SOUTHSIDE Angels Under-14 Girls travelled to Leicester to represent Dorset in the All Cities Elite Shield.
The ACES tournament as it is better known is an invitational tournament for teams who have won the league in their area or county.
The Angels’ exceptional record of winning the Dorset League for the last three years helped earned them their invitation and the girls took the opportunity with both feet.
The standard of football was a massive step up for the girls.
Their first game was against Nottingham Forest in front of a crowd of around 200 people and they could have been put off before they even got started but they were determined to take their chance.
Forest played some fine football and got a break early on when a cross into the box drifted over a stranded Kim Whatley in the Angels’ goal to put the girls one down.
After that, Southside sprung to life and pressed forward getting their reward when striker Madi Stringer coolly slotted home a penalty.
With the game drawing to a close, Amy Goodman thundered a shot against the Forest crossbar and the game finished in a very creditable draw.
Next up were Manchester City, the Angels put up a good fight but eventually succumbed to a 2 -0 defeat.
Other narrow defeats, against Bristol and Northampton, left the Angels with a lot to do to qualify for the semi-finals but they were determined not to let their day fall flat and the Angels regrouped to beat Cambridge to put them back in contention.
Another good draw with eventual winners Falkirk Academy meant that the Angels had to beat Derby County by five goals to progress to the semi-finals.
The girls went about their task with a steely determination and two goals from Amy Goodman had the Angels believing that it may be possible.
As Southside pushed for the goals they needed, they were caught on the break and their dream was over. Team manager Mark Allen was full of praise for the girls.
He said: “What a fantastic experience for the girls and everyone at the club, to get the chance to play against professional clubs was brilliant and every game was keenly-contested, they never gave up not once.
“The girls were amazing and a great advert for girls football in Dorset, they were never outclassed or out fought they gave everything. I am very proud of each and every one of them.
“It just shows that we are not far away from the best teams in the country and for a little club from Dorset, it must mean we’re doing something right.
Angels’ player of the tournament was Olivia Bailey.
Southside are back in training for the new season at the start of August and have a few spaces left in their squad, particularly for a goalkeeper.
Any girls in school Years Seven or Eight who is interested in giving football a try can give team manager Allen a call on 772089 or 07729369490.