A new season, a new coach and a new team. The odds were stacked against Newcastle who were dismantled by a dangerous Durham side.
Bringing more spice to the occasion was the fact that Newcastle’s long-term, ex-coach is now in charge of our bitter rivals. The game started messily with real end-to-end stuff in the first few minutes. Durham were the first to score with two goals in quick succession. However Newcastle, now led by player-coach Sara Nolan, were quick to pull one back through a well-worked goal. Yet Durham began to strangle control of the game, keeping hold of possession and forcing an energetic Newcastle side on the counter.
"BY THEN IT WAS TOO LATE AND THE DAMAGE HAD ALREADY BEEN DONE"
While they were swift in threatening Durham’s goalie when given the chance, the sturdy Durham defence were equally as quick in taking back possession. For most of the match onwards, Durham remained on top, reaching double figures towards the end of the match. Newcastle did again start to threaten again in the final quarter, but by then it was too late and the damage had already been done.
Nevertheless, it is not to say that Newcastle were playing badly, with club captain Rosie Whitbread stating that ‘We played well considering we didn’t have a preseason’, adding that this was a ‘brand new team’. Whitbread also asserted that despite the score line, that they were a ‘strong defensive unit’.
"brand new team"
Taking into account the circumstances, Newcastle played well with plenty of energy and fighting spirit. Number 7, Anna Robinson was noted in particular as playing well and was chosen as their player of the match. Rather it was that Durham were simply better and more prepared on the day.