WHITLEY Bay Women FC struggled to their third consecutive final with a card fought win against Newcastle University.
At a blustery Hillheads, the Uni side elected to kick with the wind and signalled their intent in just three minutes when the dangerous Lizzie Campbell hit a rising shot that grazed the top of the crossbar.
Whitley settled and gradually started to show their class against their lower league opponents, with Rachel Kay hitting the post after a good run.
The Uni were working hard to close Whitley down and playing quickly on the break to their lively forwards.
Whitley had the majority of possession but either their final pass went astray or when they did manage a shot the Uni keeper was equal to the task.
In the second half, Whitley virtually camped in the Uni half but were unable to make the breakthrough and nearly fell to the quick break by Campbell who shot wide and high on a couple of occasions.
The score remained at 0-0 on 90 minutes and the match went into extra time.
Whitley were against the wind in the first period but still applied all the pressure, winning a series of corners.
On 103 minutes, a Donna Brown corner was headed down and into the corner of the net by Janine Fagan to give the Bay the advantage.
The second period of extra time was all Whitley, with the Uni unable to get out of their own half and the game ended with a narrow 1-0 win to Whitley Bay
Stand-in manager Kirsty Hunter was relieved to see Whitley progress.
She said: “Newcastle University made us work very hard for the win in a game made very scrappy by the strong wind, neither side was able to get into a rhythm but great credit goes to the University for running us so close.”
Whitley Bay will play the winners of the other semi-final Newcastle United Reserves or Cramlington.