A brace from first team player Jess Foster led The Lady Magpies to the Bluefin Sports Women’s Cup after a commanding display of football over their NUFC counterparts on Friday (11 May) night at Whitley Park.
With the reserves having a point to prove from last year’s final, the game started with high tempo and scrappy challenges, with both teams gunning to get one over each other.
But it was the senior team who broke the deadlock first, Jess Foster finishing off a slick move just four minutes in to give the firsts a dream start on their pursuit of the County Cup.
The reserve team seemed rocked by an early goal and NUFC capitalised on their frailty, going close with Nichole Dack – the midfielder dragging wide after receiving the ball from 25 yards out.
A few chances for the development side ensued with referee Steven Liddle waiving away a penalty shout as Amy Hargrave tumbled in the box before fellow teammate Abbie Glichrist struck a ball high and wide in a good spell of chances for the team in sky blue.
Andrew Inness’ team dominated for the remainder of the half, having a ball cleared off the line on 20 minutes and Steph Ord going close with two free kicks in quick succession.
This was followed up by a golden opportunity for Jess Foster to double her tally with a mistake in the development defence putting her straight through on goal – her finish rattling the crossbar with just three minutes of the first half remaining.
After the break it was again the FA Women’s Premier League side who looked the stronger side in the early stages, Kate Brooks testing Michaela Raine with a looping header which was well saved.
Jess Foster was amongst the action from the get-go and looked poised to grab a second goal on 50 minutes with an audacious effort from 25 yards sailing wide of the target. But a couple of minutes later she found the back of the net, diving in at the front post to give her side a two-goal cushion with over half an hour remaining.
They say you’re most vulnerable when you have just conceded, and the firsts proved this to be correct with a purple patch of goalscoring opportunities – firstly Nichole Dack going close followed by Rebecca Olley contributing with a curled effort just over the crossbar.
Imogen Longcake almost brought one back for the reserves later on in the final, but it wasn’t to be as Grace Donnely dealt with her effort between the sticks to deny them a late comeback.
An acrobatic attempt by Steph Ord nearly put the game beyond doubt with the clock ticking down, but the two earlier goals had already sealed the deal for Newcastle Women as they went on to see the game out with four minutes additional time – the final score 2-0 at the Northumberland FA headquarters.
Report by Dan Simmonite