Alnwick Ladies I 3 Durham City Ladies I 1
Alnwick moved up to second in their league on Saturday with a hard-fought win over Durham City.
The match was a fast-paced affair from the first whistle with both teams making some excellent runs and attacks on goal.
Durham gained a breakthrough with a penalty corner awarded after 10 minutes which they executed clinically with an unstoppable shot fired into the Alnwick goal.
Alnwick then had to soak up a period of significant pressure as the Durham ladies sought to find further opportunities.
The Alnwick defence were resilient and some excellent tackling from the back three of Payne, Richardson and Taylor began to frustrate their opponents.
Alnwick went into the half-time break a goal down and with some tactical rethinking needed.
A rousing team talk from manager Lincoln spurred on the ladies in red and following a formation change, they returned to the pitch with renewed determination.
Their changes brought swift reward after a driving attack from Cook through the midfield saw Alnwick awarded a penalty corner within a few minutes of the restart.
Cook duly dispatched a bullet of a ball towards the goal and there was no stopping it as it crossed the line and levelled the game at 1-1.
Buoyed by this success, Alnwick started playing a more positive game with excellent linking play between the midfield of Oates and Reed on the right creating an excellent chance for Britton on goal and she was only denied by an excellent save from the keeper.
The sideline support spurred Alnwick to continue their driving play and soon Horn was pushing up the left wing and feeding Murray a neat pass which she then sent across into the goal area.
Byers made a strong shot towards goal and Britton was there to add a neat deflection onto its path and send it behind the keeper to give Alnwick the lead.
Durham were far from beaten and they continued to play some strong and purposeful hockey with successful drives towards the Alnwick goal.
Their forwards pressed on and Alnwick were only kept in the lead thanks to a series of sublime saves by keeper Taylor, who was celebrating her birthday.
A strong clearance from Payne found Byers in midfield with space and she drove the ball forward towards Cook who sent a timely pass out to Young who was now on the wing.
Young drove into the goal area and with a calm confidence struck a perfectly-judged ball to move Alnwick into a two-goal lead.
Team: Linzi Taylor, N Richardson (c), A Payne, Leanne Taylor, S Horn, A Cook, J Oates, C Britton, R Murray, E Young, C Reed, H Byers. Player-of-the-match: Linzi Taylor.