England Under 15 Schoolgirls fell to a 2-1 defeat against Wales at Cochrane Park in Newcastle. Ella Baker equalised for England; however, the Welsh side found another gear to win the final game of the tournament for the two sides.
Both teams started the game well, with the goalkeepers at both ends having to make saves within the first five minutes. However, it was Wales who managed to make the pressure pay, as Casi Gregson latched onto a loose pass out of the area, she instinctively fired a right footed effort into the bottom corner to give her side the lead.
England pushed for an equaliser and forced Sophia Kelly into action again, as she intercepted a pass which would’ve put Emily Cassap through on goal. The hosts wouldn’t have to wait much longer to find their equaliser as the ball broke down the right-hand side. Baker outmuscled the defender before keeping her cool to fire the ball into the bottom corner.
Wales nearly restored their lead after 25 minutes; following an England corner, Wales broke on the counterattack, the ball found its way to Charlotte Salisbury-Williams whose shot was well saved by Ashleigh Risdel-Harrison. The scores would remain level until the break, with the Welsh side coming closest to taking the lead.
Five minutes into the second period, Wales found their second. As Salisbury-Williams broke down the left-hand side was seemingly blocked by Holly Tickle, however she misjudged the bounce of the ball, and it found its way into the back of the net. Salisbury-Williams was in the thick of the action again, as the ball fell to her midway inside the England half, she attempted to lob Risdel-Harrison, however her effort went just over the bar.
Wales continued to control the game, frustrating England who didn’t manage to create any clear-cut chances. With two minutes of injury time played, Cassap tried her luck from range, only to see her deflected effort fizz past the wrong side of the post. The resulting corner was dealt with by Wales, who managed to hold on to their one goal advantage.
England could count themselves unlucky to have not got something out of the game, with only an own goal the difference in their final game of the competition.
Photo credits: 353 Photography
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.