ESFA Internationals, featured

Bob Docherty Cup match report: England v Wales

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

ESFA Internationals, featured, Match Reports

Bob Docherty Cup match report: England v Republic of Ireland

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