Last Thursday evening saw the return of ex Stonehaven Youth Football club players to play the current Under 17 squad. Dubbed ‘The Return of the Legends’ it was thought that their fitness (or lack of) might be a telling factor so a strong start would seem essential.
However it was the youngsters who fashioned the first real chance of the game but captain Gunn headed a goalbound effort off the line from a corner-kick. McWilliam then played a great pass through to Reid but Clark made the first in a series of smart saves. Dennahy got on the end of a cleverly executed McWilliam free kick but glanced his header wide when he was in acres of space. Mair then played a great through ball to Reid whose pace took him away from Taylor and he finished clinically to put the current Youth squad into a deserved lead. Davies joined Strother at the heart of the Legends defence which tightened things up considerably and they gradually worked their way back into the game. Another fine Reid run saw him find Milne in the box but his shot went wide. Adam Stephen was always a handful for the Youth defence and it was no surprise when he scored the equaliser. Gunn then hit a superb dipping shot into the top corner of the goal after cutting in from the left. The Legends looked particularly threatening down the left with King and Gunn combining well.
The 2-1 lead to the Legends shortly became 3-1 when Abernethy turned on a sixpence in the penalty area and hit a half-volley past Mitchell (aided by a wicked deflection). Lownie’s long range effort nearly pulled one back when he rattled the bar just before half-time. There was also one lovely flowing move by the Youth Team with great inter-passing and Ferguson just drifted into an offside position before scoring. So at half-time the talk was whether the youthful Spurs could make their fitness tell in the second half. But the Legends kept going strongly. A Taylor drive was narrowly wide. Forbes seemed to get a second wind. Clark’s handling was rock solid. The Legends scored their fourth when Ward finished off a flowing move. P. Gunn and Cerretti added a bit of panache to the Youth Team as subs and Cerretti chased down a long ball forcing an error in the Legends defence and Forbes capitalised well. But the Legends more than hung on to their two goal lead as the game ebbed and flowed until the final whistle blew and it was Kraig Gunn who picked up the inaugural challenge trophy. Mair was adjudged the Man of the Match for the Youth side and King for the Legends.
So a fantastic game of football watched by a healthy crowd, played by both teams with an excellent attitude.
thanks go to Mill Inn Amateurs for providing strips for the Legends and James McDonald (Funeral Directors, Stonehaven) for their sponsorship of the Youth Squad strip.