Categories: General Date: 06/10/17 Title: U16 Boys: Durham 4 Cleveland 3
Durham off to a good start
Durham defeated a strong Cleveland side, in what proved to be a closely fought but entertaining, opening Northern Counties fixture for both teams, by a narrow one goal margin.
The home team was quickly out of the blocks and were nearly ahead before a minute had elapsed. A clearance from Bradley Young, that reached the Cleveland penalty area, was pursued by Dylan Quinn but he was unable to make the most of the early opportunity.
Durham continued to press and a minute later Joe Ames saw his well-struck, long range shot parried and grabbed at the second attempt by the Cleveland goalkeeper.
Cleveland replied positively. A through ball caught the Durham defenders napping but the attempt from Cleveland was centimetres wide.
In the 10th minute an excellent double save from the visitors’ goalkeeper prevented Durham establishing a lead.
As the game fluctuated it was Cleveland who struck first, in the 22nd minute, when they successfully capitalised upon a Durham midfield error to great effect.
Cleveland continue to exert pressure on the home team and it needed an excellent save from Bradley Young, diving to his right, to prevent the visitors from increasing their lead.
Durham were on level terms in the 31st minute when a pass from Tom Aldsworth found Jack Leonard who finished expertly.
Four minutes before the interval Cleveland were most unfortunate not to regain the lead. Following a break down the right, Cleveland had three attempts within 10 seconds. Two rattled off the crossbar with the third being pushed away for a corner by Bradley Young.
With half time quickly approaching Durham, having rode their luck three minutes earlier, took the lead when Dylan Quinn chased a ball played over the central defenders. He used his strength to great effect to shrug off a challenge then guide the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
Cleveland began the second half brightly and were soon putting pressure on the home goal but Durham, at this time, managed to repel the visitors' attacks.
Durham eased the pressure in the 56th minute when they increased their lead. The ball was won by Coleby Shepherd on halfway. He drove forward then placed his pass precisely to create an opportunity for Youssef Hakamoui whose fine left footed strike from distance gave the goalkeeper no chance of saving.
The home team, in the 59th minute, saw an attempt from Morgan Dart skim the post.
A minute later Cleveland had a good chance to reduce the deficit but the attempt was hit over the bar.
However, in the 63rd minute, Cleveland were not to be denied for their endeavours. Following pressure from the visitors on the home goal, which the Durham defence was unable to clear, a low drive found its way into the net to make the score 3-2.
With a minute of the match remaining Durham eased the situation for themselves by scoring the goal of the night. Good, one-touch passing in and around the penalty area was successfully finished by Stephen Black.
Cleveland immediately hit back. A minute of added time had been played when the visitors were awarded a penalty which was confidently converted.
Durham, for the remaining two minutes of added time, managed to prevent the visitors from equalising thus gaining an opening victory.