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Whitley Bay first team won through to the Final of the North East League Cup when they narrowly defeated their own Reserves side by 2-1 at a sunny Hillheads.
The unique occasion had a surreal air to it - almost a mixture between a cup tie and a practice match as neither side seemed to be able to decide how to approach the game against their friends and
The early exchanges were even, with the Reserves having the first meaningful sight of goal as a sweeping move saw Laurel Davidson pass to her strike partner Kirsty Hunter but Jade Makarski in the Firsts' net made the save.
On 22 minutes, the Firsts made the breakthrough when Rachel Kay latched onto a clearance, skipped past a couple of defenders and slotted into the far corner.
The Reserves made an instant response as Nic Gray headed a Hanagh Barrass free kick just wide. They were not to be denied on 38 minutes when Kerry Davison found player manager Kirsty Hunter on the edge of the box where she took a touch and struck a great drive into the bottom corner.
With the score at 1-1 at half time, the tie was far from over. Both sides made a determined start to the second half, with some great defending by the Reserves against swift attacks from the Firsts. However, the game was still evenly balanced and neither side could stamp their authority.
On 57 minutes, a free kick was awarded to the Firsts, just into the Reserves half and Donna Brown hit a great ball into the box which was headed home by Rachel Mellor to give the Firsts the advantage.
As the heat and pace of the game started to take its toll, the Reserves rallied briefly and Laurel Davidson threatened on a couple of occasions but was thwarted by some last ditch defending.
The score should have been a more respectable 3-1 right at the end as Laura Darmody was felled in the box, but the resultant penalty was missed.
Both managers were pleased to get the game played and both sides came out with great credit for some excellent football. For Whitley Bay, it was the second time in a week that they have reached a Final and they will play Huddersfield Town, who beat Sheffield Utd Community 4-2 in the other semi final.
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