Stonehaven Youth Girls U-15 have taken part in two matches recently - firstly against Deveronvale at home where they were beaten six nil.
Scorelines can be deceiving and this was unjust on a battling Stoney team that, but for a dreadful 15-minute first-half spell, matched the extremely powerful and more experienced league champions.
The first opening exchanges were pretty even with the pace of Kennedy, Porter and Townsend posing Vale problems although neither side were carving out clear cut opportunities.
Duff was keeping Vale’s star player quiet, until a couple of set pieces undid Stoney, and with heads temporarily down, it was soon 4-0. With everyone braced for a cricket score, this didn’t materialise and Stoney set about forcing Vale further and further back.
Kennedy was inspired down the wing and Laing and Christie started prompting from the midfield. A couple of fine stops from Imray helped lift Stoney and from then on, the defence looked solid with Smith ,Kelly, Mackay and Grundy working well together.
Evans and Mainland came on, and it seemed that a goal would come with Tench and Kennedy creating half chances.
The second half saw Stoney dominate possession and Vale were becoming more and more physical, as the ball was being moved out wide to early to flying wingers Kennedy and Porter.
Stoney corners and freekicks started to arrive but Vale’s quality always carried a threat and that materialised late on with two excellent breakway goals for a final unflattering 6-0 scoreline.
Squad - Danielle Imray, Daisy Smith, Emily Grundy, Heather Mackay, Sarah Kelly (cpt), Edith Duff, Katy Townsend, Erin Christie, Ann Laing, Lisa Porter, Aria Kennedy,Sophie Evans, Amber Mainland, Amy Tench
Magic Moment - Grundy’s slick pass sending away Kennedy on a mazy run with took her right through on goal until crowded out.
Player of match - based on the second half ,it would have been just about everyone but overall Aria Kennedy was on fire.
Elgin City 1
The girls travelled to take on Elgin City in the league, where they lost 1-0.
It is always difficult to take a narrow defeat, but when you come off the pitch with opposition coaches acknowledging that you were the better team, it is doubly difficult to accept.
In fairness, the first half was an even affair with Elgin using their height and strength advantage to bulldose their way towards Stoney’s goal, however, the ever-impressive Imray was in imperious form between the sticks, and it looked like it would take something special to beat her.
The defence of Smith, Geddes, Mackay and Grundy didn’t look particularly troubled with Townsend and Mainland shielding in front of them.
As the half progressed, young Doyle’s athleticism and Laing’s ceaseless promptings took Stoney closer and closer to the Elgin goal.
From trademark swift Stoney counterattacks, the flying wing pair of Porter and Kennedy both outpaced the defence to create one-on-ones, but failed to beat the keeper.
Tench’s robust approach to forward play was leaving space which the pacy Stoney players increasingly exploited, but just on half time, Elgin scored with a disputed goal as Stoney’s keeper lay prostrate in the goalmouth having been kicked to the face in the scramble.
Now 1-0 down, with all to play for, Townsend , Grundy and Laing started to put through Porter and Kennedy with regularity until each again were thwarted in one-on-ones with the Elgin keeper, and even Porter saw her attempt at the rebound cleared off the line.
Smith had Elgin’s best player under control and Laing and Doyle seemed to be getting more and more energy. It looked like a Porter free kick had gone through the keeper, but she clung on and Townsend was dismayed at a narrow offside when she thought she had been put clean through on goal.
Both sets of supporters were on the edge of their seats ( if they had any!!) with Elgin’s praying for the final whistle and Stoney’s hoping for some ‘Fergie time.’
Alas, it wasn’t to be, as the match ended where it seemed it had been for the entire second half, with Stoney camped in Elgin’s half.
Squad - Danielle Imray, Daisy Smith, Emily Grundy, Heather Mackay, Steph Geddes(cpt), Katy Townsend, Aisling Doyle, Amber Mainland, Ann Laing, Lisa Porter, Amy Tench, Aria Kennedy.
Magic Moments- for defensive conossieurs seeing Imray and her back line at the start of the second half of Smith, Mackay, Townsend and Grundy looking slick and disciplined.
Player of the match - many to choose from but difficult to separate Grundy’s classy attacking full back play or young Doyle’s high octane performance.