Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Liam Just Bell-Issimo in North's Derby Triumph; SCHOOLS FOOTBALL

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Liam Just Bell-Issimo in North's Derby Triumph; SCHOOLS FOOTBALL

Article excerpt

NORTHUMBERLAND defeated neighbours Durham 2-1 in the Northern Counties Under-16 Championship.

The result means Northumberland top the Northern Counties East Division and have a home semi-final to look forward to against the runners up of the West Division later in the spring term.

Northumberland started on the offensive and were first to test the Durham goal when the tricky Corey Graham (Berwick) dribbled his way into the Durham penalty area - only to shoot straight at Durham goalkeeper Michael Armstrong (Argyle House).

They went close again after a great run and cross from Danny Barlow (Whitley Bay) found Ben Sampson (KEVI) in the box.

Sampson, however, could not get enough on the ball to send it goalwards and again Armstrong gathered the loose ball.

Durham were struggling to put together any attacks with purpose.

However, halfway through the first half top scorer Wesley Maddock (St Thomas More) found space close to goal but a good block from Northumberland skipper Owen Graham (Ponteland) snuffed out any danger. Soon afterwards, Northumberland created the best chance of the game when Lewis O'Brian (St Cuthbert's) fed Liam Bell (Blyth).

He skipped past the Durham defence with great pace and squared the ball to Corey Graham who somehow sliced the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.

The move sparked Bell into life and he went on to have a major impact in the game with a fine individual performance on his debut.

Bell slid past his marker and laid the ball off to Sampson, whose powerful drive flew wide of Armstrong's post.

Bell was again in the thick of the action minutes later when he robbed the Durham defence of the ball on the half way line and drove towards goal.

Just as he was about to round the goalkeeper, Armstrong's sliding challenge won the ball - but he handled outside the box Armstrong picked up a yellow card and from the resultant free kick Sampson fired over the bar.

Northumberland finally made their pressure count - and again it was Bell who was the creator.

Good play between Sampson and Graham played in Bell, who, just before he was about to unleash a shot at goal, was brought down by the Durham defender - giving Northumberland the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. …

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