Northumberland Dominant in 1-1 Stalemate

Dan Simmonite

The Northumberland FA U18 representative team were unfortunate to only come away with a single point against Lincolnshire FA after a dominant display at Woodhorn Lane.

It was only their second Association of Northern Counties League game of the season and North were hoping to put pressure on leaders Durham FA, who play next weekend.

And after a slow start in Ashington it was North who delivered the first chances of the game, firstly Paul Van firing over from distance, then Jackson Ward volleying inches over the bar.

Despite the short spell of dominance, Lincolnshire didn’t hesitate to hit back and had a few chances of their own; Reif Clark smashing the crossbar with a header following a corner and Daniel Jewell leading numerous attacks down the right flank.

But it was Ward who managed to open the scoring for North on 33 minutes; the Morpeth Town forward finding space at the back post and driving past the keeper into the bottom corner.

North looked comfortable after going ahead. However, Lincolnshire snatched a goal back just five minutes before the break – Oliver Smith dancing through the defence before placing into the back of the net.

The action continued after half time with a handball just seconds in which granted North a free kick on the edge. Ward stepped up to try and bend the ball around the wall but his effort was blocked and any danger was subsequently cleared.

Then Lincolnshire’s Fraser Cook nearly scored the goal of the season on 55 minutes, the full back finding himself on the end of an early cross and opting for a scissor kick which whistled just past the far post.

Nevertheless, North pushed on and continued to dictate the game but failed to create many scoring opportunities for themselves despite having the bulk of the possession.

Lincolnshire had their hearts in their mouths on 65 minutes as an inch-perfect threaded pass by Van put Skivington in a certain position to score, but goalkeeper Macauley Fosdyke came out on top and blocked the shot to keep the scores level.

This was followed by Thomas Kalthoeber breaking into the box and again laying-off to Skivington who hit his shot agonisingly wide of the mark.

Minutes later, Kalthoeber got amongst the action himself after a fizzing cross at the box fell at his feet, but a packed penalty area dealt with the threat and Lincolnshire cleared their lines.

Adam Beattie further bolstered North’s front line when the winger came on later in the second half and injected some pace into the game, causing havoc on the left hand side with an array of runs into the box.

The Whitley Bay wide man even had the ball in the back of the net in the last minute of the game, only for his late winner to be ruled offside by the linesman.

After a drawn-out injury time the full time whistle blew with honours even for the two sides in a very one sided game.

North now sit top of the league having played one more game than divisional rivals Durham and retain a very healthy position going into the fixture with North Riding next month.

Northumberland FA: Renwick, Kalthoeber, Symonds, Woods (Walker 77), Christie, Lough, Van, Jenkins (Beattie 67), Dibb-Fuller, Skivington, Ward. Subs not used: Wilson, Calvert

Lincolnshire FA: Fosdyke, Cook, Goodwin, Corner (c), Gale, Oliver, Jewell, Smith, Cotton, Clark, Wroughton (Wilkinson 68). Subs not used: Grimes, Coy, Miles