Categories: General Date: 14/01/19 Title: U14 Girls: Durham 3 Cleveland 3Durham gain draw with late equaliser
An equalising goal, in the first minute of added time, earned Durham a share of the points in their final NCSFA fixture against Cleveland.
Durham had the better of the opening exchanges with Ellie Wise being the main protagonist to Cleveland. She had one attempt well saved by Ellie Stewart Titchiner, another just over the bar and was involved in the move which gave Jessica Cook an opportunity, but the Cleveland defenders splendidly marshalled the situation.
After Durham’s early dominance Cleveland struck a decisive blow in the 9th minute. Durham lost the ball in midfield which Atalia Robinson capitalised upon with an excellent strike from 25 metres.
Durham were denied a minute later by the ever-alert Ellie Stewart Titchiner when she diverted an attempt from Kiera Skelton round the post following good inter play between Keira and Grace Ede.
Cleveland were rewarded for their enterprise in the 13th minute when they forced Durham to make a mistake from a goal kick. Kellin Gurung quickly pounced to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Durham stepped up the pressure. Grace Ede won the ball 25m from the Cleveland goal. She weaved her way through the visitors’ defence but once more Ellie Stewart Titchiner came to the rescue.
Eventually Durham found a way past Ellie Stewart Titchiner when, in the 25th minute, a long-range strike from Ellie Wise nestled in the back of the net.
Shortly before the half time whistle a miscued shot from Ellie Wise found Sophie Greener whose follow-up attempt narrowly missed the target.
From the restart Durham pushed for an equaliser but Cleveland were resilient in defence and were dangerous when counter attacking.
Durham were level in the 50th minute. Grace Ede began the move which was continued by Katy Watson who fed Holly Middleton to apply the finishing touch.
Cleveland reacted quickly to the setback and regained the lead 3 minutes later when another excellent strike from Atalia Robinson gave Maisie McKinlay no chance of saving.
As both teams pressed for a goal it was Cleveland that were closer in the 30th minute when a speculative effort from distance hit the crossbar.
Durham had an opportunity to equalise with a minute remaining but Ellie Stewart Titchiner once more demonstrated her outstanding goalkeeping ability when she denied Lily West.
With the game in added time Cleveland must have thought they had done enough to earn a hard-fought victory, but Durham were not to be denied. Lily West saved Durham from defeat when she raced down the left to latch onto a through ball, calmly slid the ball past the advancing keeper and watched as the ball hit the post and eventually roll over the line.
Both teams deserve huge congratulations for the excellent football the provided the watching spectators.