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Rangers retain top spot with tough draw

Albany Advertiser

Stirling Rangers were out to consolidate their position at the top of the table in the Albany Junior Soccer Association under-13 competition last Saturday when they met Polonia, who are hot on their heels in the chase for the title.

Both sides are evenly matched and the last time they played, they could not be separated, but this time both sides played in a more positive manner and it was clear each wanted a win.

Polonia started the brighter, pressing high up the field, creating opportunities mostly through Harry Knowlson and Eddie Bell.

They could not make the pressure count, though, and allowed Stirling to build up some pressure of their own.

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Stirling Rangers' Megan Orr in possession.
Camera IconStirling Rangers' Megan Orr in possession. Credit: Albany Advertiser

That pressure flustered the Polonia defence as they lost shape and started to panic when they were trying to clear the ball.

Nearing the end of the first half, a high ball by Henry Goldsmith was sent into the box and it was a very difficult delivery for keeper Nathan Rogozinski to deal with.

Rogozinski managed to get a hand to it, preventing the ball from going in the goal, but the ball ended up falling kindly for Bastian Morcombe, who duly bundled it into the back of the net to give his side a 1-0 half-time lead.

Stirling Rangers goalkeeper Falen Robinson clears his area.
Camera IconStirling Rangers goalkeeper Falen Robinson clears his area. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Polonia could not get the ball out of their own half to begin with as Stirling pressed hard. Jordan White worked tirelessly up front to ensure the Polonia defence were not given any time on the ball.

Polonia started to claw their way back into the game, with Knowlson threading a beautifully weighted pass through the midfield for Eddie Bell to run onto and slot the ball past the keeper.

It was all Polonia in the dying stages and with the last act of the game, Megan Orr prevented Polonia taking all the points when she just managed to get her body in the way of a powerfully hit goal- bound shot as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Stirling Rangers' Tully Franklin and Polonia's Harry Knowlsen.
Camera IconStirling Rangers' Tully Franklin and Polonia's Harry Knowlsen. Credit: Albany Advertiser

With Grammar thrashing Denmark White 9-0, it leaves the top three separated by only two points going into the second half of the season. John Calvin came up against Denmark Black for the second time and John Calvin took a dominant 3-0 half-time lead.

Denmark Black managed to pull one back through Kiami Bhatt and then a second through Zen Shepherd, and they almost managed the most unlikely of comebacks but were just kept at bay by John Calvin’s keeper Keaton Dekker.

AJSA Under-13s Round 8

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