May 242016
 

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Monifieth U17s v Dunfermline U17s May 2016

For some of the girls who play for the U15s as well as the U17s, this was going to be their fourth game in the space of five days.

We didn’t start the game well and found ourselves 4 – 0 down at half time. This might not have been surprising given the above fact, but it was actually some of the older girls that could have been giving us a bit more to help out their younger team mates. There was a lethargy about some of the team that we haven’t seen before, with a lack of challenges and willingness to take responsibility.

Dunfermline have won all their league games this season and it might seem unfair to criticise our girls for being 4-0 down to what is an excellent team, but they just didn’t do themselves justice in the first half.

It had been a very lethargic first 40 minutes and for the first time this season, the girls were given some harsh words at half time.

Whether it was the harsh words or the girls own pride that changed their attitude, they came out for the second half and gave the best 40 minutes we’ve seen from them this season.

The pressure was on Dunfermline from the re-start and a good move down the left, resulted in Anna firing in a powerful shot from the edge of the box that had the keeper beaten but bounced back off the corner of the cross bar and post.

The same player had another strike from the edge of the box that the Dunfermline keeper saved well. Then Katie Shaw broke free down the right but the keeper was off her line sharply to save at her feet.

We were creating chance after chance and Jasmine was the next to have a go when she passed the ball around the last defender and raced in on the Dunfermline keeper but once again, the keeper saved bravely at Jasmine’s feet.

After some more good play down the right, Katie Shaw broke free once again but their keeper dived sharply to her right to pounce on her well struck shot.

Alice, Sacha and Libby all had shots from outside the box that the Dunfermline keeper managed to stop and another scramble in the box just wouldn’t drop for Emma.

Dunfermline scored a fifth goal as we pushed up the pitch, with a well struck shot from the edge of the box.

The girls kept battling away but the goal just wouldn’t come.

Final score – Monifieth  0 – 5  Dunfermline.

After the disappointment of the first half, the transformation in the second half was incredible. We’ve played well in games against weaker teams than Dunfermline and not created too many chances, but we could easily have ended up drawing or winning this game if we’d taken a portion of our chances. We were unfortunate to be up against a keeper in fantastic form.

Well done girls, the best 40 minutes of football we’ve seen from you this season.

May 242016
 

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U15s April 16

After the highs of Thursday night’s dramatic win away to Letham, the girls were all looking forward to another competitive match at home to Raith.

We started the game playing up the slope and against the wind but settled well, getting the ball down and creating some nice passing moves.

With both defences on top form, neither team was creating many chances and with 2 experienced keepers behind them, clear cut chances were few and far between.

Raith did manage to break the deadlock not long before half time when their centre forward broke free and raced towards goal with only Darcy to beat. The striker struck her shot well and although Darcy somehow got a hand to the ball, she couldn’t keep the shot out.

Half time – Monifith 0  1  Raith.

We started the second half playing down the slope and were soon putting the Raith defence under pressure but as in the first half, we were struggling to create any real chances.

There were a few scrambles in the box and a couple of long range shots but the Raith defence held firm and the game finished 1 -0 to Raith.

It seemed that the exertions of Thursday night had taken their toll and the girls just didn’t have the energy to get a goal or two that their play deserved.

Still, it was another good display and it’s great to see how the girls are growing in confidence as the season goes on.

Unlucky girls, you deserved something out of the game but it just wasn’t to be.

May 242016
 

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The Fire welcomed Montrose to Riverview and were quickly about their business. Kyna twice latched on to through balls and despatched them with clinical accuracy. Roxanne then attempted a long shot which came back off the post, the Fire claimed the ball had crossed the line but the ref was having none of it.

After this opening flurry the Fire seemed to lose their way. The ball was frequently bogged down in midfield and misplaced passes and slack play caused a great

deal of frustration for our coaches and fans. Montrose tried very hard and forced corners and the Fire ended the first half surprisingly on the back foot.

After some strong words at half time the Fire started more brightly but were still wasteful in front of goal. Kyna hit the bar then pulled a shot wide before Chloe grabbed the game

by the scruff of the neck and slammed in a third. Kyna scored again and then Caitlin added a fifth to underline a strong performance from her. By this stage even Rachael got a bit adventurous shooting narrowly wide after a cleared corned came her way. As Montrose pushed further forward they left themselves a bit vulnerable to the counter attack and Kyna twice pounced to score.

Another decent win and another clean sheet for our defence with Roxy and Rachael at their combative best. Hollie did everything asked of her in goal and Amy, Tara and Kacie worked hard in midfield. Also a mention for Chloe who played in every position except in goal.

Well done to our opponents who never gave up and played the game in the correct spirit. They will have better results before the season ends.

May 222016
 

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The biggest problem for Angie and Graham this season has been looking for volunteers to take a turn in goal. The problem is no more. We have been very fortunate to acquire the services of an experienced and very talented goalkeeper in Darcy Holme, who has played for Dundee United Social Club and Dryburgh in the past.

So we lined up on Thursday for the away league fixture against Letham with the happiest team of the season – and the happiest coaches.

The confidence the girls took from having a recognized goalkeeper behind them was evident from the start and we soon took the lead. A couple of slick passes in midfield saw Michelle played through and she thumped the ball over the keepers head from 30 yards out. A great move and a fantastic finish.

We continued to play some excellent football, building from the back, through midfield and up to the forwards. Darcy didn’t have much to do on her debut but whenever she was called upon, her handling, distribution and kicking was immaculate.

We were creating a lot of chances and Libby made it 2 when she fired in from a scramble in the box.

Half time and a well deserved 2-0 lead to Monifieth.

We started the second half well and were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions. Alice hit a cracker from the edge of the box that was cleared off the line and Libby’s free kick fired just wide with the keeper well beaten.

Letham are a good team and they got themselves back in the game with a goal 15 minutes from time. This gave them a boost and they started to pile on the pressure. Their corners were causing us real problems and it was no surprise when a rocket of a cross from our left was met perfectly by their on-rushing midfielder to bullet in a header for the equaliser. Not much you can do to defend against quality like that.

After the U17s losing a last minute winner the night before, the coaches were fearing the worst. We needn’t have worried because our girls had other ideas. They went straight at Letham from the re-start, determined to get the winner. A couple of corners resulted in scrambles in the box but the girls just couldn’t get the ball in the net.

Letham were also looking to win the game and a couple of corners had us with our hearts in our mouths but the defence and goalkeeper stood firm.

Then, with only minutes to go, Alice fired in another shot from the edge of the box that was controlled on the six yard box by Sacha, who calmly fired the ball into the corner of the net.

The last couple of minutes were nerve racking for the coaches but our girls saw it out and held on for the victory.  We only had the bare 11 players for the match, so it showed great character for the girls to go on and win the game after the momentum had swung Letham’s way. Even if they had lost the game, it would still have been a great display and one of the most entertaining matches I’ve seen for a long time.

Thanks for a great night girls.

May 222016
 

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U17s_2016VDryburgh

We had played Dryburgh in a pre-season friendly at DISC a few months back, so this was a good game to judge how much we have progressed since then.

We started the game strongly, playing down the slight slope and putting their defence under some early pressure. The pressure paid off midway through the first half, when a quick throw bounced up inside the Dryburgh box, one of their defenders instinctively stuck out her hand to stop the ball and the ref had no option but to award a penalty.

Libby took the penalty and although she struck it well, it was too close to the keeper, who parried the shot out. However, the keepers effort was in vain as Libby pounced on the rebound and smashed it into the net.

1-0 us and well deserved. The girls took confidence from being in front and created a few more chances, the best falling to Michelle after a nice move down the right but the ball stuck in the grass and her final shot wasn’t quite powerful enough to beat the keeper.

1-0 at half-time.

Playing down the slope in the second half, Dryburgh took the game to us and the majority of play was in our half but the girls were working very hard, defending as a team and Dryburgh were struggling to create any clear cut chances. As usual, when they did manage to get past our defence, Louise was there to save the day.

We were still dangerous on the break but Dryburgh have a good defence and goalkeeper too and we just couldn’t get the killer second goal.

With 15 minutes to go, Dryburgh finished a good move with a nice finish to make it 1-1. On the balance of play, we couldn’t say they didn’t deserve an equalizer.

Dryburgh kept the pressure up for the last 15 minutes but we stood firm – until the very last minute. A speculative lob from outside our box bounced off the bar and landed at the feet of the onrushing Dryburgh player who only had to knock the ball in from 2 yards out. 2-1 Dryburgh.

We took the centre and the referee blew for full time. Final score 2-1 Dryburgh.

The girls were absolutely gutted as they came off the park – what a cruel game football can be. Although Dryburgh had played well and had a lot of pressure in the second half, our girls had defended magnificently and didn’t deserve to lose.

We didn’t pick up any points but once again the girls showed improvement and once the disappointment of losing dies down, we can look back and see how much better we are now compared to when we played Dryburgh in the pre-season match.

Well done again girls.

May 062016
 

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Fire Prove Too Strong For Monifieth

Experience counts for so much in life and this match clearly demonstrated that truth.

The Fire have already had a season at this level and have taken their fair share of knocks and that would prove important here today.

Both teams started brightly without creating any obvious chances, Kyna had a snapshot which went wide and Monifieth forced a couple of corners but could not get a good attempt in on goal.

The Fire began to exert some pressure and a precise from chloe found Kyna who broke the reds defence and she scored. That same situation was repeated again before half time and the Fire went in 2-0 ahead.

Monifieth had played well in the first half and the game was still alive. The Fire began to take control in the second half, a break away gave Kyna her third goal then Tara added a fourth prodding home from close range.

Monifieths defence were still giving everything with Lara showing some good positioning to thwart Kyna. Ava pressed down the right flank and a misunderstanding gave Monifieth a chance but the shot was pulled wide.

Monifieth were finding it difficult to pierce the Fires defence, the solid organised trio of Rachael, Roxy and Chloe are forming a good partnership and Monifieth are not the only team who have found creating chances against them difficult. Rachael indeed broke three tackles before finding Kyna and she made it five then followed it up with two more strikes to make the final score seven nil.

As strange as it may seem Monifieth must take heart from this performance. They faced a secure, strong defence and a striker who is in a rich vein of form. Credit goes to both teams for the way they played and good sportsmanship that’s was shown by both teams.

May 062016
 

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The Fire welcomed Penicuik to Riverview on Sat 23rd April for the first round of the Scottish cup. This game was a true test for the fire as Penicuik are sitting in the quarter finals in the league cup in their region and also sitting high in their respective league. The game started with the Monifieth playing Hollie in goal and with a back three of Roxy ,Rachel and Chloe in the sweepers position, Caitlin in the midfield and Kyna and and Amiee up front. Monifieth started the game briskly passing the ball around penicuik  with a few early shots sliding past the goal. Penicuik were well organised and started to get a foothold on the game and were pressing down on the Monifieth goal forcing hollie  to pull off a few top drawer saves to keep us from conceding that opening goal.

The opening goal came from a smart move that Kyna brought down a long ball  and broke through the defence of penicuik to slot it past the keepers bottom right. 1-0 the Fire. Penicuik pushed for the equaliser before half time but it did not come. The second half the fire started to press from the start and Kyna scored another. Penicuik then broke down the wing and gained a goal back to make it 2-1. Monifieth then played a good ball out wide for Kyna to cross in to Caitlin who was waiting to smash in her shot to make it 3-1. Penicuik started to use their fitness to their advantage and pushed Monifieth again but the ball broke free and was put out for a corner to Monifieth. Chloe chipped the ball in and kacie rose to head it over the keeper what a brilliant goal it was  to make it 4-1. Penicuik scored again to make it 4-2 but Monifieth fought hard  to put the game out of reach making it another for Kyna at 5-2. The girls were buzzing come full time and should take credit that this was no easy game and penicuik were a formidable opponent.

The teams then enjoyed some food that was provided after the game at the Vault and they all had a good chat with each other . Well done to penicuik and thank you for such a good game. The Fire’s next round opponents are Devonvale who play in Aberdeenshire so it will be an early start again for the girls.

May 032016
 

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The U17s were dealt a blow before the game started, with Louise calling off because of illness. As well as losing one of the best keepers in the league, it meant we had to ask a couple of the girls to play in goal on a cold and windy day. To their credit, Emma and Anna volunteered and the coaches and their team mates really appreciate that.

The starting line up was Emma in goal, Jess, Steff, Sarah and Sasha, Catherine, Anna and Katie S, Jasmine, Cally and Rachel. With Katie R, Libby F and Alice as the subs.

Playing up hill and against the wind, we immediately took the game to Montrose. A couple of good moves down the right resulted in a couple of half chances but nothing became of them.

Montrose began to come into the game and a well struck shot from just inside the box was too powerful for Emma and flew into the net.

As the half wore on, Montrose continued pressing but our well drilled defence (thanks to Andy’s coaching on Wednesday night), coped very well and we got to half time only one goal down. Well done Emma and the defence.

The wind picked up in the second half but became too strong to be of much benefit. At one point down at the bottom right hand side of the park, we had around 10 throw ins and 5 corners in the space of a few minutes.

Anna was in goal for the second half but was playing as much as a sweeper as a keeper and was playing her part very well. Any time Montrose broke up the park, she was there to clear the danger.

Once again, we created a few chances but just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. The pitch and the wind wasn’t helping. Catherine was about to run through on goal after a poor clearance but lost her footing in a dip in the pitch, Libby couldn’t get the ball out of her feet when looking to pull the trigger and the same player saw her free kick from outside the box skim over the bar with the keeper beaten.

Montrose were a good team and had theie fair share of chances. With 8 minutes to go, they broke up the park and won the game with a little bit of luck when the ball took a lucky bounce off Anna after a good save and dropped right at the feet of a Montrose forward, who rolled the ball into the net from 2 yards.

We kept fighting right to the end but the game ended 2-0 Montrose. What the score would have been with a proper keeper and being able to play Anna in midfield for the whole game, who knows.

Once again, the result went against us but this was a very good performance against a decent Montrose side and we are improving every week.

May 032016
 

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The match reports for the U15s are turning into a bit of a cut & paste exercise this season. Another hard game, another cold, windy day at Riverview and another week without a recognised goalkeeper.

We started with Katie M in goal, Katie R, Steff, Iona, Kayleigh, Sasha and Alice, Jess, Libby F, Eilidh and Emma, with Libby T on the bench.

We started quite well but were up against a very good Jeanfield side that included 2 internationalists, helped along by a number of other strong players.

We found ourselves a few goals down at half time but once again, having a recognised keeper would have made all the difference. That should not be taken as a criticism of Katie M in the first half, or Jess in the second half as they both made a couple of good saves.

We lost 3 or 4 more goals in the second half but never gave up. The most positive thing to take from the game was the way we kept our shape at the back. Andy had taken the defence aside at Wednesday’s training for some specialised defence work and they had clearly learned and benefited from this.

The coaches and managers are doing their best to try and get a keeper and if this happens, along with the improvements on the pitch, we have plenty to look forward to for the rest of the season.