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U18s: Durham 6 Cumbria 0

Durham gain a comfortable win

Posted by: allan

Durham got their Northern Counties season off to a great start with a well-deserved 6-0 victory against Cumbria.

Durham started brightly and set about their task with enthusiasm and energy taking the game to Cumbria by playing directly in to front runners Ceiran Jackson and Jamie O’Brien who both set an early warning of what was to come by testing Mitchell Tarbitt in the Cumbria goal. Durham got the reward for their early endeavour when front-runner O’Brien smashed an unstoppable shot past Tarbitt after some unselfish combination play involving Billy Hall and Jackson with only seven minutes on the clock.

Both wingbacks Reece Blakey and Harry Outterside were supplying some valuable width and support runs to pen back the Cumbrian defence and Tarbitt was having a busy time keeping the score down in the early passages of play as the ball was continuously delivered into the Cumbrian penalty area.  The engine room of Kyle Davidson and Luke Collins provided the dynamics in the middle of the park and Collins had a shot pushed onto the bar from a free kick which he bent over the top of the defensive wall.

In near-perfect playing conditions Durham goalkeeper Harry Renwick was an onlooker at this stage and it was inevitable that 10 minutes later Durham got their second as Jackson set up overlapping defender Fraser Colling whose shot was deflected past Tarbitt to make the score 2-0. Cumbria then made a couple of changes to their team with Finlay Watson replacing Tarbitt in the Cumbrian goal; these changes had little impact on the game as the impressive O’Brien then went on to complete his hat trick with two quick goals, one of them a strong and confident finish after an unselfish pass from Jackson. A further deflection from a speculative shot made the score 5-0 as the half-time whistle was blown.

On the restart, no fewer than seven changes were made to the Durham side to maintain team focus and composure and ensure that complacency did not creep in due to the emphatic scorellne. The second half continued the same and all the replacement players set out to prove that they were worthy to be included in a starting line-up with the same tireless work rate and it was good movement and quality deliveries that created a multitude of opportunities. Fergus Hawes and Callum Foster continued the Durham domination in the middle of the park and Hawes put a searching through-ball into the path of James Thompson who lifted the ball over Watson only to see his effort hit the post and roll agonisingly wide.  Jaden Cahill-Taylor and Thompson linked up several times without adding to the Durham goal tally, but Thompson got reward for his concentration when he smashed a loose ball through the crowded goalmouth and into the Cumbrian net to make it 6-0.

Everyone was delighted with the good start to the new inter-county season and the three points that sets them up nicely for the games ahead.

Durham’s next game will be the ESFA Inter-County Trophy tie against Lancashire who defeated our neighbours Cleveland in the first round.

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