Youth League soccer team in with flag chance

GO GLORY: Football Margaret River’s 13U Glory player Jai Stanley leads in the race to the ball. ATTACK: In 15U Premier League, FMR Dragon’s Tam Staveley contests a loose ball. Pictures: Amanda Doig
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Youth League Boys:

Dunsborough 0 v FMR United 2

MARGARET River’s Youth League team took a giant step towards becoming league champions with a hard-fought win in a bruising encounter under lights at Dunsborough on Thursday.

From the whistle every tackle was hotly contested and the initial stages saw the visitors in control but with no real attacks on goal. Then Dunsborough started to gain ascendency and put the FMR defence under pressure, but a superb one-hand reflex save by Jesse Gunnis kept them out. Half time score was 0-0.

The FMR boys stepped up the pace in the second half and started taking control when they were awarded a penalty mid way through the second half. The penalty was despatched by Ethan Delatte to put the visitors in front.

Dunsborough tried to lift but Jake Graebner Bond put the game to bed with a well-taken goal with minutes remaining.

This was a great game by both teams and a well-deserved win to the FMR boys, and best players were the entire squad.

Australind 1 v Margaret River 0

The FMR Youth League boys travelled again on Saturday, to Australind, with a full squad although a few players were still sore from Thursday night’s game. The initial exchanges were dominated by Australind and their more direct brand of soccer put the FMR defence under pressure.

Australind deservedly took the lead midway through the first half. This was the spark the FMR team needed, and they started to get into the game, dominating the final minutes of the half.

The half time talk was about pressure on the ball carrier and being first to the ball, but unfortunately they couldn’t find the elusive goal they deserved in the second half.

Another great display and hopefully FMR can secure the League title next week.

–Paul Brown

15U Premier League

Busselton Redbacks 3 v FMR Dragons 1

A contest between the top two teams in Premier League did not disappoint. The Dragons were under pressure and noticeably nervous as they tried to work their way into the game in the first half.

It was the Redbacks who dominated in this first term, however, and were given too much time and space as FMR were beaten to the ball consistently. The Redbacks skipped out to an early lead and half time could not come quickly enough for Dragons.

Josh Brown reluctantly took on the goalkeeper’s role, but as the game resumed he lifted. This was a different Dragons team that were not going to go down without a fight. Brendan Clark and Brayden Gray put in a gutsy performance and Tyron Bradshaw, in a more defensive role, was having his best game with a great work rate.

The Redbacks’ chances were continually repelled and when Browny gathered one and sent a huge kick forward, Jed Mattinson seized the opportunity, ran onto the high-bouncing ball, rode body checks from three opponents and, after colliding with the goalkeeper, was the only one to keep his feet to slot the ball home for Dragons’ first goal against Redbacks in three meetings this season.

A great team performance saw Dragons win the second half and left the bittersweet taste of what might have been.

–Neil Mattinson

13U FMR Glory 0 v Capel Wolves (Leeuwin) 4

FMR Glory and Capel Wolves were initially unsettled at Busselton and both were on the hunt for a goal so there were missed opportunities at each end of the pitch. Brenton Tebbutt in goal kept his eye on the ball and foiled the Wolves’ first attempt and Callum Stevenson put his body on the line in defence.

The Wolves managed to get the ball just past Brenton who took a spectacular dive across the goal face. Glory were quick to respond and good running and passing by Ruby Mirtle, India Stanley and Nick Gaman unfortunately ended with Glory in an off-side situation. Another India Stanley chance was saved by the Wolves’ keeper and another great save by Brenton kept Wolves from scoring.

In the second half Wolves caught Glory with a nifty cross. Despite holding their ground and pressurizing the Wolves’ goal, Glory could not convert their effort into a score. Fine efforts by Zoe Chandler a super save by Matt Doig stopped more Wolves goals, but they regrouped and slotted their third from a classic header. At the other end, Brenton Tebbutt was very unlucky not to score and Jai Stanley set up a good run to the wing with Sam Lane delivering, but again the Wolves keeper was too quick. Unlucky for Glory, the Wolves put a fourth goal into the net and Glory were not rewarded this week. Player awards went to Taylor Kevill and Sam Lane.

–Rona Mirtle

13U Premiership League

Cornerstone Titans 5 v FMR Waves 1

With two players down from a squad of 13 and two more trying to play with injuries FMR Waves were on the back foot from the start. Luke Harney’s injury proved more serious as the game went on, giving him an afternoon in hospital and most probable break for the rest of the season.

The Waves conceded a goal from Cornerstone’s first attack, but full credit to Waves, as they hang in, mainly through the quite breathtaking performances of Sam Leigh and Jye Halsall in midfield. Against the odds, Waves equalized with a goal from Tanah Howden-Woodland, her first competitive goal winning her the Eagle Boys Player of the Match award.

Hudson Moore was given a torrid time by Cornerstone’s left winger, but he came through the challenge well, as did Ethan Hamilton in goals, saving numerous times.

Waves conceded two late goals in the first half, to go into the break 3-1 down. I asked them to attack the ball and not allow it to bounce and we took the game to Cornerstone for the first 15 minutes of the second period, but a fourth goal took the wind out of the Waves. With Luke now on the bench, the forward line has an unfamiliar look to it with Winjana Knapp, Ari Beddow and Tanah being our three attackers.

This was always going to be a tough challenge and players should be very proud of themselves. With one league game to go, hopefully we can re-group for the knock-out cup to finish off the season.

Gary Leigh, coach

U6: FMR Stars v GMAS Bullets.

The FMR Stars shone brightly on Saturday morning in Busselton. With some last-minute team changes which some parents seemed unsure of, results quickly flowed with goals galore for both teams.

GMAS put up a fine fight and with only one substitute for FMR Stars the second half was going to be tough but they were up for the challenge. Felix Shelkon scored on debut and Ethan Hardie scored two goals, however the star of the Stars was Mia Botha with six goals. Well done Stars.

Stu McKay, coach

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