U17's Alness 0 - WAFC 7

Alness v WAFC U17s

Sunday 6th Sept 2009

3 x 30 minute periods

Final Score: Alness 0:7 Wick (Steven [35], Halliday [45], o.g. [50], Ahmed [63], MacGregor [76], [80], [87])

The 1st period ended goalless despite relentless pressure from a young Wick team and can be best summarised as excellent possession play but lacking a finish which challenged the home goalkeeper.  The pick of the early exchanges was Gordon MacNab's drilled effort from 40 yards that rattled the crossbar.  The home side failed to clear the rebound, and the ball broke to Ryan Begg who was unlucky to see his strike hit the outside of the post.

Alness were restricted to a handful of chances throughout the 90 minutes, but almost took the lead almost immediately at the start of the 2nd period, possibly as a result of a couple of substitutions.  Visiting goalkeeper Daniel Budge was alert and dealt with the 1-on-1 situation well.  The first goal came from an excellent run from MacNab who waltzed through the home midfield and defence and set up Alan Steven who coolly finished from close range with his first touch of the game.  Continued pressure resulted in a series of corners, the last of which was taken by Jack Halliday who scored directly when his inswinging cross sneaked in at the unguarded front post.  A third goal was imminent as the visitors continued their foray towards the home penalty box.  Good link-up play on the right hand side resulted in a Saleem Ahmed cross being turned into his own net by an Alness defender who was attempting to clear from the well-timed run of Steven.

The final period saw further changes in personnel by Academy, with the same high level of possession and distribution being maintained. Ahmed finished off a fine move when he slotted home a perfectly weighted and timed Halliday pass from 18 yards.  Marc MacGregor came on for the last 20 minutes made an instant impact by scoring twice from close range thanks to his awareness on the penalty box.  The most aesthetically pleasing goal was the 7th and last of the day.  Begg picked up a loose ball in midfield and passed back Flett into the centre of defence where the interplay continued before the ball was passed to full back Michael Robertson.  He then found Ahmed, who had taken up excellent position on the right flank.  Ahmed cut inside and played in the overlapping Robertson who had continued his run up the right wing.  Robertson's instinct was to cut the ball back to the front post where MacGregor was lurking and he completed the textbook move with a fine finish from 6 yards.

Squad: Daniel Budge , Hamish Flett, Ross Mackay, Chris Riddel, Logan Munro, Gordie Macnab, Jack Haliday, James Mackay, Micheal Robertson, Kerr Mackay, Ryan Begg,

Subs: Alan Steven, Saleem Ahmed, Marc Macgregor, Andrew Shearer, Murry Macintosh

Manager (James Robertson and David Dunn) quotes:

"The boys played extremely well throughout all 3 periods and a lot of what we'd been working on in training came to fruition.  Unlucky not to have been 2 or 3 up at the break.  The last goal really summarised the performance with excellent possession, good movement, both on and off the ball, a good delivery and instinctive finish.  We had 19 players down with us which is too many, particularly as we'd want to give the boys as much time on the park as possible: we were expecting 3 of them to be on trial with Ross County.  Hopefully we'll see as many at training on Wednesdays!  A good start to the campaign but we won't be reading too much into it at this stage with Alness missing 3 key players.  We might need to have a bit more urgency in possession since some other teams will likely not allow us to be as comfortable on the ball."