Aberdeenshire AFA

Official website of the Aberdeenshire Amateur Football Association

Sportsmans Club 1 – 4 Woodside

John Todd Memorial Trophy Semi-Final at Lochside Park on Saturday 29th December

Report by Andy McLaren

Woodside forward Bryan Forbes believes their comprehensive 4-1 win over Premier Division leaders Sportsmans Club proves his side can retain their league title for a second consecutive year.

The prolific centre-forward scored two goals as his side progressed to the final of the John Todd Memorial Trophy, where they will now play Kincorth.

Woodside celebrated their 50th anniversary last season by being crowned Premier Division champions for the first time in their history after finishing one point ahead of University.

And Forbes, who previously played for Brechin City, reckons his side are still the best amateur team in Aberdeen, despite a poor start to the season.

He said: “We are playing well but sometimes haven’t got the results we have deserved. The impact Joe McGunnigle Jnr has on the team is fantastic and hopefully we can retain the league for him.

“My form hasn’t been as good as last season but hopefully my two goals can kick-start some good form leading into an important time for us.

The main aim is definitely to win the league and I still think we can do it. This result shows we are still the most feared club in the Aberdeen area.”

Woodside manager Joe McGunnigle Jnr admits he is delighted to have kept Forbes at the club for another season.

McGunnigle joined the club as a player over 20 years ago before taking over the reins from his dad, Joe McGunnigle Snr.

The 48-year-old praised Forbes’ goalscoring form since joining the club and believes he can play at a higher level. He said: “Bryan was one of our best players last season and it’s great to see he has continued that form into this season. He is a quality centre-forward but struggles to play at a higher level because of work commitments.

“I feel we will still be challenging for the Premier Division at the end of the season, despite the slow start we have had. It will be hard to beat the success we had last season but beating a side such as Sportsmans will be a huge boost in our campaign to win silverware.”

The Premier Division champions broke the deadlock on 10 minutes when Bryan Forbes expertly volleyed the ball low past Billy Lawson from the edge of the box.

Sportsmans then proceeded to dominate the remainder of the first half possession, although they were unable to create opportunities from open play. Their best effort on goal came when Kieran Heads unleashed a powerful shot that skimmed James Noble’s crossbar.

Woodside should have doubled their lead on 35 minutes when a long kick from Noble was met by Derek Craigie whose tame shot from 10 yards was saved by Billy Lawson.

The Aberdeen side were frustrated by their poor finishing in front of goal as Scott Burke could only blast an effort from 15 yards over the bar.

Half-time: 0 – 1

Woodside’s James Noble was left helpless after 50 minutes when Kieran Head’s curled a pass to John Chalmers who was waiting at the back post to tap the ball into the net to make it 1-1.

Head’s was causing the Woodside defence problems throughout the match and skimmed the post on 65 minutes with a low drive.

Woodside were soon in front again as an opportunistic free-kick from Derek Craigie skipped off the muddy surface in front of goal and beat Billy Lawson to make it 2-1 on 70 minutes.

The champions scored the best goal of the match on 85 minutes when Scott Burke’s looping cross was met in the air by James Simpson who bulleted a header past Lawson to make it 3-1.

The Aberdeen side sealed an emphatic win when Bryan Forbes calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Lawson to make it 4-1 before the full-time whistle.

Full Time: 1 – 4