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KSC Phoenix hold on for victory

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KSC Phoenix
Girdle Toll FC
U15's Central Ayrshire YFA
20 February 2014
Today's encounter brings together two teams with great potential of doing exceptionally well in the Central Ayrshire Youth football league this year, with both teams holding one win a piece over one another this season who would take the honours of collecting these valuable three points.

Girdles form has been slightly in different in recent weeks likewise KSC Phoenix, however despite their current league positions both teams turned up with enough fight to prove they'd be in it until the final whistle and more importantly show that they had enough character and guile to steer away from the threat of relegation.

These two teams met earlier in the season, not once but twice. Once on league duty resulting in a 6-4 away win to KSC Phoenix the other only a few days later in the Scottish Cup where Girdle Toll turned in a 1-0 victory.

Today's match would no doubt go a long way for either side in their race for finishing as high up the table as possible, with KSC chasing third spot and Girdle trying to erase the fear of being sucked into the two relegation spots.

KSC Phoenix started the match in fine fashion, their link up play down the right hand side was short sharp and energetic, five minutes in following a quick exchange on the 18 yard line by Phoenix number 11 Josh Lafferty & Phoenix number 9 Ryan Strain the latter with his back toward goal turned & fired his shot just wide of the target, this was to be an early warning!

KSC Phoenix had started strongly opting for the 4-4-2 formation, and it seemed to be paying off, in fact for long spells in the opening exchanges Girdle were struggling to venture out of their own half.
Midway into the first half would see the home side take a much deserved lead, again neat link up play between Phoenix number 3 Craig Maxwell and again the troublesome Lafferty, saw the latter trick his way past two on-coming Girdle players, as the Phoenix forward burst in to the box he dragged the ball with the inside of his right foot sliding the ball past his standing leg the Girdle player was caught in on the act and as a result conceded a penalty as a result of his clumsy challenge.

Up stepped Phoenix vice captain Logan Craig who made no mistake from the spot, with the score at 1-0 it was finely balanced & despite the bulk of possession Phoenix were finding it difficult to add to this fine margin, this was mainly consequence of some tidy defending from Girdles number 8 Gregor McMillan, who was at the heart of every defensive phase of play by his side.

Girdle Tolls lone striker Sean Davis was isolated for long periods of the game & as the half wore on you could read the frustration on the young strikers face, Girdle had opted for a 4-5-1 formation however very rarely would they impose any real threat in going forward.

As the half drew to a close Phoenix would add to their goal tally, after a nice through ball from Phoenix's industrious midfielder Connor Black saw him pick out debutant Jamie Lindsey who coolly slotted the ball low past the descending Girdle Keeper.

The Half would draw to a close with KSC Phoenix captain Jay Anderson withering in agony result of a strong but fair challenge from the Girdles lonesome striker.
Half Time: KSC Phoenix 2-0 Girdle Toll
The second half saw a few enforced changes to the home side, however take nothing away from Girdle they perhaps saw that as their opportunity to claw their way back into the match. Some tactical bravery saw Girdle transform their goal threat opting to go 3-5-2, the fact that they were trying to pay the game further up field was paying off.
Girdles first chance of the half wouldn't  be long in coming after a 5 minute spell of dominance after the restart Girdles number 9 Jack McEwan was put through on goal, his shot was executed superbly low to the keepers right hand side, however the Phoenix number 1 Rohan Sohal had other ideas, somehow magically diving low to his right to tip the ball round the post one handed and out for a corner.

The visitors had a spring in their step and again it was Girdle number 8 Gregor McMillan who was behind all attacking phases, heroic at the rearguard but equally effective going forward. Eventually Girdle did manage a goal back albeit with a helping hand from KSC Phoenix Captain Jay Anderson who cruely turned the ball into his own net, still feeling the effects from his earlier collision the Phoenix captain left the field both physically and mentally sick. Another enforced change! The visitors sensed a comeback, to be fair they had gelled together well after going two goals down, however they were back in the match, they had 20 minutes to go in search for an equalizer.

As the second half drew to a close KSC Phoenix were edging back on top, however credit to Girdle they fought until the end in what was a very good game to watch from a neutrals perspective, possibly the old cliche of a game of two halves, KSC dominant in the first and Girdle slightly better in the second. In the end however KSC Phoenix overall deserved their win, and if it hadn't been for the 5 changes at half time the match may of played out differently.
Full Time: KSC Phoenix 2-1 Girdle Toll
Star player Girdle Toll: Number 8 Gregor McMillian who was at the heart of everything whither in defense or attack, showed great strength in most arial battles despite his height, equally so was a formidable opponent with the ball at his feet.

Star KSC Phoenix Player: Number 11 Josh Lafferty, who was a constant threat all day with his direct runs at the Girdle back line, his trickery with the ball at his feet left most bedazzled & as a result won the penalty which lead to his teams opener.
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