The University of Birmingham Women’s 1st Football team were beaten at Metchley 3G as late goal heartbreak meant they suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of a strong Northumbria 1st side. It was National Girl’s Football Week and both teams put on a terrific showcase showing just why the game deserves recognition.
The UoB Lionesses went into the game on mixed form, sitting mid-table with two wins, two losses and a draw. Northumbria, on the other hand, were enjoying a fruitful spell as they were second in the table with three wins under their belt. This was the second and final time these two sides would play each other in the Premier North. The last time these sides met, Northumbria came away 2-0 victors, making the Lionesses eager to get some sweet revenge.
The game was set to be a fantastic affair with the sport celebrating National Girl’s Football Week. There was a stall giving out complimentary tea and coffee, a local primary school group were there to cheer on the Lionesses with a great banner and UoB’s mascot, Rory the Lion, even made an appearance to cheer on the home side.
Both the Lionesses and Northumbria started the game slowly with neither side able to hold onto the ball and get an effective spell of possession. The first goal came as a surprise and it was the visitors who took the lead after 15 minutes of play. The UoB right back passed it back to her goalkeeper who arguably held onto the ball too long. Northumbria’s striker quickly closed down on the keeper and it was too late as the keeper passed it straight into the path of the Northumbria striker who slotted it home.
The Lionesses replied extremely quickly as they equalised from a corner. The ball was whipped in to the back post where the Lionesses’ number 9 leapt well and headed it back into the mix. The Lionesses’ number 10 then hit a first-time finish into the bottom right hand corner. A brilliant reply from the home side making it 1-1.
It wasn’t until the 40th minute that we saw the next goal. Northumbria’s right winger, who had looked dangerous all game, made a mazy run down the wing, cutting inside and delivering a low driven cross into the box. The visitor’s striker got on the end of it and expertly put the ball into the back of the net. 2-1 to the visitors.
The Lionesses were unlucky to go into the half time break a goal down. They needed to up their tempo and play the ball along the floor directly to feet if they were to improve their gameplay.
This is exactly what the home side did as they came out a new side, playing free flowing football and not being afraid to take on their opposition number. A key part of their new-found success was containing Northumbria’s two strong central midfielders. A goal was coming as they hit the post early on in the second half. However, UoB’s equaliser came from a set piece and it was a thing of beauty. The free kick was 25 yards out and UoB’s number 4 stepped up and curled it into the top right-hand corner of the net. 2-2!
The final part of the game was end to end as both teams were looking for three points. However, this was the Lionesses’ downfall as their defence was left open and Northumbria capitalised on the counter. The ball was played over the top, Northumbria’s striker chested it down expertly and finessed it in to the net. A huge blow for the Lionesses going 3-2 down so late on in the game.
Sadly, the game ended with a 3-2 score line. The Lionesses were so unfortunate to not get anything from the game. However, if they tighten up at the back and play like they did going forward in the second half then more wins will come for the team.