Although the result doesn’t make this one out to be a thriller, Newcastle and Durham competed in what was a very lively match that kept both sets of supporters entertained.
It was a chilly afternoon at an autumnal and picturesque Cochrane Park, with the ladies in blue striving for an important three points to kick off their campaign straight away. Newcastle’s intentions were clear right from the beginning as they gave Durham no time at all to settle into the match after the half an hour journey on the coach and, after only a couple of minutes, the blue-clad Newcastle players almost snatched an early lead.
Durham were penned-in in their own half of the pitch for the first ten minutes but managed eventually to scare Newcastle’s rear guard with a dangerous counter-attack, providentially saved by a spectacular slide tackle from captain Chloe Robinson.
“The teams spent the opening minutes of the second half sizing each other up, passing the ball around and tackling with no fear whatsoever”
Not long after though, the Geordie girls appeared to have broken the deadlock, with Justine Lee having the ball found the back of the net after bouncing off the crossbar. However, the rigorous referee spotted Newcastle’s striker in an uncertain offside position and therefore, the goal was not allowed to stand.
Minutes later, another controversial decision was made by the referee, as a Durham defender seemed to have fortuitously touched the ball with her hand whilst trying to block an insidious cross, the referee though let the play go on, leaving those on the sidelines fuming.
The home team created a few more chances, wasting a really good opportunity in the 35th minute as a bobble led to a mishit shot by Anna Jimenez De Veliana. It wasn’t long before the two sides had their share of rest and advise during the fifteen-minute break, after an intense first half, whilst the breeze died down before the game started again.
The high-tempo of the first forty-five minutes slowed down drastically as the subs on both sides balanced the match and the teams spent the opening minutes of the second half sizing each other up, passing the ball around and tackling with no fear whatsoever.
“Newcastle then suddenly came out of their shell and started threatening the visitors, trying to take advantage at corners and free kicks”
The moment that Newcastle fans were waiting for arrived in the seventy-fifth minute when the substitute Frankie Simon, performing some dizzy tricks, passed the ball through Justine Lee who ended up face to face with Durham goalkeeper Gabi Davis in a crowded situation, though, the ball was hit too well and too clean to beat the keeper.
The last tremor of the game came from Durham’s striker Emily Sherrock who smashed the ball over the crossbar. The referee then decided he’d had enough and blew his whistle to decree the end of the match, leaving the score goal-less and a point to share between the two teams.
A bit of a disappointing result for Newcastle Women’s that dominated Durham throughout the entire match; however, a similar performance can only guarantee a very exciting and absorbing campaign for NUWFC.