SSFA AYL13 – Round 1 Saturday 25th February
SSFA U13’s AYL start season with win!
Round 1 – Saturday 25th February 2023
The SSFA U13’s season got off to the best possible start with a rollercoaster 4-3 victory over Hills Football at Bella Vista Public School.
After a solid pre-season and strong performance at the Bathurst Cup, there was a lot of excitement to start the season – especially as this marked the first time in the AYL for the entire team. While a few players were in SAP previously, most came from local Sutherland Shire Football Association Clubs.
The first half started well for the team, and we created our first scoring chance after just five minutes. Anton made one of his trademark forward runs, and Lucas picked him out with a beautiful early pass in behind the defence – the Hills keeper saved well though.
The same two players combined shortly after though, as we scored our first goal of the season on 15 minutes. Having worked on corners the day before at training, it was fantastic to score from one – Lucas with the brilliant cross, with Anton challenging strongly in the box to get to the ball and poke home for 1-0.
With our confidence high, we doubled our lead on 26 minutes with our best goal of the match. Zac won the ball deep inside our own half and switched play to Jesper, who unleashed a brilliant 40-metre pass that split the defence. Our very own Erling ‘Bobby’ Haaland pinned the ears back, burst onto the ball, and finished strongly into the far corner (see video below).
We really upped the pressure on Hills towards the end of the first half, pressing ferociously off-the-ball and creating a number of turnovers in dangerous positions. Our pressure finally told when with the final act of the first half, a cross from Lucas was deflected into their own net by a defender. The first half finishing 3-0 to SSFA.
The boys started the second half strongly, and we went 4-0 ahead with Bobby scoring his second goal of the game after fantastic work from Jermaine to win the ball and release a quick pass.
Everything changed after that though, and the boys learned a valuable lesson in the last 20 minutes. If you take the foot off the peddle even for a couple of minutes, momentum can swing against you and it can be very hard to stop.
Hills responded strongly to going behind and scored twice in four minutes – one from a direct free-kick. They nearly scored a third straight after, but Kurt came out strongly in the 1v1 chance to deny them. Hills did get a third on the hour mark though, a thunderous 25-metre shot into the top corner. That meant it was 4-3 with 10 minutes to go – a stressful finish was coming up!
Fortunately for the Shire, we were able to hold on and see the match out. Our strong first half performance rewarded with the win, but also learning a valuable lesson along the way!