Gateshead College Women's Football Academy retained their British Colleges Sport National Elite Cup Title yesterday beating John Madjeski Academy from Reading 5-1 at St George's Park yesterday.
Gateshead started slowly and struggled to keep possession; however they defended well with Lawson, Armstrong, Potts and Olley limiting the Reading attack to half chances which Middleton in the Gateshead goal comfortably dealt with. After 20 minutes Reading were awarded a free kick 30 yards out and the forward smashed it high into the roof of the net to give them a 1-0 lead. This spurred Gateshead into life and Collinson and Joice started to cause the Reading defence some problems but it was Tyler Dodds who produced a moment of magic on the left wing after beating 4 defenders she got to the by-line and pulled back for Shannon Etherington to side foot home and get Gateshead back in the game at 1-1.
The second half saw a confident Gateshead side use the ball a lot better and composure was the key when again Tyler Dodds beat the full back and found Abbey Joice on the edge of the box who smashed the ball into the top right hand corner of the net to give Gateshead a well deserved 2-1 lead. Reading tried to push forward but were shut out at every opportunity by the outstanding Briggs in centre midfield. A Collinson corner in the 72nd minute was attacked by Charlotte Potts who thunderously headed home to put Gateshead 3-1 up. Lawson and Etherington made way for Smith and Lynn and it was Smith who found herself on the end of a 42 pass move and she calmly side footed it into the back of the net after good wing play from Abbey Joice. The fifth goal game following another Collinson corner and again Smith made sure from 2 yards out.
Head Coach Melanie Reay said "To retain this Elite title is a magnificent achievement, but to play the final at St Georges Park was a fantastic experience the girls will have and that memory will stay with them forever. They are a credit to themselves for all the hard work they continue to put in"
Gateshead have won the Women's Elite League, English Schools U18 Cup, BCS Elite Cup and now face Accrington or Colchester in the Semi Final National Play Off at Gateshead College Academy For Sport on Wednesday 8th May.
Newcastle United Foundation is pleased to be working in partnership with Gateshead College on their girls football programme.