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ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 2012

The twenty first ESFA / Durham CSFA Festival was attended by 2 residential teams: Allerdale and Luton.

Four local, non-residential teams were also in attendance: Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Derwentside and South Northumberland.

Grey College at Durham University was used as the residential base with matches being played, as usual, at the University's Graham Sports Centre.

DAY 1: Monday 2 April

After the unseasonally high temperatures of the previous week much cooler conditions greeted the teams for this season's Festival. Due to the recent lack of rainfall the pitches were exceptionally dry and hard.

In the three matches played there were plenty of goals unfortunately the scores were extremely one sided.

South Northumberland were quickly on the goal trail in their match against Derwentside and kept scoring at regular intervals. Derwentside. although heavily beaten, can be highly praised for the excellent spirit shown right until the final whistle.

Bishop Auckland were physically too strong for Allerdale and this was reflected in the final score. Allerdale can be highly commended for the way they kept battling away.

Luton found Darlington in good form. The Quakers established a good half time lead and continued to score freely in the second half. Luton, like the other beaten sides, can be highly praised for never giving up.

  • ◊ Allerdale 0 Bishop Auckland 7
  • ◊ Luton 0 Darlington 8
  • ◊ South Northumberland 9 Derwentside 0

On the Monday evening an Opening Ceremony was held where staff, players and other officials were welcomed by Geoff Wainwright (Festival Secretary), John Irvine (Vice-chairman of DCSFA) and Alan Johnston (ESFA North Representative).

After the Opening Ceremony there was a Sports Forum hosted by Alan Johnston. The guest speaker was Steve Harper of Newcastle Utd FC. Steve is a former Durham County Schools goalkeeper. He played 3 games for the County U19 team in season 1992-93. Accompanying Steve in the question and answer session was Osher Williams of the PFA.

DAY 2: Tuesday 3 April

Before their matches Allerdale and Luton were shown a DVD, which was presented by Phil Baylis from the PFA. The topic of the presentation was “Drugs Awareness”.

Luton and Derwentside, heavy losers on Day 1, were paired together and a more evenly contested game occurred. Derwentside had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead after 10 minutes. For the next 15 minutes there was little between the teams until Derwentside increased their lead. A corner, from the left, was expertly volleyed into the net. Shortly before half time Luton pulled a goal back when a shot was deflected passed the stranded Derwentside keeper. In the second half Luton were very determined to equalise but Derwentside defended stoutly. The game was sealed in the final minute when Derwentside scored a third goal.

The high scorers of yesterday, South Northumberland and Bishop Auckland, were involved in another game where goals were plentiful. The scoring began in the 10th minute when South Northumberland were awarded a penalty which was converted. The lead was short lived as Bishop Auckland were on level terms 2 minutes later. An excellent headed goal, from a left wing corner, restored South Northumberland’s lead after 14 minutes. Another good headed goal increased the lead for South Northumberland in the 25th minute. Ten minutes after the interval South Northumberland added a fourth. Bishop Auckland pulled a goal back 5 minutes later. A splendid save by the Bishop Auckland goalkeeper, diving to his left, prevented a fifth goal. Eventually, South Northumberland made it five in the 64th minute when a long range shot just evaded the keeper’s outstretched hand. With a minute remaining a good passing move ended with Bishop Auckland scoring. In injury time Bishop Auckland almost added a fourth but the shot missed the target by centimetres.

Allerdale, after suffering a heavy defeat, were much better today as they held high scoring Darlington to a goalless draw. The Cumbrian association had a good second half opportunity but the ball hit the crossbar.

  • ◊ Allerdale 0 Darlington 0
  • ◊ Luton 1 Derwentside 3
  • ◊ Bishop Auckland 3 South Northumberland 5

Although rain fell steadily throughout the morning matches the weather conditions, for the afternoon coaching sessions, deteriorated as the wind picked up and snow began to fall. Soon after the first session began the snow fell more heavily and made conditions difficult so it was decided to abandon the coaching activities. Both Allerdale and Luton were due to receive 60 minutes coaching from Craig Liddle (PFA Coach).

After the evening meal Allerdale and Luton set off for Washington Bowl for a session of ten pin bowling.

DAY 3: Wednesday 4 April

The continuous rain and snow that began on the morning of Day 2 had stopped overnight and gave way to brighter but showery conditions but the strong northerly wind was bitingly cold.

Bishop Auckland v Luton

From the initial attack in the opening minute Bishop Auckland saw a header, from a right wing cross; go narrowly wide of the Luton goal. The pressure Bishop Auckland were putting on the Luton defence paid dividends in the 5th minute. After a series of passes down the left flank the ball was pulled back from the goal line for a Bishop Auckland forward to run onto and poke into the net at the near post.

Luton almost equalised two minutes later but one of their forwards had strayed offside at an inopportune moment. This encouraged Luton as they enjoyed a good spell of possession to create some attacking moves but they were unable to find a way through a resolute Bishop Auckland defence.

Bishop Auckland, within a 3 minute spell, had two good chances to increase their lead. The first was created after good play down the right but the final ball, to an unmarked forward in the danger area, was too strong. The second chance was shot straight at the Luton goalkeeper who made a good save.

With half time approaching Bishop Auckland quickly took a short corner. The ball was then crossed into the goal area and partially cleared. The shot on goal was splendidly tipped over the bar. The follow up corner was ideally placed into the danger area but Bishop Auckland hit the ball over the bar from about 5m.

Bishop Auckland were quickly on the offensive at the start of the second half forcing Luton to defend three corners in quick succession.

A swift break from defence by Bishop Auckland ended when they scored their second goal after the initial shot had been blocked but not cleared.

Luton then suffered from poor defending thus allowing Bishop Auckland to score four goals in five minutes midway through the second half.

Bishop Auckland completed their scoring spree in the final minute when they converted a penalty, after the Luton goalkeeper had bundled over a Bishop Auckland forward when attempting to make a save.

Allerdale v South Northumberland

South Northumberland were soon into attacking mode wanting to maintain their goal scoring form. They were continually putting pressure on the Allerdale defence but the Cumbrians were defending stoutly.

It was not until the 21st minute that the Allerdale defence was breached when South Northumberland scored from a long range shot.

Four minutes before half time South Northumberland doubled their lead. Another shot from distance was parried by the Allerdale keeper, diving to his right. The ball fell kindly for South Northumberland to score.

Just before the interval the Allerdale goalkeeper was again called into action when he splendidly tipped the ball over the bar.

No sooner had the second half commenced when an attempted clearance by Allerdale was sliced just wide of the goal.

Allerdale managed to repel South Northumberland’s attacks until the 57th minute. A mix up between Allerdale’s goalkeeper and defender gave South Northumberland a chance on goal. The keeper recovered quickly to make a good save only to see the loose ball roll to a South Northumberland forward to easily score.

Just before the final whistle South Northumberland added a fourth.

  • ◊ Allerdale 0 South Northumberland 4
  • ◊ Luton 0 Bishop Auckland 7

After lunch Allerdale set off for the MetroCentre and some retail therapy whilst Luton remained in Durham to see the delights of the city then enjoy themselves in Freeman's Quay swimming pool.

On the evening the residential teams participated in a 7-a-side tournament, which was played, under lights, on an all-weather pitch at Maiden Castle. Each association team divided their squad into two teams (A and B). The four teams played each other using a mini-league format.

7-a-side Results

  • ◊ Allerdale A 0 Luton A 1
  • ◊ Allerdale B 4 Luton B 0
  • ◊ Allerdale A 1 Allerdale B 1
  • ◊ Luton A 1 Luton B 1
  • ◊ Allerdale A 0 Luton B 1
  • ◊ Luton A 1 Allerdale B 2

7-a-side Placings

  • ◊ Allerdale B 7 pts
  • ◊ Luton A 4 pts (GD 0)
  • ◊ Luton B 4 pts (GD -3)
  • ◊ Allerdale A 1 pt

DAY 4: Thursday 5 April

Such are the vagaries of the British weather that the final day of the Festival was played in super conditions. Today warm spring sunshine shone from clear blue skies, temperatures were several degrees higher than yesterday and only a gentle breeze blew.

Luton v South Northumberland

South Northumberland gave Luton no time to settle and had the ball in the net after 2 minutes but was disallowed for offside.

South Northumberland did not have long to wait for their first goal. This came 2 minutes later. A good run down the right wing was followed by an accurate cross into the danger area. Standing, unmarked, a South Northumberland forward powerfully headed the ball home.

A second South Northumberland goal quickly followed. A cross from the left was played back to a South Northumberland player running towards goal. His well struck shot barely left the ground as it travelled into the net.

By the 10th minute South Northumberland were 3-0 up. Luton were unable to clear the ball from their penalty area and presented South Northumberland with a simple chance to score.

Eventually Luton managed to get into their opponents penalty area. They were awarded a free kick, which was delivered perfectly but the chance was wasted as the header went wide of the target.

Either side of the interval South Northumberland added goals four and five.

For the majority of the second period South Northumberland were encamped in the Luton half but the Bedfordshire association battled away and managed, for 26 minutes, to prevent further goals being scored.

The Luton resistance was eventually broken in the final minute when a long throw by South Northumberland was not cleared and hammered into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

With this victory South Northumberland finished the 2012 Festival unbeaten.

Allerdale v Derwentside

After first day these associations can be pleased with the way they responded to their opening match heavy defeats.

Allerdale were the first team on the score sheet in the 6th minute. A speculative shot from 30m was badly judged by the Derwentside goalkeeper, who thought the ball was going wide but ended in the net.

Derwentside got themselves back into the game when they equalised in the 12th minute.

Scores were level only for a short time. Allerdale, through good work, got the ball into the box. The move was completed when the ball was carefully slotted into the net.

In the 20th minute Allerdale had an excellent opportunity to make it 3-1 but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, put the ball was placed wide of the target.

Derwentside were back on level terms 10 minutes before the interval after they had been awarded a penalty for a trip. The penalty was placed wide of the keeper diving to his left.

Due to good play down the left wing and a good cross to follow Derwentside gave themselves an ideal opportunity to take the lead in the 46th minute. Unfortunately the chance was wasted because of a poor effort on goal.

Derwentside took the lead in the 49th minute when a good strike from 20m beat the keeper diving to his right.

Allerdale pushed for an equaliser and were nearly rewarded in the 53rd minute. From a right wing corner a Derwentside defender tried to head the ball clear but was only able to help it on. An alert Allerdale player quickly reacted only to see his goal bound header cleared off the line.

Allerdale’s perseverance was rewarded 3 minutes later after they had been awarded a penalty for hand ball. The kick was well struck and cannoned down off the cross bar. The Derwentside keeper managed to partially palm the ball away after it had bounced off the ground. Before the keeper could react the penalty taker was able to bundle the ball over the goal line.

For the remainder of the game both sides pushed for a winner but both defences held firm.

  • ◊ Allerdale 3 Derwentside 3
  • ◊ Luton 0 South Northumberland 6

During the Festival teams were awarded marks, by the referees, to determine which association was presented with the Fair Play Award. The winner of the 2012 Festival Fair Play Award, for the sixth time, was Allerdale SFA and were presented with a Prostar football kit.

Each association was given a football provided by Prostar. All the boys who played in the Festival received a certificate and a Festival tee-shirt.

It was very pleasing to notice how well friendships developed, throughout the Festival, between Allerdale and Luton. At lunch on the final day, without any prompting from staff, the boys intermingled and swapped mobile numbers before departure.

DCSFA would like to thank a number of people and organisations for their help in making the 2012 Festival another success:

  • ◊ the staff of Grey College, Durham University
  • ◊ the staff of Graham Sports Centre, Durham University
  • ◊ the referees (M Henderson, A Kitchen, A Oliver, Miss L Robinson, J Shippen and A Tones)
  • ◊ Phil Baylis, Craig Liddle and Osher Williams of the PFA
  • ◊ Steve Harper, Newcastle Utd FC and former Durham County Schools' goalkeeper
  • ◊ The Professional Footballers' Association
  • ◊ Star Sportswear Ltd (Prostar)
  • ◊ University of Durham
  • ◊ Framwellgate School