however they were unable to fashion any more chances with the wind at their backs.
The coaching team asked the players to continue pressing and working hard and expected that if they could see out the next fifteen minutes without losing a goal that the boys would again dominate when they gained the advantage presented bythe blustery conditions.
The players immediately proved this expectation wrong and began to turn the screw. Wilson was moved up front and Jordan Bruce came on in the midfield, with Lewis Neilson moving wide onto the right, it was to be these changes that reaped rewards as a fantastic through ball from the ever impressive Reece Lapham found Sean McKenzie; who in-turn payed a very delicate flicked pass into Ryan Wilsons path, Ryans’ first touch was away from goal but this just created and angle which the young man used beautifully when he struck a sweet right footed shot into the roof of the net.
This evened up the game and Ayr sought to press home their dominance. They were to do just that a fantastic first time cross from Lewis Neilson found Wilson at the back post, his cushioned header found Sean McKenzie free in the box, the youngster managed to convert from close range with his head.
Sub Scott Donaldson continued his development with another strong performance at left back and it was he who managed to set up Sean McKenzie with a high left footed ball over the defence. This wasn’t dealt with and the Ayr number nine struck the bouncing ball high into the net from 25 yards, this was undoubtedly the goal of the game.
Ayr continued to press but were caught on the break by the visitors almost immediately.The visitors took this chance and pulled a goal back. This left the Dumfries team only needing a goal for what few could argue would have been a deserved draw, however Ayr youngsters showed great determination, resolve and character to see this one out.
Coach Tony Bryson had this to say: “there is no greater feeling as a coach than when you see your players achieving the goals set out in training, this was one of those days. The boys showed great discipline and can be rightly proud of the character, desire and skill they showed against a talented QoS team”
MoM: Ryan Wilson