Categories: General
      Date: Feb 15, 2018
     Title: U16 girls v Derbyshire
Derbyshire U16 girls 5  Northumberland U16 girls 7

Derbyshire SFA U16 girls 5  Northumberland U16 girls 7

ESFA National Inter- County Trophy, Quarter Final 10th February 2018

Northumberland flew out of the blocks and tested Derby straight from the off. After 6 minutes Erin Nelson slid a through ball into Jayden Maxwell who beat the defender and finished in the bottom left corner. The next attack came from Northumberland who switched the ball well into Anna Soulsby who delivered a decent ball into the box but it was claimed comfortably by the Derby keeper. Soon after the Derby centre forward, who was very quick, pinched the ball from the defence but the defenders managed to do enough to stop her getting the shot away.

On 18minutes a long pass from Grace Ayre out to Anna Soulsby allowed her to drive forward with the ball and produce a strike too hot to handle for the Derby keeper and Jayden Maxwell was on hand to knock in her second. Only a minute later Derby were awarded a free kick a good 30 yards out. A long lofted speculative effort on goal ended up in the net with Ella Metcalf unable to save it above her head. The next 5 minutes saw Northumberland put pressure on the Derby defence with a shot from Erin Nelson being pushed wide by the Derby keeper. The resulting corner was headed over the bar by Anna Soulsby. Derby went up the pitch and when the ball broke another long speculative shot from Derby ended with the same outcome, so 2-2 after 25 minutes. It took just 5 minutes before another goal came and it was Derby who took the lead with the striker latching onto a through ball and slotting home after Northumberland stopped and claimed offside. Bex Henderson showed good work to win a free kick and it was Megan Farrell who took charge, her free kick from distance flew into the top corner to bring Northumberland back level at half time.

It was Farrell again early in the second half who saw her left footed effort make its way through a crowd of bodies and into the bottom left corner of the Derby goal to give Northumberland a 4-3 lead. Derby again responded almost instantly forcing a corner and substitute keeper Emily Aldroft couldn’t hang onto the ball and it was followed in on by the Derby forward to make it 4-4.  Both teams attacked each other end to end but it was Northumberland who took the lead on 61 when Emily Aldcroft played the ball to Erin Nelson wide on the left; Erin ran from her own half before cutting inside, she then drove straight through the heart of the Derby defence before rounding it off with a fantastic right footed effort in the bottom right hand corner 5-4.

 

Again Northumberland heaped on the pressure and following good work from Soulsby, Maxwell went close again, this time hitting the post. The competitive element of the game was clear to see and on Chloe Davies was received a yellow card for persistent fouling after being a thorn in the side of the Derby midfield from the outset. Her competitive edge wasn’t compromised and on 75 minute  she was substituted for Farrell following a clash of heads with a Derby player while defending the goal.

Mutrie, who had been involved immediately from being introduced, then extended the lead after a 1v1 against the Derby keeper but again Derby responded and another high long range high effort saw Aldcroft only able to watch it into the top corner. The game remained tight and tensions rose with Ayre being carded after reacting to the Derby centre forward’s unwanted attention.

With 3 minutes of injury time to play Northumberland only needed to keep possession but Soulsby thought otherwise and saw an opportunity to go for another goal. After good work down the right it was Maxwell who was on hand to put the game to bed and seal her hat-trick before the final whistle.

 

This was an enthralling game of football showing great skill and commitment.  Northumberland had overcome the ESFA reigning champions and now enter the semi-finals, where they will play either Staffordshire or Lancashire, for the first time in their history.