ADJFA League C Section 1 table toppers Northstar Orange played hosts to Banks O’Dee Albion of League A, as they looked to pull off a cup upset in the Colony Park Cup Under 13’s third round.
Both sides were on the right end of heavy scorlines in the second round, with Albion brushing off Blackburn FC, while Northstar beat Kintore United 9-0. It was no surprise that more goals were expected in this tie.
Despite suffering numerous injury problems, which saw some younger players called up for the game, Albion dominated in the early periods. The majority of the first 15 minutes saw Northstar pinned back into their own half. However, the game was scrappy, with the ball spending a large amount of time in the air, and no real chances were created.
When the ball wasn’t in the air during the first 15, it seemed to be in the hands of the referee. In a slightly bizarre scenario the ball was swapped out three times for not being hard enough. Pumps must have been in short order at Northfield Academy.
Once Albion managed to get the ball down and move it a little more quickly, chances began to materialise. Albion’s number eight Scott Milne was played in behind the defence but was closed down by defenders. Minutes later Milne latched onto the ball in the box, however he couldn’t bring it under control long enough to get a shot off.
It felt like only a matter of time before Albion managed to breakthrough, but Northstar continued to frustrate League A’s third placed side. Goalkeeper Archie Stephen made a save down low to deny Albion’s number nine Corey Stevenson.
Northstar could only hold out for so long and Albion finally found the opener on the twenty minute mark. Jesse Goense raced on to a flicked header to find himself through on goal. The striker still had work to do, shifting and turning to open some space, before finally slamming the ball in off the post at a tight angle.
It was only a matter of minutes before Albion made it two. Alfie Knox won a free kick out wide on the right hand side of Northstar’s goal. Stevenson, who had been causing issues on the opposite flank in the early stages, picked up the ball and slammed it into the net over Stephen’s head. The keeper may have been expecting a cross from such a tight angle.
Stevenson was clearly growing in confidence from his goal. The winger took on multiple players just minutes later, using a roulette to escape the challenge of one.
The remainder of the first half was played at a slower pace and while Northstar heads hadn’t necessarily dropped, they were struggling to find a way into Albion’s half, never mind beyond their defence. It was 2-0 at the break.