In the rare Aberdeen sunshine, Byron Swifts got their season underway, playing against Paul Lawrie Foundation. Paul Lawrie picked up the three points with a 6-2 win, their goals coming from Connor Strachan, Fin Troup, and four from Joy Banda, while both of Byron’s goals came from Owen Dickson.
The first attacking play of the game came from Byron Swifts as Harry Glennie burst down the wing but his shot from out wide was smothered by Paul Lawrie Foundation goalkeeper Archie Coulesant.
Paul Lawrie were soon mounting their own attacks, with Shay Farooq making a break but becoming isolated and unable to make the offload he was looking for. In the following phases of play, he was supported by Glen Brown and Banda. Banda took a shot at goal from just inside the box but it was wide, while his next attempt went just over the crossbar.
Byron pressed back through their captain, Robbie Hay, who made the yards but Paul Lawrie held their defence strong to deny any chances. Christopher McCaughtrie and Babil Saru then set up interchanging play. McCaughtrie’s shot from just outside the box was deflected by Coulesant, and Saru took his shot from 25 yards but Coulesant was able to prevent the score.
End-to-end play ensued, with both teams trying to penetrate their opposition’s defence. It was Paul Lawrie who were eventually rewarded in the 18th minute, when Banda broke though and shot from 25 yards and wide out to the right to put his side in the lead.
With the momentum in their favour, Paul Lawrie were soon on the attack again and, in the 21st minute, Banda crossed the ball in from the corner and slipped it past Byron goalkeeper Scott Freckingham’s hand, to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Down but not out, Byron responded through McCaughtrie who linked up with Owen Dickson before the ball was forced out of play. Saru set up another chance for his side with a high ball but Paul Lawrie cleared well.
Another change in momentum saw Banda luring Freckingham out of the goal before crossing to Connor Strachan, who chipped it into the net to increase his side’s lead in the twenty-seventh minute.
Paul Lawrie continued to demonstrate their strength in attack through some neat footwork by Gavin Troup, who created space and shot but Freckingham caught the ball to deny the score. Gavin Troup then had another shot after creating space but he could not get the ball past the Byron goalkeeper.
The last chance of the half came for Byron, with Saru shooting from 30 yards and wide to the right but the ball was smothered by Coulesant to end the half.