Saturday’s match against Sirocco Youth beat the bad weather and to everyone’s surprise was on, so off we went to Dixon Park for the long awaited clash against Sirocco. This was a match the boys had been looking forward to and were raring to go.
We arrived at Dixon Park early and pitch was looking in good order but we knew on this pitch it’s a game of two half’s as it has a steep decline. Then came the sucker punch when we were informed that Stuart Graham was home sick. This was a setback for the team as Stuart has had an outstanding season in the middle this season so far but all was not lost as his mum made a phone call and Stuart got out of his sick bed and arrived at Dixon Park for the cause that is Ards Youth U14’s ( Thank You Stuart ). The game got under way and as we won the toss and opted to play up the slope in the first half this would turn out to be a good call by our Captain Jack Hare. We Started well and created chances right from the start we thought we had taken the lead on ten minutes when Matthew Guest floated over a corner which the keeper seem to spill over his goal line and then Kurtis Barkley got to the rebound and again it looked as if the keeper scooped it out from behind his line but the Referee didn’t give it. Both teams were creating chances and to be fare Sirocco were certainly the team push forward more in the first half and they found a good strong Ards Defence in their way they cope very well with everything Sirocco threw at them and when they did get through Jai Sykes in the Ards goal was quick to react and controlled his box very well. Our best chance fell to Brandon McFerran as he pushed up and when he met the ball outside the Sirocco box he let fly only to see his shot go just past the post. Ards seemed to have come through the first have unscaved and when two minutes in to added time in the first half Sirocco got a corner it would be the last action of the first half unfortunately Jack Brown sent over the corner and everyone miss judged the flight of the ball and it ended up going straight into the net to put Sirocco 1 : 0 up at Half Time.
HALF TIME: 1 : 0
So with the half time team talk to the boys was believe in yourselves and you will win the match Ards kicked off the second half playing down the slope and within 5 minutes should have been level when Noah Crenshaw broke free in the box and as the keeper came out to meet him he tried chipping the keeper but the keeper managed to get to it. Ards were starting to dominated the second half and Sirocco where having to revert to the ball over the top but Brandon, Jack, Bradley,Andrew & Jai were coping with anything that came their way. We needed to get control of the midfield so a shroud switch moving Bradley McCourt from centre back and Kurtis Barkley back to defence would turn out to be the key to our victory as Bradley would get the midfield by the scruff off the neck. Jack Patterson also playing in midfield was hammering in the tackles and then we would add more bite when Stuart Graham came on as a sub. We still couldn’t get a breakthrough, so we changed a few thing Marcus Baron came on as a sub on to the left wing pushing Matthew Guest into the inside left midfield, Ryan Hannah came on for Andrew Graham as we decided to go for broke and went three at the back with Ryan going up front with Noah and five minutes later we finally got the equaliser when Matthew Guest sent over the corner the Sirocco defence cleared the ball out of the box only for Jack Patterson to strike the ball on the volley and hit went straight over the keepers head to level the score at 1 : 1. There was only one team in the second half but it looked as if we would have to settle for the point but the boys had other plans. With two minutes remaining of normal time Bradley McCourt picked up the ball out on the right wing steamed his way through the Sirocco defence sent over a superb cross that saw Noah Crenshaw run on to and with a flick of the head steered the ball over the Sirocco keeper into the top left had corner definitely one of the best goals this season and we were in front 2 : 1 with two minutes remaining. Now it was time to close the door back to a back four and Bradley McCourt sweeping just in front saw us clinch a victory.
FULL TIME 1 : 2
It wasn’t our best footballing performance but it was our best grit and determination performance to get a win and sometimes you need that determination to win a match and that goes way back to last season the boys were determined that they were going to win this match and they did just that, excellent boys every single one of you’s played your part. I will say that i heard a comment made to the Referee about the way my boys played my answer to that is my boys played with discipline throughout the match and there was four bookings in the match and none of them was an Ards Youth player so that tells a story.
Gordon Guest(Ass. Manager)
Ards Youth U14s 2-1 Sirocco. I am so proud of every one of the boys today. They tried to kick you and verbally abuse you, but you showed them that with grit, determination and keeping a cool head your football and teamwork pulled you through. What a comeback. Now let's go all the way. Well done boys.
Well said. Great strong team. Looking forward to their next big win. Well done boys. Also thanks to Iain, Gordon and Robbie for training, mentoring and bringing our boys this far.
Well done boys a great win. Revenge is sweet. Looking forward to next year. Merry Xmas to u all.
Well done boys!!
Well done everyone!!! No long faces in the house this week!
Grahams saved the show ....introducing their son Stuart from his death bed to turn the game.....
Now u boys are on a roll. 2 hard fought wins against top teams back to back. Its 1 game at a time from here to the league title.