U18s: Cleveland 2 Durham 1
Durham denied a point after conceding a late goal
Durham suffered their first defeat in over a year when they conceded a tight game to Cleveland 2-1 thus ending a run of 8 unbeaten matches.
With a team decimated by injuries and unavailability Durham started slowly but took an early lead with a good move involving Callum Webster, Jamie Kilcran and Dan Maddison who played in Jay Redman to calmly and assuredly slot the ball past Joe Shipp and into the bottom of the Cleveland net to give Durham the lead inside 2 minutes. It was a lead that was short lived, however, as Cleveland hit back within 3 minutes with an unstoppable strike from Daniel Maddison to beat Kieran Stoker and bring the scores level.
Cleveland were on the ascendancy at this stage and their wide men were helping their team to pin the Durham lads pack as they struggled to contain the pace of their opponents. Durham uncharacteristically got overran in midfield, were untidy with distribution and got caught on the ball on too many occasions and were guilty of creating their own problems. Half time could not arrive soon enough for this Durham team who needed to address this below par performance.
The second half saw a much-improved focus and performance prompted by the introduction of first year players Jak Hanson, Aaron Duell and Billy Hall. They helped to produce a purple patch during which Cleveland were reliant on sporadic long balls up front to clear their lines and give some relief to their defence. Aaron and Duell and a revitalised Dan Mitchell were getting the ball up to front men Jak Hanson and Andrei Ardelean and Cleveland could not contain the movement and craft of Jay Redman and it seemed only a matter of time until Durham regained the lead.
However, the rearguard of Cleveland stood firm and rode their luck to an extent to reduce Durham to a series of half chances that they could not convert. Just when it looked as though the game was heading to an even finish there was one last moment of drama. Cleveland broke in numbers down their left and Jordan Jaques providing a delivery into the box where Stoker saved the first attempt, it was then blocked on the line before the ball was poked into the net through the crowded goalmouth by Daniel Johnson to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
With 5 minutes to go Durham could not muster an effective response but while the late goal was cruel the Durham squad would concede that they did not do enough to warrant the three points. Despite a good second half effort Durham did not live up to their usual high standards to produce enough energy, concentration or quality and a big improvement will be needed in future performances.
- Kieran Stoker (Sunderland College)
- Tom Joyce (St Thomas More), Trent McMenam (New College), Nathan Kett (QE College), Callum Webster (Carmel)
- Jamie Kilcran (Carmel), Dan Mitchell (St Aidan’s), Sam Steele (Sunderland College), Jayven Redman (Sunderland College)
- Andrei Ardelean (New College), Dan Maddison (St Joseph’s)
Substitutes used: Aaron Duell (Monkwearmouth), Jak Hanson (Gateshead College), Billy Hall (St Bede’s)
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