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The Courier SPORT Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – PAGE 9
Stirling Districts may well rue
the cost of missed chances
during last Saturday’s Premier
Division Amateur Soccer League
clash against visiting BOSA at a
weather-beaten Bradwood Park.
Stirling came into the game having had
two wins and a loss and feeling confident
about its game style and plan.
Having faced BOSA in a pre-season
trial, both coaches had the advantage of
having viewed the opposition, although
home ground advantage may have been
a bonus for the Aces.
The game started with immense pressure
and pace as the home team again and
again attacked the BOSA goal, with shots
and crosses being saved off the line or the
‘keeper pushing wide.
Forwards Gomez and Mather worked
hard early with some neat crosses from
both Hill and Wildy.
BOSA attacked but with little result as
Wendelborn, Papini and Hawthorne
positioned well, but a early cross against
the run of play enabled a BOSA forward to
rise unchallenged in the box and give the
visitors the lead.
The Aces have been in this situation
before and did not let this stop their
relentless pressure to score.
On the 15-minute mark key forward
Gomez was dealt a blow to his leg that
would sideline him from any further part
in the game.
A quick reshuffle from the head coach
had Sean Lang enter the midfield and
home town favorite Wilby moved up front.
Not wanting to lift the pressure, the Aces
were rewarded as Hill cut the ball to Lewis
whose shot-cross was steered into the net
Continuing to come under strong
pressure from the home team, it was
another fast break against the run of play,
which found BOSA scoring once again.
Heading into half-time trailing 2-1, the
Aces still had the better chances and were
feeling confident on a comeback victory.
The second half started with Stirling
captain Ryan Gore being subbed off with
an ankle injury and young Dawes was
given another chance to follow on from his
blistering form of the previous week.
Another reshuffle by the coach to
maintain the same pressure would fall flat,
as Stirling conceded another two goals,
as a corner and a cross left the Aces
searching for answers.
Far from conceding, Stirling frequently
tested the BOSA ‘keeper and where
eventually rewarded with a looping
headed goal from Coulls.
It gave some hope of salvaging a draw,
but time and missed opportunities would
be the downfall of the Aces who were
forced to bear a 4-2 defeat.
Stirling’s Reserves also suffered defeat
at the hands of BOSA, falling 4-1 to the
visitors on Saturday.
Coming into the match, Stirling were
feeling confident after a strong display
against Old Ignatians in Round 3,
however, nothing clicked for the Aces
on the day, and they found themselves
outclassed and outgunned for much of
The soggy conditions at Bradwood Park
made keeping the ball extremely difficult.
Stirling strung together some nice
passes in the initial five minutes, but as
BOSA began to impose on the game, the
link play between defence and midfield
disappeared, and the Aces began
resorting to panicked clearances and long
BOSA appeared much more composed
on the ball, and took the lead after some
slick passes cut open the Stirling defence
at the 10-minute mark.
Despite dropping behind early in the
game for the third match in a row, Stirling
recovered well and began pushing for an
Some good play up the right wing from
Paul Teteris and Mikey Henn led to a
series of corners in quick succession,
however, the Aces couldn’t capitalise on
this period of pressure, and a quick break
from BOSA led to a second goal after 20
Now trailing 2-0 in miserable conditions
deflated an already tired Stirling time, and
it was no surprise when BOSA scored its
third goal just before half-time.
Aces coach Steve Spencer asked for
more heart and commitment in the second
half, and the side responded well.
Michael Van Mierle was beginning
to loom dangerous up front, and the
introduction of Hugh Hopton and Simon
Lovell helped Stirling begin to get back in
Lovell in particular was dangerous down
the right wing, with several bursting runs
which enabled him to skip past multiple
Stirling’s lifted effort was rewarded
after 65 minutes when Ryan Gore deftly
controlled a sharp pass on the edge of the
box, flicking the ball up and volleying past
a helpless BOSA ‘keeper.
Over the following 10 minutes Stirling had
the wind at its back, and the field opened
up as the Aces pressed for a second goal,
and BOSA hunted for a fourth goal to kill
the game off.
Despite playing their best football of the
contest toward the end of the second
half, all the momentum that the Aces had
was killed when Gore was sent off after
receiving a second yellow card.
With the remaining 10 men now exposed
as they kept pushing for a second goal,
BOSA were able to catch the Aces on the
break and score a fourth goal, effectively
ending the game as a contest.
Despite a disappointing first-half
performance, there were some positive
signs for the Aces in the second half,
which they will need to repeat this
Saturday if they want to get their season
back on track against Adelaide Comets in
Round 1 of the Cup competition.
Aces miss chances
Stirling Districts welcomed BOSA to Bradwood Park and
on paper the match appeared a non-contest – BOSA
having won all three previous games while Stirling had only
managed one point from a possible nine.
However, the reality was very different.
Stirling coach Craig Fraser had previously struggled with
player injuries and absences, but with almost all players
now fit, Fraser had two elements ... a selection headache
and a strong squad.
Scott Beverley returned to his place between the sticks,
Simon Lovell played at left back, with Marcus Booth-
Remmers and Tim Mansueto at centre back, while Hugh
Williams rounded out the defence at right back.
Michael Stephens and Brent Lores slotted into the team
and photos can
be emailed to
The Courier at
They should be
submitted by 12
noon Monday for
inclusion in the
as defensive midfielders, Hamish Elsden and Nic Schultz
provided attacking outlets down the wings, while Chad
Honey adopted the number eight role behind striker Leki
The game got underway on a waterlogged, and
occasionally treacherous, playing surface, and the slick
conditions aided fast attacking football.
From the first whistle, play was end-to-end, with turnover
in possession frequent.
As both sides struggled to assert dominance, it quickly
became apparent that the team to draw first blood would
need either a superbly constructed attack or a lot of luck.
It turned out to be the former of the two, and in BOSA’s
Mansueto failed to block a cross into the box, and the
BOSA striker on the end of it took his chance well, leaving
Beverley with no chance.
With only 15 minutes expired, Stirling knew it could turn
This self-belief indeed helped to turn the tide, and the run
of play soon belied the score.
Increasing pressure on the BOSA defence would have to
tell eventually and parity was finally restored at around the
BOSA failed to clear a corner into the six-yard box, and
Burrett did magnificently to hold the ball up long enough
to pick out Elsden a yard to his right, who claimed the final
With superiority halfway validated, no-one was in any
doubt about the task at hand for the Aces ... keep the
pressure and intensity up and fight for the next goal.
This became an explicit instruction at half-time as Fraser
praised his team’s work rate and asked for more of the
When club referee Ryan Gore blew his whistle for the start
of the second half, it soon became clear that something
The Aces were guilty of losing their concentration a little,
while BOSA seemed ready to pounce on any mistake.
When Mansueto made a hash of a back pass and gifted
the ball to a BOSA striker, it was only Beverley’s quick
reactions which kept the score even.
Going forward, Stirling continued to be dangerous, but
struggled to keep possession.
It was very much a repeat of the initial 15 minutes of the
Fraser sought to inject some life by bringing on Marcus
Pritchard, who had been unlucky not to start.
Further changes were made as Booth-Remmers, who had
had a superb game at centre back, made way for Steve
Pearson, while Lovell similarly made room for Josh Bird.
Unfortunately for the Stirling outfit, its attacking efforts
came to nought.
For the second time in the game, BOSA broke the
deadlock as once again a cross into the box found its mark,
and the finish was top class.
Stirling were obviously hard done by to have gone a goal
behind again, and fought hard to find the equaliser, but it
was not to be.
The referee called a halt, and BOSA were able to enjoy a
fourth consecutive win.
The Aces were disheartened by the result, but not by
their performance, which had been outstanding and had
deserved far more.
Stirling can take a lot of confidence into the next fixture
in a home clash against Adelaide Wanderers on May 23.
Key attacking Stirling Districts midfielder Joel Blyth (right) challenges a BOSA opponent for
possession in last Saturday’s Amateur Soccer League Premier Division clash at Bradwood Park.
The hosting Aces suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of the visitors.
Lewis Coulls (right),
who got himself on the
scoring sheet late in
the game for Stirling
Districts, slides into a
ground level contest
against a BOSA rival
in Saturday’s Premier
League Soccer Round 4
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