Byron Milan, who started the day top of the table, played host to Huntly, with the away side knowing a win would put them level on points with their opposition in the ADJFA U15’s C League.
The heavy wind at Northfield academy was bound to play a part, and that was obvious early on as the weather had an effect on high balls.
The crossbars on either side of the pitch were rattled within the opening stages. First Huntly right back Gregg Fowlie’s attempted cross clipped the Byron bar and bounced away from danger.
Just two minutes later Byron’s number five Drew Grant twisted and turned to find an opening in the Huntly penalty area. His shot was smashed onto the bar; leaving both sides thankful they’d maintained their clean sheets.
In comparison to the opening few minutes, the next 15 or so that followed were fairly quiet. Both sides looked to establish dominance, but neither managed to take over.
Byron struck first blood just after twenty minutes. Another a long ball forward from the defence wasn’t cleared properly, bouncing around the Huntly box before falling to Byron’s Brandyn Mclaggan. Mclaggan used his body well to shield the ball and turn and finish powerfully into the top right hand corner of the Huntly goal.
Huntly instantly began to put pressure on the Byron defence as they searched for an equaliser. Having already troubled Bryon with earlier corners, it was no surprise when their leveller came just five minutes after falling behind, from a corner on the left hand side. Striker Logan Shand stooped low to bundle in from close range.
If it wasn’t clear already that Huntly were dangerous from corners, it would quickly become apparent just minutes later. From two separate corners Byron goalkeeper Ziemowit Magdziarz made two good saves down low after scrambles in the box.
The game remained competitive and the next chance fell the host’s way. Midfielder David Barclay’s pass found Cameron Howitt. Howitt managed to cut the ball back, evading the defenders tackle, but was unable to beat the keeper with his effort.
Both sides were enjoying periods of possession but as the first half came to a close, it was Byron picking up the best chances. A cross fell to Barclay, who had looked a powerful presence in the midfield. Barclay – in a similar area to where Mclaggan scored – turned only to see his half volley smash the bar – the third time in the first half the woodwork came into play.