Another hot and sunny evening at Alloa Athletic’s Indodrill Stadium for the final Shield final of 2023. A large and vocal crowd greeted the two sides to the pitch.
This was going to be an exciting match with both sides powering their way through to the final, scoring 64 goals in total on the way.
Wallace High School, playing their first Shield final beat James Young, Earlston, St Mungo’s, St Andrew’s and St Ninian’s to get there. For Lasswade High School it was their second appearance in the final in a row, having won the competition three times previously. They beat James Gillespie’s, George Watson’s, Our Lady & St Patrick’s, Ellon and Dunfermline HS on route to the final.
The opening period saw both sides sizing each other up. The game was played at a fast pace despite the heat, with the ball being moved crisply around the large Indodrill pitch.
Lasswade probably shaded possession in the early stages with Taylor Bald showing promising runs down the left. And in the Wallace side Lauren MaDonald was showing her skills running at the Lasswade defence causing them concern.
Wallace gave Lasswade a scare in the 8th minute when a cross from the right was headed against the back post before being cleared by the Lasswade defender
In the 9th minute Lasswade’s Ava Whitson cut inside and hit a superb shot from the edge of the box which narrowly skimmed the bar.
Two minutes later Lasswade’s Taylor Bald, sped past two Wallace defenders, and hit a low shot from 15 yards out which brought out a great save by the Wallace keeper.
In the 15th minute Lasswade opened the scoring. From a cross Lasswade’s Lucy Stevenson headed a looping ball from 12 yards out which evaded the Wallace keeper and ended up in the net.
The game continued to be played at a really high tempo. Going a goal in front gave Lasswade confidence to move the ball around and they began to play much higher up the pitch with Eilidh Macdonald creating a number of chances.
Wallace although pushed back were very dangerous on the fast break with their speedy forwards.
In the 34th minute great play from Wallace to create a chance. The play started from Rebecca Simpson who played Lauren McDonald who, in turn, played a searching ball into the Lasswade box. The Lasswade keeper dived at the feet of Wallace’s Clara Whitby to deny an almost certain goal.
A really hard fought first half was brought to an end by the referee. All to play for in the second half.
Half-time: Wallace High School 0 Lasswade High School 1
Whatever was said in the Wallace changing room at half time certainly had the desired effect as the Wallace players took a firm grip of the game right from the restart. They earned three corners inside the first two minutes, and it was from the third corner they equalised. The ball was played into the Lassswade six yard box and it was Clara Whitby who rose between two defenders to knock the ball home.
Wallace piled on the pressure and really went for their second goal. Lauren McDonald had a shot which narrowly missed the post.
In an almost reverse of the first half it was Lasswade who were looking for fast breaks to relieve the Wallace pressure.
In the 45th minute Lasswade broke fast up the pitch and shot only to be denied by another good save by the Wallace keeper.
Wallace were using the breeze coming from behind to their advantage in playing balls over the heads of the Lasswade defenders to turn them and for their forwards to run onto. Another advantage was the midfield was being missed out which reduced the effectiveness of the strong Lasswade midfielders.
At this stage, Lasswade were finding it difficult to get a real foothold in the game.
Despite the heat and two waterbreaks the pace never dropped. Wallace were trying to take advantage of their possession and Lasswade were trying to fight their way back into the game.
In the 66th minute Lasswade showed they were still a force to be reckoned with when they carved Wallace open with a series of passing and ended with a through ball to Abbey Farricker who fired in a shot only to see yet another fine save by the Wallace keeper.
In the 62nd minute Wallace’s pressure paid off and they scored a spectacular second goal. Rebecca Simpson picked up the ball wide left, drove in and hit an unstoppable shot from the corner of the box high over the Lasswade keeper into the corner of the net. What a goal!
And before you could get your breath back. Lasswade were level.
Almost from the restart Taylor Bald gets the ball and drives forward then plays the ball to Emily Haig who shot low past the keeper into the net. Less that a minute between the two goals.
A minute from time Wallace’s Rebecca Simpson shot hit the ban and Eva Gardner headed in the rebound only to see the Lasswade keeper pull off a great save.
Just when you thought the game was heading for penalties Lasswade won the game.
With both teams going for the winner the game was stretched and it was Lasswade who took advantage of the gaps.
In the 73rd minute from a break the ball was played to Taylor Bald slightly wide right of centre. Taylor calmly drove into the Wallace box and slotted the ball home from 16 yards out much to the delight of the Lasswade players and staff.
Full-time: Wallace High School 2 Lasswade High School 3
Wallace High School: Lucy Macnair, Beth Watson, Abby McMillan, Rebecca Simpson, Eva Gardner, Annie Robertson, Nieve Wick, Lauren McDonald, Gia Jonal, Lacey Hilson, Clara Whitby, Demi Millar, Evajane Malley, Lauren Grassie, Madison Macneill, Alexandra Montgomery
Lasswade High School: Isla Renwick, Pheobe Tait, Riley Meehan, Grace Wilkinson, Mia Smith, Zoe Taylor, Lilly McDonald, Jessica Wheeler, Emily Haig, Taylor Bald, Eilidh MacDonald, Caitlin Walls, Abbey Farricker, Ava Whitson, Lucy Stevenson, Levi Boyle.