England Under 15 Schoolgirls were beaten 4-1 by the Republic of Ireland in their second game of the Bob Docherty Cup in Newcastle. Niamh Boothroyd was on target for the home side, but it wasn’t enough to make it two wins from two. There will be a two-day break before the finals commence on Thursday.
Whilst Ireland dominated the possession in the early stages, it was England who had the first chance of the game. A clever ball from Emily Cassap found its way into Niamh Boothroyd, who’s left footed shot was saved by Clodagh Fitzgerald in the Ireland goal. Moments later, Fitzgerald would be called into action again. As a free kick was launched into the box, it looked to be falling into the path of Cassap, only for the Irish stopper to get there first.
With over 20 minutes of the half gone, England looked to be the side most likely to score, Boothroyd cleverly rounded Fitzgerald, only for her touch to be too heavy and the chance went begging. Despite England’s pressure, it was Ireland who struck first, just after half an hour into the game. A corner was floated into the centre of the box and Orlaith Doherty was on hand to bundle the ball home and give Ireland the lead.
England looked to hit back straight away as Taya Pomfret tested Fitzgerald from distance. The half time whistle sounded, and England could count themselves a little unlucky to go into the break behind. Despite dominating the possession for the early stages of the second half, England didn’t manage to create any clear openings, with the Irish defence proving tough to break down.
In similar fashion to the first goal, Ireland won themselves a corner against the run of play, this time Chloe Wallace was on hand to fire the ball home. England’s heads didn’t drop, and they continued to see most of the ball, but again Ireland refused to let them have any sight on goal. An error in the middle of the park saw Ireland’s captain Hannah Healy break forward, she found herself one on one with the goalkeeper and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
At three goals down England seemed to have a mountain to climb, however they did find a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining. The ball fell kindly to Boothroyd on the edge of the box, who without hesitation fired the ball past Fitzgerald into the back of the net.
However, before England had a chance to find another, Ireland restored their three-goal lead. A long ball forward caused problems in the defence and Doherty found herself through on goal, she was forced wide but managed to whip a cross into the box. The ball fell to Leah McGrath on the edge of the box and her left footed drive found the bottom corner to put the result beyond all doubt.
England again tried to break down the Ireland defence to no avail. Ireland comfortably saw out what was a convincing win over an England side who may be scratching their heads as to how they lost this one.
The side will now have a two day break before the finals commence on Thursday.
Photo credits: 353 Photography
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.