Northumberland girls beat Durham in five-goal thriller

Northumberland U16 girls.
Northumberland U16 girls.

Two goals from Burnside’s Katie Barker helped Northumberland U16 girls edge a hard fought game 3-2 against Durham.

The opening goal came in the sixth minute when a cross from Lauren Robson (St Benet Biscop’s) was fumbled by the Durham goalkeeper allowing Katie Barker (Burnside) to pounce and finish.

The goal settled any Northumberland nerves and Bethany Guy (Bede) and Courtney Stewart (Ashington) started to gain more possession and influence the game.

Durham were lively on the counter attack and tried to test Northumberland goalkeeper Chloe Sharp (Longbenton) from distance.

The home team gained momentum and Lauren Robson, Katie Barker and Shelly Brogden (John Spence) went close.

The next goal was crucial and Northumberland got it through a perfectly weighted pass from midfield dynamo Guy over the Durham defence and into the path of Barker, who was too quick for the on-rushing goalkeeper and ran in her second goal.

Just before half-time, Durham got their reward with an unstoppable strike from 30 yards by Abbie Watson.

After the break, Northumberland made their first change, Alex Robertson (Ashington) replacing Olivia Carter (George Stephenson).

Their width and pace were caused Durham problems and a breakthrough looked imminent with Barker and Robertson going close.

The goal duly arrived and it was no surprise when Shelly Brogden gave the crowd a treat with one of her trademark strikes from the edge of the box into the top left hand corner.

At this point, Northumberland were pressing for a fourth as Robertson and Robson were growing into the game.

However, Durham never gave up and Northumberland had to defend solidly, but they were caught out with a well taken goal by Emily Hutchinson.

Durham threw everything at Northumberland and it took a last ditch tackle from Ellen Packham (QEHS Hexham) to prevent a late equaliser.

At the final whistle, Northumberland deservedly took the honours after a hard fought and entertaining encounter.