Match Report | York City Ladies 2-0 Middlesbrough Reserves (North Riding County Cup)

The Minsterbelles booked their place in the North Riding County Cup Semi-Final with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough Reserves at Haxby Road.

A brace from Jess Holder either side of half time had City in control of the game against a stubborn, resolute Boro side.

York made two changes from the team who faced Newcastle United in the league the week before, Fliss Jones and Jess Heald both returned to the starting eleven as Nikki Brown dropped to the bench and Emily Cattle missed out through injury.

City started brightly, controlling early proceedings with the lion’s share of possession, Karli Smith had the game’s first shot, an effort from distance went wide of the target.

Still before the tenth minute York came forward again, Smith almost picked out Abby Parkin with a cross to the back post but the full back just couldn’t reach the cross.

The hosts continued to have the ball and push the solid Boro defence back who had all but one player behind the ball content with letting City keep possession.

In the 16th minute Heald took aim but her strike also went wide as York were forced to shooting from outside the box.

On the half hour mark Boro had their first attempt of the game, captain for the day Alice Hughes stepped in to clear the goal bound effort off the line.

Almost instantaneously City responded, some nice interplay opened up a chance for Jones who saw her shot blocked, the ball then fell for Heald who fired over from the edge of the box.

York were however getting closer to that elusive opener, Jones again came close in the 32nd minute, her curling strike just passed the upright, again following some nice one-touch build up from the hosts.

The Minsterbelles broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute, Hughes played an inch-perfect ball in behind the visitor’s backline to pick out Holder who controlled and finished into the far corner confidently.

York came mightily close to doubling the lead in the 37th minute, top scorer Jones was denied by the keeper from close range keeping the away side in the tie.

The final action of the first half saw Jones forced off through injury following a heavy late challenge on the touchline. Brown came on in her place.

City picked up where they left off in the second half, Heald and Hughes both had efforts saved by the keeper in the 49th and 51st minutes respectively.

Holder scored her second of the game in the 54th minute. Hughes stood over a free-kick on the edge of the box, the midfielder cleverly laid the ball to the right for Holder to let fly and find the bottom corner with her effort.

Brown almost profited from a mistake in the Middlesbrough defence, the forward’s pressure created an opening, her effort just went across goal and wide.

On the hour mark, Becky Sidwell, who’d largely been a spectator was called into action to dive on and claim a loose ball following a bit of pinball in the City penalty area.

Holly Findlay came agonisingly close to extending York’s lead in the 69th minute, a brilliant header looked destined for the back of the net before a vital hand from the keeper.

On the 70th minute mark Smith and Holder were replaced by Tilly Bristow, the RTC player making her second appearance for the first team and Eve Harriott making another appearance after impressing for the development team.

Despite Brown and Bristow coming close with efforts York failed to add to their tally, in the 75th minute Sidwell again made a save to retain the clean sheet as the hosts saw the game out and advance in the cup.

The Minsterbelles are without a game next weekend and are next in action on Wednesday 1st March at the LNER Community Stadium against Hull City, kick off 7:45pm.

You can buy tickets for the match in advance here:


Minsterbelles: Sidwell, Parkin, Fredericksem, Smith (Harriott), Heald, Hughes, Hardcastle, Holder (Bristow), Ash, Jones (Brown), Findlay.

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Bell.