Women’s Football 1sts: Stephenson 1-0 James

James College succumbed to a frustrating defeat at Maiden Castle against a Stephenson side penned back for large spells by the visitors.

The Black Swan started the game brightly and were awarded with a penalty in the early stages. Striker Anty Cole, however, failed to convert from twelve yards.

Stephenson were then awarded a penalty themselves, and would have scored it were it not for a superb save by the foot of university 1sts skipper Sophie Jermy.

The setbacks did little to stem the James momentum going forward, with Cole flashing numerous long range efforts just wide of the target.

The York college, however, were reminded of the Stephenson attacking threat when an effort from the left channel was kept out by Jermy.

The best moment of the first half came when Ellie Whittaker showed great feet to jinx her way past two Stephenson defenders before managing to squeeze a shot towards goal which forced a corner. Nevertheless, the teams went into half time level.

The second half saw James up the ante as more players began to support attacks into the Stephenson half. A slick passing move resulted in Rosie Hay receiving the ball free on the left, and she fired an effort which had to be parried behind at the near post.

The Black Swan were reminded of their defensive responsibilities when a simple ball forward found a Stephenson striker completely unmarked, who fortunately skewed their tame effort wide of goal.

The opening and decisive goal, however, was not to come from a counter-attack or an exploiting of space behind the defence. Instead, it came when Club President Ellie Whittaker was caught hesitating on the ball just outside the James area, allowing a Stephenson striker to rob the ball off her and curl an effort into the far corner.

Having been the better side for large periods of the game, the goal came as a shock as well as a sucker punch to the James team. Bar chances for Hay and Cole, the Black Swan never recovered sufficiently to force the issue and nick an equaliser.

Having been the better side throughout, this was ultimately a story of the five points that got away for York.

Women’s Football 1sts Squad (7-a-side): Sophie Jermy, Rosie Hay, Sammi Philkins, Ellie Marsh, Jess Lane, Anty Cole, Ellie Whittaker, Lauren Larkin (c).