It was an interesting matchup in the ADJFA U19s League A as ALC Athletic took on Banks O’Dee at Kaimhill. ALC were looking to get off to a strong start as this was their first league game of the season whilst Banks O’Dee were hoping to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Inverurie Locos last time out.
Banks O’Dee prevailed in the end thanks to a strong first half performance despite the threat of an ALC comeback late on.
Straight from kick off Banks O’Dee set a high tempo as they put pressure upon the ALC defence and this paid off as they scored an early goal. A corner from Greg Pirie was whipped in to the back stick where it met the head of Jason Ritchie whose header back across goal was too powerful for ALC keeper Keith Robertshaw to save.
Trying not to be disheartened by the early goal, ALC came at Banks O’Dee. A dangerous tackle on Sean McHardy near the edge of the box gave them a perfect opportunity to find an equaliser but the resulting free kick was put high and wide of the goal.
Continuing to play with great intensity, it was not long before Banks O’Dee doubled their lead. Another corner from Pirie was put into the box, this time sneaking low past the front post to Ronan Masson who tapped it home to put his side further ahead.
ALC refused to go down without a fight however. A free kick in a wide position was played into the box by Matthew Clark. Rising high above his marker, Lewis Ifi made strong contact with his header but it was placed too close to the hands of Finlay Johnston who comfortably clutched the ball.
Refusing to be too complacent, Banks O’Dee continued to put immense pressure on the ALC back line. A shot from Mitchell McPherson was saved by Robertshaw low to the left hand corner before being tidied up by Ifi.
Finding themselves with a well-positioned free kick on the edge of the box, Banks O’Dee stretched their lead to three. A low free kick from McPherson was parried by Robertshaw but Lewis Paton was the first to get to the rebound. A close range header above the stranded keeper confirmed Banks O’Dee’s dominant first half performance.
As the first half was coming to a close Banks O’Dee continued to pile on the pressure. A teasing cross from Pirie on the left wing ended up at the feet of ALC defender Ross Milne who was unfortunate to see his clearance intercepted by Connor Wood. A great piece of quick reaction goalkeeping from Robertshaw stopped his team from falling any further behind before half time.
At half time Banks O’Dee had a deserved lead over an ALC side who had been unable to play their best football due to the high intensity of their opposition.