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Bayside comfortable on opening day fixture

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Bayside Girls
Dunfermline Girls
SWF U13's East Region
11 March 2014
Opening days of the season are always exciting days but a local derby makes them even more special. Both sides are new to 13s proper this year. Dunfermline, cast as the away team, had a very impressive 13s in season 2013 winning the league and league cup. They finished the season with 5 x SFA regional performance squad players in their ranks, testament to the level they were performing at.
That squad moved up to 15s this year, meaning today’s opposition were a mixture of last season’s u11s and new players picked up during the winter break. Team lines showed that today’s Dunfermline team were on average, older than our Bayside girls, who enjoyed an unbeaten year at u11s last year and even had a taste of u13s late last year.
The Girls have had a good pre-season in 2014 including games with Broxburn, Celtic Tayside, Central (Falkirk), Dundee United, and Hibs at Duloch.
The teams faced up on a typical March morning, cloudy sky, cool wind with threat of rain and a damp atmosphere. Pitreavie showed familiar effects of early spring showers and freezing temperatures with a soggy, slippery top surface waiting to be cut up by football boots.
Bayside team; 1: Alicia Yates, 7; Caitlin Wilson, 4; Rachel Bryson, 6; Grace Dewar, 10; Cary’s Allan, 5; Lauren Smith, 14; Ellie Gillan, 2; Jodie Fletcher.
The game kicked off with Bayside showing a determination to get the ball forward quickly with Gillan and Dewar linking up well to create the game’s first half chance.
Captain Wilson was marshalling from the back well, sweeping up a few half chances the away team had and creating a few for the home side. With 2 minutes gone, Allan earned Bayside the game’s first corner, but Smiths dangerous cross was not met by a girl in sky blue and Dunfermline broke out of their defence with ease.
With 4 minutes played, Bayside had been covering well but were soon to hear the disapproval of coaches Allan, Morrison and Bryson when they found themselves standing off the Dunfermline attackers for too long, too often.
Smith wasted the game’s first clear cut opportunity to score with a shot placed wide of the Dunfermline goal with 6 minutes gone but tried to make amends less than a minute later, intercepting the ball and sending a cracking through ball to Gillan. This attack was frustrated by the Dunfermline keeper, and Bayside had to settle for a corner. The girls took it short, the ball broke from Allan to Smith who showed the defenders too much of the ball and lost her team possession.
The opening ten minutes belonged to Bayside, but Dunfermline were digging in and their last line of defence was effective enough to keep the score nil nil. Bryson took the initiative at this stage in the game and started to run at the Dunfermline girls, earning herself a shot at goal. The shot rebounded off the keeper setting up a half chance for Gillan that was deflected out for a corner. Smith took the resulting corner well, but again there was nobody on hand to hit at goal.
Dunfermline were struggling to break into the Bayside final third, their preferred route their right flank. Dewar was creating space to clear or pass from the left with success more times than not and seemed to be enjoying herself under the pressure of 3 points being up for grabs. In goals, Yates was solid as always for Bayside and directed her defence well, but it was not going to be a day for her to show off her talents.
Dunfermline opted to try and settle into a short passing game, which worked well for a spell but was not fooling the Bayside Captain Wilson or Allan who found herself circle to box most of the opening 15. Dewar, Fletcher and Wilson were working well to prevent any clear cut chances being created, with Bryson and Allan coming back deepest to cover while under attack. Smith was left to rue another missed chance next, mishitting a left foot shot on 17 minutes. The Dunfermline keeper smothering easily.
The game was deteriorating as quickly as the pitch, with little excitement for either side for a 5 minute spell before Bryson took initiative once again on 21 minutes. Winning the ball at right side of defence, she ran the entire length of the pitch and was unfortunate to see her attempt at goal denied by the keeper for a corner. Smith whipped the resulting corner in well which was met by Bryson, but she watched her attempt at goal rebound off the keeper to Gillan who could only snap at the ball and sent it agonisingly over the bar.
Just over a minute later, Wilson hit a superb shot from the edge of the box for the top right corner, her attempt to open scoring palmed away by the keeper for yet another corner. If goals were awarded for every ten corners, the Bayside girls would have been cruising by now, but the girls had to settle for slight disappointment instead, when Smith went off with a sore knee.
The final 5 minutes of the half saw the game spark back into life. Wilson mopped up at the back once again and cleared perfectly to Gillan who played a clever through ball to Bryson. Bryson hit the post after breaking through but Dewar was on hand to put the ball in the back of the net. Fletcher went off with a face knock just after the first goal, with Smith returning to the game a little prematurely than she would have liked.
This didn't hinder Bayside however. With their next attack, Bryson ran to and then cut inside from the bye line to shoot low and hard into the bottom of the inside netting with 2 minutes of the first half to go. This was thoroughly deserved; Bryson was arguably performer of the half along with her captain Wilson.
Bayside finished the half with better passing build up than earlier in the half and earned yet another corner right on half time, but Smith sent her cross straight into the keepers hands
Half Time: Bayside 2-0 Dunfermline
Half time gave coaches Allan, Morrison and Bryson a chance to address the first half and prepare the girls for the second half and this was evidently effective. Almost straight away, Smith and Gillan were linking up well before their hard work found Bryson for the half’s first shot at goal. Bayside were covering well, clearly empowered by their coaches and doing as asked. A good short corner from Dewar to Allan just couldn't find its way through to Smith or Gillan.
The game had waited twenty six minutes for its first goal, but the second half only had to wait two and a half minutes for its first and the games third. Smith, who had by her best standards underperformed in the first half and failed to take a few chances, linked up brilliantly with Gillan yet again. Gillans lay off was hit low and hard toward goal by Smith and the Dunfermline keeper could not stop it squirming under her arms.
Aminute later, Smith was suddenly in contention for a hat trick. Clearly enthused and inspired by her first, Smith skipped past two Dunfermline players finding space for a shot. Her shot was unstoppable for the keeper and slammed hard into the top right corner of the net.
Smith almost got her hat trick a minute later mishitting a shot from wide out for a goal kick. Allan then came close with a long range effort. Dunfermline then defended another 3 corners as Bayside entered Guinness book of records territory for corners won, with pick of the bunch being a ball from Allan to Smith who hit a shot straight for top corner, only for the keeper to save.
Gillan then came close latching onto to a through ball, taking a shot that rebounded for Dewar who just couldn't quite convert. Wilson then took a throw to Smith who set Gillan up for another shot that drifted just wide. It was to turn out to be a frustrating day for Gillan, who worked well as the teams centre forward and truly deserved to get a goal or two for effort alone most of the second half.
Smith was clearly enjoying herself this half and was having a lot of success in the opening 8 minutes. Bayside's defence continued to sweep up relatively well at the back but Dunfermline did drive well up the left on 9 minutes. Bayside countered when the attack broke down, but Smith and Gillan couldn't quite take advantage of a weakening Dunfermline back line.
The away side were struggling to find players this half, and the Bayside coaches were starting to express frustration at lack of shots at goal. The pitch was muddier now and the game was literally dragging the girls with a lot of scrappy play on display.
Dunfermline then came close with their first real shot, a chip dropping onto the inside of the junction and out. Gillan continued to work hard and tried to get into the right places and came close a few times between the 15th and 20th minute. One touch plays with Smith, Allan and Gillan a joy to watch on occasion.
It was Dunfermline who were celebrating on 21 minutes however, when their talented number 14 scored with a low drive into bottom corner. She had probably been their brightest player.
Bayside did retaliate straight away, with what would have been goal of the game. Some lovely one touch passing between Bryson, Dewar, and Allan resulted in the ball arriving at the feet of Smith, who jinked left then right to lose her marker, but could only manage a shot wide. A minute later, further build up play from middle between Bryson and Dewar created a chance for Bryson.
With 26 minutes played Bryson repeated her driving forward play and was close with a shot.
The final 5 minutes were slow, with ball watching and lack of effort on show. However, Smiths quick throw to Gillan for a pass back saw Smith play a low cross for Dewar who couldn't quite stretch enough for the shot. The Girls travel to Perth next week to face a strong Jeanfield side.
Full Time: Bayside 4-1 Dunfermline
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