U16 FAPL Trophy: Notts 0-2 Durham
Wednesday 28 March 2007By ESFA Office
U16 FA Premier League Trophy
There was semi-final heartache for the Nottinghamshire Schools? Under 16 squad when goals in the last minute of each half saw them lose 2-0 to Durham in the Semi-Final of the English Schools? FA U16 Inter County Trophy, sponsored by the FA Premier League, on Saturday 24 March.
The game was played at the Bilborough Pelican ground in Lenton Lane, the first time that Notts have used that facility and on an excellent pitch, Durham started the game with a rush, missing a fine opportunity in the first minute when Josh Gray got clear of the Notts defence, rounded keeper James Belshaw but then shot into the side netting.
For the first ten minutes, Notts hardly emerged from their own half and it took last minute clearances from Dino Melia and Adam Jackson to prevent them falling further behind. It was 16 minutes before Notts had their first chance when following a good cross by Lee Sainthouse, the Durham keeper Lewis Graham at first failed to catch the ball but recovered to make a good save at the feet of Jamie Brown.
As Greg O?Driscoll and Josh Simnet began to gain some control in midfield, Notts began to create chances but most of their crosses were confidently dealt with by Graham although Jamie Brown and Jordan Prance both went close.
With the final attack of the half, a cross from the left found Mark Baitey at the far post and as defender Kieran Walker slid in quickly to tackle, both players kicked the ball simultaneously and the resulting deflection took the ball past Belshaw into the corner.
Durham continued to look dangerous at the start of the second half and should have increased their lead when Joe Craig shot over an empty goal after Belshaw had pushed out a through ball at the feet of Andrew Cook. With Simnet again prominent for the home side, they went close when Prance turned well in the penalty box and his shot was deflected just wide of the post.
A clever back flick by Prance then put Brown through and as he prepared to shoot, he appeared to be brought down but played was waved on. Brown had another fine opportunity when Jackson knocked a cross by Craig Meakin back across goal but as he swivelled he hit his shot well over the bar.
Durham also had chances as play went from end to end with Robbie Bird making a good run but putting his shot wide and Andrew Cook who was always dangerous for the visitors, forcing Belshaw to a save which he fumbled round the post. The Notts keeper was the busier of the two towards the end as Durham frequently caught Durham on the break although Jackson, Melia and Walker were always sound before a late error by Walker and Jackson gifted Durham the clinching goal a minute from the end of normal time. Walker took a throw in level with the penalty area, Melia got in a tangle and as Belshaw rushed out to rescue the situation, the ball fell to Andrew Cook who placed the ball into an empty net.
Notts heads dropped from that point and Durham might well have increased their lead in added time although that would have been an unfair reflection of a tight game. Durham will now meet the winners of the Devon v Sussex game in the final after abandonment of their match due to a floodlight failure.
Nottinghamshire: James Belshaw (Becket); Kieran Walker (Top Valley); Adam Jackson (Bramcote Park), Dino Melia (Djanogly), Josh Simnet (Dukeries); Greg O?Driscoll (Serlby Park); Craig Meakin (Emmanuel); Lee Sainthouse (Elizabethan High); Jordan Prance (Bluecoat); Jamie Brown (Redhill); Alex Troughton (Manor); Conor Comins (Sutton Centre)
Durham: Lewis Graham (Bishop Auckland); Will McCallum (South Tyneside); Elliott Hassan (Sunderland); Chris Killeen (Derwentside); Grant Hickman (Darlington); Liam McManus (Sunderland); Ian Smurthwaite (Darlington); Andrew Cook (Bishop Auckland); Mark Baitey (Sunderland); Scott Palmer (Gateshead); Mark Broom (Chester-le-Street/Washington); Joe Craig (Derwentside); Robbie Bird (Sunderland); Josh Gray (South Tyneside); Luke Gilbert (Derwentside)