Donside Girls were victorious in the Under 13s cup after defeating Musselburgh Windsor in a highly entertaining final that saw seven goals, three equalisers, and some fine football. Played in an amiable and ambitious spirit, this was a grand game for the occasion.
Events got off to a swift start. From the kick off, Windsor headed towards goal, with Rosie Livingstone sidestepping a couple of defenders and taking a shot. Despite keeper Aimee Black keeping the ball out, Megan Wood was in a crowd of players to toe home the rebound. 14 seconds had elapsed.
It was a lead that lasted only five minutes. Donside did not let the slow start discourage their intentions, and a Rachel Bain shot was cleared straight to the feet of Becky Bremner a couple of yards out. That was 1-1, and the game was ready to begin again.
Donside’s primary attacking weapons were Bremner and captain Demi Taylor, who was the dominant midfield player of the day. Repeatedly Taylor came forward to support forward thrusts, and her left foot provided any shots with significant thump. Several times in the half she would open up an angle for strikes, all of which caused consternation for her opponents.
At the other end, Musselburgh have a gifted player in Livingstone. Coupled with close control, she repeatedly showed uncommon intelligence: playing balls off shins to earn throw ins; laying into space for runners; touching the ball around the defender and running the other, putting the defence into a spin. Donside’s Darcie Miller is a strong defender, and their battle was intriguing.
Livingstone’s assist for Windsor’s second, scored in the 17th minute, illustrated her level was above the norm. With two defenders closing in, she scooped the ball over the centre back for a running Sarah Knox. Knox could have taken the ball in further, but instead rolled it into the bottom left hand corner.
But again the lead was short-lived, as a minute later Bremner and Taylor combined to catalyse parity. Taylor ran at the heart of Windsor’s defence before laying it left to Bremner. Her shot was saved, but the rebound fell centrally for Taylor to place into the exposed net.
As the half closed, Livingstone twice went close to putting Musselburgh back in front. One run had her round a defender, then the keeper, before a sliding Miller denied a tap in. A second effort saw her hit the outside of the post. It had been quite a half.