Youngsport: Southside Under-16s back to winning ways at Bourton Rovers
Bourton Rovers U-16s 1
Southside U-16s 2
After a couple of recent defeats, Southside were back to winning ways at the weekend when they made the trip to Bourton-on-the-Water.
It was their third game against Rovers this season and Southside were looking for a clean sweep of victories.
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However, despite their relatively lowly position in the league, Bourton proved stiff opposition on their home ground and it was a tight game from start to finish. Both teams found the rather frosty pitch difficult to deal with and scoring opportunities were hard to come by in the first half.
The best of these for Southside probably fell to Tom Carter who was put clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat but as he settled to pick his spot a Bourton defender got back to block the shot.
At the other end of the field Bourton pressed down the right wing and forced a number of corners to set Southside on the back foot.
However, the first goal came midway through the half when a bouncing through ball pierced the Southside defensive line and a Bourton forward ran on to slot calmly past goalkeeper Norwood who was left stranded.
Although the introduction of all four Southside substitutes after 25 minutes gave the away team a lift they still went in at half-time a goal down, despite probably having the better share of possession.
Southside started the second half the stronger of the teams and began to put more pressure on the home defence with Harry Evans finding some joy on the right flank and Scott Adams pushing forward on the left hand side.
Eventually Adams was set free on the left and managed to whip a fierce ball across the goal where Evans converted from close range for the equaliser.
There were a number of similar opportunities, and chances missed by Adams, Atkinson, Evans and Oddy, as well as a spectacular long range effort from Harry Phillips which just evaded the top corner - indeed it seemed as if nothing was going to go in for Southside.
However, the winning goal came with about 15 minutes to go: there was a goalmouth scramble in the Bourton penalty area and Connor Fry just managed to get to the ball first to stab the ball home under the goalkeeper from just a few yards out.
Bourton had a few excursions forward after that in search of an equaliser and managed to force several corners but these attacks were dealt with fairly comfortably by the Southside defence, mainly thanks to the speed of Marcus Raymond and the calmness of Tom Wassell.
There was a late scare for Southside when a rash challenge by keeper Norwood might have resulted in a penalty but a freekick was awarded the other way and in the end the Southside goal was rarely under serious threat.
The last few moments of the game were spent with Southside finally playing some neat passing football and keeping good possession and this, combined with another typically energetic performance from both captain George Moran and midfielder Patrick Marks, ensured Bourton were always under pressure and saw Southside home by a narrow 2-1 margin.