The SSFA preparations continued on a lovely day at Meggetland, Edinburgh against a Boroughmuir side that were looking forward to the challenge of competing against this young International side.
This was the first time that the Boroughmuir team had played the Scottish Schools and they were relishing the competition. Boroughmuir had produced SSFA players in the past and this year was no exception with four players that had come through the “Purple Pathway”.
The early exchanges were played at a high tempo from both teams with the midfield being an important area to take control.
The Scots started with Gail in the goal with a back four of the Jess, Rosie, Abbie and Niamh. Tegan was sitting in front of this solid back four. Addie, Hannah, Kirsty and Maria made up a middle four with Eilidh up top.
It has always been emphasised that in the Bob Docherty Tournament the girls would have to adapt and change in every game, and today was no exception as Niamh got an early knock and had to be replaced in the early stages of the game.
The need for a fully fit squad is a necessity in tournament football and Keira replaced Niamh with Maria moving into the middle of the park and Tegan dropping into the left back berth.
The game settled into a steady rhythm with the Scots pushing forward from the offset. Kirsty, probed and pressed, while Hannah looked determined to get onto the ball and drive at the heart of the defence.
Maria was finding her passing range and looked for diagonal passes to Keira who was causing her defender all kinds of problems and with a little luck she could have opened the scoring when she cut in from her flank to shoot powerfully towards goal, only for the keeper to make a good save with her feet.
The Scots were now keeping better possession of the ball but the decision making at times was frustrating, however it appeared only a matter of time before they made the breakthrough.
Another corner was expertly delivered by Maria which was begging for someone in red to attack. Rosie was first to the ball and was very unlucky to see her header clear the crossbar on this occasion.
The opening goal was almost a carbon copy of Rosie’s chance however on this occasion the ball came in from the left. It fell kindly to Eilidh who expertly struck a low drive to the keepers right, much to the pleasure of Mr Donaldson on the side-lines who had predicted today’s first goal scorer.
The goal after fifteen minutes gave the Scots the lift and confidence to push forward with both Hannah and Addie having longer range attempts at goal.
Addie against her club side was in a positive mood and linked up well with Jess to provide another Boroughmuir girl, Tegan with a half chance at the back post but on this occasion the flight of the ball just eluded her.
The Boroughmuir defence were well drilled and resolute throughout the first period and although some half chances were made for Eilidh and Keira the period finished with the Scots going in just the one goal to the good.
Both teams made changes at the start of the second period. The Scots change formation with Olivia P and Olivia K coming into the centre of the park and wide right respectively.
A new front line of Aimee and our newest squad player London came on to combine for the first time. London had been added to the squad due to the unfortunate withdrawal through injury of Dion.
It was excellent to see how quickly Aimee and London linked up and worked alongside each other. In fact, it did not take too long at all for London to show just why she had been added to the squad when she latched onto a through ball from Olivia K. She showed both pace and power to brush off the defender before rounding the keeper to pass the ball into the net for Scotland’s second goal. The squad celebrated with her and let’s hope that it is the first of many.
The Scots continued to put the pressure on the Boroughmuir defenders with the wide players now looking to torment their defenders and get the ball into the danger areas. Again, with a bit more conviction and a little bit of luck a third goal seemed very much on the cards.
The Boroughmuir keeper made two excellent saves one after the other from Keira and Kirsty, with the best of the second period chances falling to London who after great combination play was very unlucky to see her right foot shot just clear the crossbar.
Aimee was linking well on both sides and with the passes from the central areas coming from Olivia P the Scots kept knocking on the door of the stubborn defence, however the referee brought the second period to a conclusion with the Scots ahead by two goals to nil.
Katie had replaced Gail during the half as both girls attempted to keep another clean sheet in these preparatory games.
The final period started with another flurry of changes of personnel. Elvie who was nursing an ankle injury came on for Hannah who had a slight pull but it was Olivia K who lit up the start of the third period with an excellent piece of individual skill to totally bamboozle her marker and leave her bearing down on goal. She looked up and blasted the ball past the helpless keeper. It was a wonderful piece of skill.
Minutes later Olivia K and Maria linked up expertly from a well worked short corner. Maria took the short pass from Olivia and worked her way onto her favoured left foot and crashed the ball into the keepers’ top right corner. Again, it was an excellent finish proving again that the squad can score different types of goals from positions all over the pitch.
The quick goals seemed to deflate the Boroughmuir team for this stage in the game as they became a little tired. Elvie danced her way into the heart of the penalty area and although she finished off the chance that she had made for herself, the referee had already signalled for a penalty as she had been tripped going through. Elvie picked up the ball and confidently placed it beyond her club team mate in the goal rounding off a comprehensive win for the Scots.
The next preparatory match is in two weeks’ time before a friendly International match at the end of the month against a Northern Irish team who drew with their Republic of Ireland counterparts last weekend. The Bob Docherty Tournament will be upon this SSFA squad very soon when these young players will join a Roll of Honour of players who have worn the Scottish Schools jersey with pride.
Full-time: Scotland 5 Boroughmuir 0