Durham University 1 Alnwick Ladies I 0
Alnwick slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat against unbeaten league leaders Durham University.
The University girls applied early pressure, but Alnwick held firm and strong saves from keeper Taylor combined with a line clearance by Payne kept the scores level.
Alnwick began to build some attacking momentum of their own and the University keeper was forced to make a couple of good saves.
Despite their younger legs, the Uni girls struggled to out-pace the Alnwick players and excellent retreating defence from Taylor, Richardson and Oates ensured much of the threat was dissipated before the chance for shots on goal arrived.
After the half-time whistle, Alnwick picked the pace up and enjoyed a greater level of possession and quality of play.
Cook drove through the central-midfield area before weighting a neat pass through to Murray on the left wing. Her cross into the goal area found Reed whose determined play won Alnwick their first penalty-corner of the game.
A screamer of a shot from Cook only narrowly missed the post and it was a lucky escape for the students.
Play continued in a relentless end-to-end series of plays for much of the second half with both teams enjoying some breaking runs and penalty-corner opportunities.
It was Durham who were able to capitalise on their opportunity with an unstoppable short-corner move, putting the ball in the back of the Alnwick net.
Alnwick pressed forward and were camped in the Durham half for most of the final minutes of play.
Despite strong tackles from Horn and Oates to keep the ball in the attacking zone for Alnwick, no way could be found across the goal-line before the final whistle.
It was a disappointing result as it did not reflect the balance of play. But it leaves Alnwick optimistic for the return fixture and secure in the knowledge that they have the skills and pace to match the league leaders, even if the outcome wasn’t in their favour on this occasion
Alnwick: Linzi Taylor, N Richardson (c), A Payne, Leanne Taylor, S Horn, A Cook, J Oates, A Blackett, R Murray, R Allen, G Pettifer, C Reed. Player-of-the-match: Ruth Allen.
On November 29, Alnwick are holding a bingo night at the football club to raise funds for the club. It starts at 7pm with a selection of prizes. Everyone welcome.