Northumberland U16 made the short trip to the Graham Sports Centre to take on Durham in a match that would decide the winner of the East section of the Northern Counties group.
The visitors started on the offensive as Corey Graham (Berwick) dribbled his way into the penalty area only to shoot straight at Durham goalkeeper Michael Armstrong.
Northumberland came close again after a great run and cross from Danny Barlow (Whitley Bay) found Ben Sampson (KEVI) in the box but he could not get enough on the ball. Northumberland created the best chance when Lewis O’Brian (St Cuthbert’s) fed Liam Bell (Blyth) who skipped past the Durham defence with great pace and squared the ball to Corey Graham who sliced the ball wide.
And then Bell laid the ball off to Sampson whose powerful drive flew wide of Armstrong’s post.
Northumberland finally made their pressure count and once again it was Bell who was the creator. Good play between Sampson and Corey Graham, played in Bell, who was brought down by the Durham defender. Bell stepped up to dispatch the penalty.
Karl Ross (Cramlington) then had a powerful attempt saved.
Northumberland paid the price for their sloppy finishing minutes before half time, when Durham danger man Maddock was given time and space to turn in the box. He was brought down, and then fired home the penalty.
Durham were restricted to the odd counter-attack. Maddock’s powerful shot was saved brilliantly by Northumberland goalkeeper Sean Gordge (Burnside). Halfway through the second half Northumberland edged ahead, with a good ball out of defence by James McAuley (Seaton Burn) towards Ryan Rutter (Berwick). The ball ran loose on the edge of the box to Bell who brilliantly curved the ball into the bottom corner.
The result means that Northumberland top the Northern Counties East Division and have a home Semi-Final to look forward to against the runners-up of the West division.