Match Report: ESFA U15 Schoolgirls v ROI
Sunday 11 March 2018By ESFA Office
England 0 - 3 Republic of Ireland
Stafford Town FC's Evans Park was the venue for the second annual John Read Trophy match between England U15 Schoolgirls and their Republic of Ireland counterparts with the visitors looking to retain the trophy they won 12 months ago in Dublin.
The game started fairly even with both sides looking to stamp their authority on the game early but chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges but it was the visitors who tested the goalkeepers first with Kiya Webb making a couple of smart saves to keep the scores level.
The Republic’s keeper Rugile AskaInyte was also called into action making a fine save to deny the hosts the opening goal and also rushing out to make a last ditch tackle to deny Bebe Smith who looked favourite to reach a long through ball for a clear run at goal.
However, the visitors went in ahead at the break when Ellen Molloy nipped in to beat Webb to the ball and head home for a 1-0 interval lead.
The second half saw the Republic defend their lead very well with England struggling to create many clear cut chances and Lana Timson now in the England goal having to be alert to keep the lead down to a single goal.
However, she could do nothing about the second goal when a low cross was diverted home from close range by Molloy for her second goal and one hand on the trophy.
Again England tried to create a way back into the game but were stifled by a stubborn and well organised Republic defence and were limited to set pieces or long range efforts with little success on a frustrating afternoon for the home side.
That frustration was compounded when the Republic scored a late third goal, substitute Erin McLaughlinfiring home from just inside the box to complete a 3-0 scoreline and reclaim the trophy.
Both sides will now start to plan for the Bob Docherty Cup in Belfast in two weeks time where the sides will face the other home nations over four days at Ulster University.
We would like to thank all those who came out to support both teams at Stafford Town and created an exciting atmosphere for both sides. Also a big thanks to Stafford Town for hosting and for their efforts in making it a memorable afternoon for the girls.
Photos available from ESFA Official Photographer, 353 Photography.