Categories: General
      Date: 10/02/19
     Title: U16 girls: Durham 7 Northumberland 2
Durham gain victory in difficult conditions

In extremely difficult conditions due to the gale force winds caused by Storm Erik Durham gained the victory they required to strengthen their chance of qualifying for the Northern Counties semi-finals.

Prior to today’s game, following the withdrawal of Cumbria; Cleveland, Durham and Northumberland all had 3 points, a goal difference of +3 and 5 goals scored. South Yorkshire hard completed their programme and had suffered three defeats.

Although Durham had the wind at their backs to enable them to dominate territory and possession, they failed to capitalise upon this advantage in the opening 10 minutes.

Durham then took command of the game with 3 goals in an 8-minute spell. First, in the 13th minute, Tia McKitterick won the ball just outside the penalty area, turned and her shot beat the Northumberland keeper who was unsighted. Six minutes later Grace Boyes received a short corner. Her cross was cleared as far as Mia Ross 20m form goal whose shot was deflected to make it 2-0. This goalscoring spell ended with a splendid 35m strike from Tia McKitterick, following good work down the Durham left flank, that left the visitors’ keeper stranded.

With 7 minutes of the half remaining Durham increased their lead. Northumberland cleared a corner. However, the ball landed at the feet of Courtney Mole, on the edge of the penalty area, who hit a shot over the keeper.

Two minutes after the interval Charlotte Hall made an excellent run down the left. Just as Charlotte was about to strike a Northumberland defender made a super challenge to clear the danger.

Northumberland began to dominate proceedings. A well-placed pass down the right created space for the visitors to put in a pin point cross. Unfortunately for Northumberland the forward running in at the far post squandered the chance by firing over the bar.

Northumberland were rewarded in the 49th minute when they were awarded a penalty. The first attempt was well saved by Kayleigh Dunn diving to her right, but she was unable to prevent the visitors from scoring at the second attempt.

By the 53rd minute Northumberland had cut further into Durham’s lead. The home defence failed to deal with a long ball. This allowed the Northumberland forward to run onto the loose ball and strike expertly from the edge of the penalty area.

Five minutes later Durham regained the initiative. Quick, one touch passing between Jasmine McQuade and Mia Ross created an opening for Tia McKitterick. Her powerful shot was parried by the Northumberland keeper but still had enough energy to enter the goal for Tia’s hat trick.

Tia McKitterick was once again in the thick of the action when her centre was knocked towards goal by a Northumberland defender. Fortunately, the visitors managed to scramble the ball away before it crossed the goal line.

Even though they were playing against the wind Durham continued to press and were rewarded when Tia McKitterick scored her fourth goal in the 63rd minute.

Charlotte Hall added a seventh in the 68th minute when she capitalised upon a loose ball following good play between Tia McKitterick and Mia Ross.

With one game to play, against Cleveland, Durham have put themselves in a good position to gain a place in the Northern Counties semi-finals.