AFCL U17’s faced Inverness Caledonian Thistle U17’s in the SWF North League Cup 1st Round. A close and competitive encounter was expected and that very much proved to be the case.
Aberdeen started on the front foot and forced a corner within the first minute. Inverness cleared the corner, but the ball broke to Dunn (Lauren) on the edge of the box who flashed a low shot wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.
Two minutes later it was the turn of Inverness to threaten and Simson in the Aberdeen goal dug deep to make a great low save to claw the ball to safety. The next ten minutes or so saw both teams feeling each other out as they settled into the match.
Inverness began to cause Aberdeen problems with several through balls getting in behind the Aberdeen defence with Simson called into action a on more than one occasion. On 22 minutes Inverness took the lead. Aberdeen failed to clear their lines after an Inverness attack and the ball broke to McArthur who fired high into the net from the left-hand side of the 18-yard box.
This seemed to spur Aberdeen into action and on 25 minutes great work by Rennie lead to the equaliser. Rennie pressed high and nicked the ball from the Inverness defence. She skilfully evaded her marker before rolling an inch perfect ball along the six-yard line where Meldrum was perfectly positioned to smash the ball into the net.
Aberdeen settled after that and started to move the ball more freely, playing much of the remainder of the first half on the front foot. Chances were scarce however, and the half time whistle came with the game evenly poised.
The second half started with Inverness again causing problems with fast breaks and through balls. It was clear that both teams were fully committed to trying to win the game and this was epitomised by Aberdeen defender Merson (Sophie) making a great slide tackle followed by a driving run deep into the Inverness half.
The decisive moment came in the 59th minute and sadly for Aberdeen it went the way of the visitors. Simson did well to parry a shot from the edge of the box, but Inverness reacted quickest and MacLean was on hand to prod the loose ball into the net.
Another surging run from Merson (Sophie) in the 68th minute saw her slide the ball through to Rennie who’s shot was blocked for a corner. Two minutes later Meldrum played in a fantastic cross, but the Aberdeen front line couldn’t take advantage.
As the game drew towards a close, Aberdeen continued to battle, and a late corner resulted in a scramble in the Inverness 6-yard box, but the ball wouldn’t settle, and Inverness eventually cleared the danger.
Congratulations to Inverness on the win and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
As for our own team, once again the girls showed that moving up to U17’s early is not fazing them and they can be rightly proud of their efforts. Given the volume of injuries and illness faced over the past couple of weeks, it’s testament to the girl’s character that they put on such a competitive display and although it wasn’t our day today, there is a lot to look forward to with this team.
We’d also like to thank the Aberdeen U15 Reds coaches and players who came along to support us following their training session this morning.