On Sunday 8 March, Bootham Futsal Club U16s travelled to Sunderland to play Hartlepool Girls U16s looking to qualify for the semi-finals of the Pokemon FA Youth Futsal Cup.
Bootham were represented by Niamh T, Lily C, Hannah P, Katie P, Evie E, Jessica C and captained by Kimberly S.
The game started with both sides looking after the ball, sizing each other up. Good early chances for Jessica and Niamh saw the Hartlepool goalkeeper in fine form. Evie was also in fine form for Bootham, saving twice from close range.
On 11 minutes Bootham made the breakthrough, a scramble in the Hartlepool area saw Lily mishit her shot and it rolled gently into the corner of the net. Hartlepool came back strongly and Evie had to be alert to keep them out. Hannah, Katie and Kimberly were defending brilliantly, making sure the opposition stayed in front at all times.
After 18 minutes a sweeping move saw Kimberly play in to Hannah, who crossed for Lily to add a second, with a thumping shot high in to the opposition’s net.
Half time: Bootham Futsal Club U16s 2 – Hartlepool Girls U16s – 0
The second half started with a goal for Hartlepool inside 2 minutes. A clearance from Evie was intercepted by Hartlepool and they finished smartly from close range.
Within a minute Bootham had extended their lead. Another good move with Katie playing in Jessica, who finished smartly in front of goal. Hartlepool again came back and another double save from Evie saw the score stay 3-1.
On 33 minutes a good passing move from Hartlepool saw them snatch a goal back. But within a minute, a solo break and long range finish from Hannah saw Bootham extend their lead again. She really needs to work on her celebration, as no one thought she had scored!
Bootham were in total control now, sitting in and soaking up the pressure, before hitting Hartlepool on the counter. Jessica added another on 36 minutes after a fantastic pass from Kimberly. In the last minute a smart interception from Kimberly saw her stroll half the length of the pitch before calmly putting the ball into the back of the net.
Full time: Bootham Futsal Club U16s 6 – Hartlepool Girls U16s – 2
In conversation afterwards, head coach Chris said, ‘Wow, what a fantastic performance from every single player. Apart from a 5 minute spell in the second half, we looked in total control. The defending was superb today, with Hannah, Katie and captain Kimberly looking really solid. Lily, as usual, ran everywhere and scored an absolute cracker. Great forward play from Niamh and Jessica, they looked dangerous whenever they got near the goal. Special mention to Evie, who made so many vital saves, with a couple of very brave 1v1s. I was so proud of them all, they worked so hard and deserved to go through. Huge thank you to Hartlepool Utd today, they gave us a fantastic game and the game was played in a brilliant spirit.’
When asked about the semi-finals and a chance of playing at St George’s Park, Chris said, ‘The competition will get even harder, with the best teams from the north of the country coming to Sunderland. That said, if we play like this, who knows, anything is possible…’