Late minute Milner goal gives women’s football the points

York’s women’s footballers secured another win, this time overcoming Northumbria University by two goals to one

Image: Peter Iveson

Image: Peter Iveson

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 2

NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY SECONDS 1

A last minute Sarah Milner goal gave York a deserved 2-1 win over Northumbria seconds. It was a game that York had dominated throughout, but for a lack of clinical finishing they might have had four or five.

It had been the perfect start for The White Rose when, in the first minute, the impressive Gabby Stewart worked well down the left flank before swinging in a low cross for Ruth Welford to convert from close range.

With such an early York goal a repeat of their recent 6-0 Varsity score line looked on the cards, but Northumbria responded almost immediately; a ball over the top of the York defence put their striker through on goal and with no mistake being made about the finish, the scores were once again equal.

As the first half wore on chances became harder to come by for both teams as York often resorted to hitting hopeful balls up for their strikers to chase. Perhaps the best chance came when York used their pacy wingers; just before the interval Stewart switched to the right wing; outpacing the full back and putting in a fierce cross towards Rose Hooks who headed wide. By half time York had been the generally better team, but their inability to put away chances had kept Northumbria very much in the game.

Images: Peter Iveson

York upped their game after the break; buoyed by the introduction of the classy Sarah Milner who had started on the bench due to injury. Milner made an immediate impact as she linked up with Bea Rye before shooting marginally wide from twenty yards. Meanwhile Katy Ballantyne, winner of York’s Varsity player of the year last weekend, began to boss the central midfield; creating chances with a series of perfectly weighted through balls.

Despite their dominance the home side still lacked a goal and it was starting to look as if they might be a held to a frustrating draw. But then with just a minute left on the clock Milner picked up the ball on the right, battling towards the penalty area before unleashing a brilliant shot into the top corner.

York might be disappointed with only scoring two, but they can be very happy with a performance which saw an excellent midfield who dictated the play throughout. Coach Carl Smith admitted “we definitely need to work on the finishing” but added that “we played really well otherwise”.

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