A determined and dogged performance by Newcastle Women’s 1st team was not enough to overcome Northumbria’s 2nds, as they went down to a 2-0 defeat at Cochrane Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The game was set up in perfect conditions with a cold crisp breeze descending on the pitch as Northumbria started the game the better of the two sides, cleverly beating the defence twice. Despite this, they just couldn’t beat the Newcastle goalkeeper.
Later, Newcastle tried to break the pressure but struggled to make an impact early on as their striker became very isolated in the oppositions half, making chances difficult to create.
At the back, the defence was working hard and sent in several strong, crunching tackles that really fired up the intensity of the game. The captain Zoe Rutter in particular was consistently putting in inch perfect tackles that kept her side level throughout the Northumbrian onslaught.
Newcastle’s keeper was outstanding throughout the first half, preventing the opening goal from a swift down the left wing resulting in a low shot which was parried away smartly for a corner.
The Northumbria winger then curled the ball towards the top right hand corner and once again Newcastle’s number one was there to stop it.
Pressure kept building and it was soon too much for Newcastle. After conceding a free-kick around 20-yards away from goal, Northumbria’s set piece taker took aim. It was a rocket of a shot from the dead ball situation and it sailed into the top left hand corner, beating Newcastle’s helpless ‘keeper who couldn’t have done anything about the stunning direct free-kick.
After the break, Newcastle continued to be pressured by the opposition with several chances being missed in quick succession by the away side as corners were swung in. Luckily for the home team the Northumbria strikers were unable to put their headers on target.
Newcastle’s keeper was continuing to have a great afternoon, coming out quickly and bravely to slide in, taking the ball from the opposing striker. This stand out performance appeared to give Newcastle a lot of confidence as they began to mount some pressure on Northumbria.
In the tricky wind, several shots from distance were troubling the Northumbria keeper who fumbled the ball a few times when under pressure.
The growing confidence was also shown in the defence, especially when Rutter made another superb challenge to deny a certain second goal.
Northumbria tried for a second and came close but again saw a late effort pushed away by the impressive Newcastle ‘keeper. The Poly 2nds then saw another effort tipped away by the keeper and from there a second goal looked inevitable.
The goal finally came when a swift move down the left wing broke through the defence of Newcastle. The ball was played across the box where an easy tap-in was available for.
The result in the end did not justify the hard work of the Newcastle side but the 1sts will look to get back on track against Durham 2nds next week.