Frustration was the word of the day for UYHC Women’s firsts as they struggled to put away their chances against a stubborn Durham defence and an inspired goalkeeper.
A fast start was always likely, as both teams looked to assert themselves on the game. It was Durham who acquitted themselves the fastest, pushing York further towards their own goal and penning them in for the first ten minutes of the match, manifesting itself in a breakthrough. A Durham forward ran through three of the York defenders and, under heavy pressure, swept an accurate shot across Liz Furber in the York goal.
The goal spurred York in to life and soon the Black and Gold were back on terms through a moment of quick thinking from Polly Sedgewick. With her back to goal, and holding off a strong challenge from the impressive Durham goalkeeper, Sedgewick glanced behind herself and, noticing the goalkeeper’s stance, poked the ball between the ‘keepers legs and into a vacant goal to restore parity within two minutes of going behind.
Upon equalling the scores, York went about examining the Durham defence’s concentration – Katie Penrose’s deflected shot from a penalty corner nearly catching the Durham ‘keeper off guard.
However, despite penning Durham in their own half for extended periods, it was nearly York who went behind for a second time. Durham worked a penalty corner well and a fierce shot could only be slowed down by Liz Furber, and York scrambled to clear off the line from the ensuing melee.
York ended the first half on top. Helena Page forced a good save from the Durham ‘keeper and caused a scramble which Durham eventually cleared, as well as Sedgewick having a chance to double her personal tally only to see her shot trickle harmlessly wide.
No sooner had the second half start was it halted again. York’s first attacked saw an attempted pass deflected into the face for a Durham defender who had to be substituted.
The rest of the second half fell into a similar rhythm as the first half – York applying pressure and Durham looking dangerous on the break.
However, neither team could take a chance to break the deadlock, frustrated both sides typified when Laura Atkinson received a warning from umpire Dave Washington from an over-aggressive tackle.
It was Atkinson who had arguably the best chance to seal a win for York, but – as seemed to be the theme – her well struck effort was saved by the Durham goalkeeper.
The inclement weather had it part in the match, making the ball race away much quicker than usual and taking long balls out of the question for the most part. It was therefore no surprise that York, who looked the more technically adept, carved out the best of the chances throughout the match – only adding to the disappointment with the result.
Captain Katie Penrose spoke to Nouse after the match and painted a frustrated figure. “It was a good game, but obviously the result is frustrating. We had a lot of chances and we weren’t lucky with them, and they had a great goalkeeper. We’re playing their threes soon so hopefully we can get some revenge then.”
York Squad: Furber (GK), Young, Hutchinson, Atkinson, Bird, Woodruff, O’Brien, Mark, Page, Warmington, Clark, Cordingley, Sedgewick
Player of the Match: Amy Woodruff