The England U15 Schoolgirls kicked off their Bob Docherty Tournament campaign with a convincing 5-0 win over Northern Ireland at Parklea playing fields in Glasgow.
An excellent display on a perfect day for football saw plenty of energy, movement and crisp passing football put the Northern Irish Schoolgirls under pressure, although the opening goal took a while to arrive.
In fact it was the Northern Irish team who seemed to settle their early tournament nerves first, starting the game the stronger side and testing the English defence who managed to stand strong and deny any clear sights of goal in the opening stages. Once England settled, it was constant pressure on the opposition defence with Eva Bewicke and Jessica Anderson linking up well on the right hand side, creating opportunities to put the ball into the danger areas.
There was also a threat on the left hand side for England as Ebony Foley skipped past the Northern Irish defence and pulled the ball back across goal, only for a defender to clear off the toe of Abi Conway. Conway’s energy was proving a constant nuisance to the Northern Irish defence and this hard work led to the first goal of the game. Anderson’s great work down the right saw her pick out the Hertfordshire striker in the box to roll the ball into the far corner for a 1-0 lead.
The lead was doubled shortly after when Aoife Colbert Martin’s shot from the angle squeezed in at the front post.
It was three almost immediately after when Chloe Giddings, having already been denied a goal after a weaving run into the penalty area ended with a last ditch block, took aim from distance and saw her shot beat the Northern Irish keeper for a comfortable half time lead.
The second half was a similar pattern to the first with the England U15 Schoolgirls on the front foot almost from the off with a number of substitutions not disrupting their dominance. Indeed, what the Northern Irish defence didn’t need was the introduction of Phoebe Cowley, who harassed and chased every ball and was only denied a goal by the woodwork and some excellent goalkeeping from the opposition goalkeeper. However, Cowley eventually got her goal after a picture perfect move from back to front ended with a slide rule pass from Olivia Glasson into the path of the striker who fired home to make it 4-0.
The final goal came with almost the last kick of the game as a cross from the left was turned home from close range by Conway for her second goal of the game and England’s fifth.
As the final whistle blew the England girls had given themselves the perfect start and a great platform from which to build from with some excellent performances all over the pitch.
The other fixture saw Scotland and the Republic of Ireland draw 1-1 with Scotland picking up the bonus point from a penalty shoot-out decider which sets up an intriguing clash with Republic of Ireland for England on Tuesday at Renfrew.
Photo Credit: 353 Photography
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.