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Carrick cause upset away to Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock Academy 0

Carrick Academy 2

Miller 34, Hiddlestone 40
  • Wednesday, 09 October 2013
  • St Joseph's Astroturf
  • Under 18´s
  • League

Kyle Brown | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

I got my first insight to the girls side of youth football this evening. Following the success of the Scotland Girls U-17s side who have finalised their place in the European Championships for the first time in their history, I decided it really is about time I went and saw first hand a girls football game. Coincidentally, just two days after Scotland's success, there was an opportunity to spectate and report on the Senior Girls match between Kilmarnock Academy and Carrick Academy. The game heavily favoured Kilmarnock Academy, as they had won the league last year and had more players that still played competitive football. Carrick though, won by two goals to nil, after a clinical six minute period in the second half. 
 
As a Grange Academy pupil, I finished my school time at 3:25pm and got to St Joseph's Academy (where the Kilmarnock Academy play their home games) just after 4pm. All day, and even on my walk over, I had been curiously wondering about how this game would turn out. Girls youth football, in my eyes, is very under publicised. There is not a single female team at any age within the enormous Grange Academy, and yet for boys there is both an 'A' and 'B' squads at every age group, and even 'C' squads in S1 and S2. I hoped by reporting on the game, the girls will get a bit more recognition, and perhaps another youngster will be encouraged to play. Hopefully, some day soon Grange will have their own girls squad.
 
Sadly, I was a bit of a hypocrite when I said above girls youth football is under represented; I too have never even watched a game before. I was not about to pass away the chance to see this one though, despite the hassle of rushing to St Josephs! Fortunately, I arrived in plenty of time, largely owing thanks to Carrick coming all the way from Maybole! Luckier still, there were some friends of mine at the match, who gave me some background knowledge on the players.
 
Swiftly, kick off time was abound. Kilmarnock were lining up in a 4-4-2 formation whilst the Maybole side started with a 4-5-1. Moreover, there was a decent amount of spectators there. School games don't usually attract any spectators, but here their was a handful of Kilmanock Academy pupils cheering on their side, and a host of parents and grandparents alike who had made the pilgrimage to watch the game.
 
Kilmarnock almost had the lead straight away; Kristiana Hamilton forced her way through the defence and fired a shot - straight away warming the gloves of Hannah Davies in the Carrick goal. The Kilmarnock Ladies FC striker - who made her first team debut at age 14 - looked a key player for her Academy, but seemed to be playing through an injury, eventually leading to her being subbed rotationally twice, and then coming off permanently. 
 
Tagan Lawson, an ex-Hamilton Accies Ladies FC defender, then charged out of defence and somehow found her way into the Carrick goal and unleashing a high shot that shaved the post and went into the side netting. 
 
It took Carrick a while to get started, and it looked like their game plan was to involve their pacy wingers whilst Lauren Smith played the line striker role. Chances were scarce for the away side in the first half, but eventually mid way through the opening period of the game Hannah McSoreley sprinted out of midfield and looked like she was going to score, but Kilmarnock's goalkeeper and captain - one time Scotland Capped - Hannah McLean was alert and quickly off her line to duly foil McSoreley.
Despite playing through injury, Hamilton was proving difficult to deal with for Carrick, and the winger ran through on goal before taking a touch too wide; this however allowed her to cross the ball for Zoe Ross and her half-volley had Davies beat, but luckily for Carrick the crossbar prevented them from going a goal down. 
 
Moments later, the black and reds were on the attack again. A deep ball in from Kyra Smith found the on rushing 'number 10' Lauren Johnstone who volley'd into the side netting, which, deceptively, looked in. 
 
Carrick's only real attack in the first half came from the resulting counter attack. Amy Miller played a 1-2 with McSoreley and the former was sent 1 on 1 with McLean. The winger sent her shot wide though, and the goalie did well to put her off.
 
The last action of the first half came again from Kilmarnock, and again it was Hamilton who was at the centre of it. She wriggled her way through a pack of midfielders and fired a ferocious shot which seemed goal bound, but the brave Phoebe Wilson leaped and headed the ball over.
  • Half Time:
  • Kilmarnock Academy
  • 0-0
  • Carrick Academy
Kilmarnock Academy went undefeated last year en route to a successful campaign. However, I think a change in coach as well as many talented girls leaving school had seen Kilmarnock feeling a bit shaky, and the finishing was not great. Carrick were not playing badly, and had defended well, but in order to win the game without the intervention of a penalty shoot out, they had to venture further forward in terms of attack. 
 
And that is precisely what they did, switching to a 4-4-2, they brought on Alayna Dalglish at centre midfield moved Chenelle Hiddlestone up top. 
 
They won a corner straight away, and Lauren Smith's pinpoint cross found Hiddlestone, but her header went narrowly wide.
 
Kilmarnock then went up the field, Kyra Smith outmuscled the defence and let rip from twenty five yards, but Davies was equal to it. 
 
Consequently, Davies' long ball found its way to Miller, who stepped inside beautifully and executed a magnificent curling lob over the onrushing McLean into the net, leaving the former Scotland keeper no chance and sending her own side into raptures. 0-1.
 
Just moments later, everyone pitchside was left dumbfounded that Kilmarnock had not levelled immediately, with Davies producing three top drawer saves. Firstly, Hamilton's corner was deflected goal wards and the keeper parried before pouncing fearlessly at the onrushing forward's feet and clearing for another corner.
 
Hamilton's next corner was volley'd brilliantly by by Kyra Smith but Davies saved again from very close range. You could say she knew very little about the saves though! 
Just like the goal moments before, Carrick counter-attacked swiftly. Goalscorer Amy Miller raced down on goal, twisted and turned away from Tagan Lawson and crossed for the onrushing Hiddlestone to side foot home from five yards out! 0-2.
 
That looked like it could have been the end for Kilmarnock Academy there and then. Hamilton soon limped off injured, and their shape had become non existent in the second half. Carrick, to their credit, had really stepped up a gear in the second half. They had so much more pride about themselves, and it was pretty clear there could only be one winner now.
 
The game didn't fizzle out their though. Firstly, Chloe Smith - identical twin with her strike partner Kyra - superbly controlled Lawson's high ball, and better still she layed off Johnstone into space for her to strike, but Davies again held. 
 
Their was frustration coming out of everyone cheering on for Kilmarnock Academy, even their players lost it a little, perhaps bemused as to how they were two down. One overzealous Kilmarnock Academy fan even shouted that the Carrick Goalkeeper was better than Joe Hart, the under fire England goalkeeper - although that (coming from a Manchester City fan) stands for very little these days!
 
The twins linked up again moment later; Chloe layed Kyra off and just when you thought she could cap off an impressive performance with a goal she fired just wide. From here though, the last ten minutes were completely controlled by Carrick.
 
Smith won the ball high up and raced through on goal, and deliciously chipped McLean but sadly she also put the ball wide of the far post. 
 
The striker was in again moments later but this time McLean slid the ball at Smith's feet. However, it appeared that striker left her boot in on the goalkeeper, and McLean she went down injured. I am sure this was unintentional, but the striker was still lucky that she escaped at least a yellow card by the lenient match official. Fortunately, McLean was soon fine and she was back on her feet in no time.
 
This did spark a response though, as the last eight minutes were played in a real aggressive - but fair - manner, with a few crunching tackles coming flying in from both sides. Oh, how I wish it could have been me back playing in those superb atmospheres and vibes!
 
Hiddlestone then had a couple of good chances to further Carrick's lead. The All Blue striker beat the offside trap well from a free kick, and just lobbed the ball wide of the goal. Then she was sent one on one with McLean who again stood her ground firmly and Hiddlestone fired wide.
 
The impressive Lauren Smith then had a golden opportunity to seal victory. She was played one on one again with McLean, and throughout the match the striker was coolness personified, but in the last moment she could not make it 0-3 and she poked wide in a flurry, rather than composing herself. She had been her team's only consistent performer throughout the match , chasing down balls as well as showing glimpses of great touches, and to be fair she really deserved a goal. That brought about the conclusion to an interesting match.
 
Both teams played well enough to win. Based on the match as a whole Kilmarnock will be both surprised as well as gutted not to have won handsomely, as McLean did not really make a save. In saying that though, Carrick were tremendous in the second half, they really pushed themselves and created chances, particularly in the last quarter of the game - they could have won by three, four or even more goals.
 
So what's next for both teams?
 
I hope Carrick take a confidence boost from this. They would have been underdogs going into this game, playing against a team that won so many games last year and still contains players playing with clubs, and yet they are the team that comes away with the result. That proves they can do it, and I wish them the best of luck for the future!
 
As for Kilmarnock, I hope they will see me again soon; at their next game I'd like to see them just slightly more composed in front of goal, and they could go on and win the cup or league this year. They will be feeling a bit luckless at the moment, with a key player in Kristiana Hamilton getting injured as well Hannah Davies saving everything that came her way - and when she couldn't, the crossbar did! However, I am sure they will return full of confidence for the next match, where hopefully I can bring you another report from! Again, I wish Kilmarnock Academy the best of luck for the future, and I hope to hear from them soon. 
 
Finally, I really do hope that some of the girls today decide to join a competitive team. It is my understanding that not a single player today is attached to a club. I cannot believe that! Hopefully a few of the girls decide to pick football back up, or perhaps start playing competitively. The enjoyment, skill and enthusiasm from all twenty seven girls who played today was clear to see; and I am sure they could adapt to playing football week in week out no problem. 
  • Full Time:
  • Kilmarnock Academy
  • 0-2
  • Carrick Academy

Lineups

Kilmarnock Academy
Carrick Academy

 1) Hannah McLean. (c)
 2) Bethany Hay.
 4) Melissa Muir.
 5) Laura Miller.
 6) Holly Fulton. 
 7) Danielle Sprott.
 9) Kristiana Hamilton.
 10) Lauren Johnstone.
 11) Kyra Smith.
 12) Chloe Smith.
 14) Rachel Caddis.
 15) Sarah Hamilton.
 16) Tagan Lawson.
 17) Zoe Ross.

 1) Hannah Davies. 
 4) Phoebe Wilson.
 6) Amy Miller.
 7) Hannah McSoreley.
 8) Chloe Hiddlestone.
 9) Lauren Smith. (c)
 10) Alayna Dalglish.
 11) Kate Fleming. 
 13) Chloe Pollock. 
 15) Emma Roberston.
 16) Caitlin Alexander.
 17) Emma Bailey.

Star Player
Kilmarnock Academy
Carrick Academy
My Kilmarnock Academy Player of the Match goes to Kyra Smith. Whilst her full team played well, I think the striker stood out, often becoming a reliable out ball for her side in attack. On more than occasion though, she chased and closed the ball down. A tireless performance.
It is an extremely close contest between Lauren Smith, Hannah Davies and Amy Miller. However, it was Amy who scored a magnificent goal, and then turned provider moments later. A goal and an assist that proved crucial in the game's result means that she wins my Carrick Academy Player of the Match award.
Magic Moment
Kilmarnock Academy
Carrick Academy
Chloe Smith's touch down was fantastic - however, I am going to give the Kilmarnock Academy Star Moment to Tagan Lawson - her run from defence in only the second minute in where she shaved the post was magical; it reminded me of the big man himself, Vincent Kompany - a real hero or mine!!
Amy Miller's goal. Magnificent, and unstopable - enough said.
Club Views
Kilmarnock Academy
Carrick Academy
Tagan Lawson said: "I thought changing tactics at half time was a wrong move, and I was clearly right!" Hannah McLean said: "We performed well and certainly did not deserve to lose! We were so good in the first half, but just didn't take our chances! Plus, players getting injured did not help."
Andy Clark, Carrick Academy manager: "In the first half we were under real pressure, so at half time we changed froma 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2. We also worked much harder as a team in the second half. We defended well throughout, and our keeper made some cracking saves. Good game to watch though, and even better to be involved in!"
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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