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Ravens in seventh heaven
 Women's Football News 6 Nov 2015
Ravens in seventh heaven   - 6 Nov 2015 - Women's Football NewsGateshead Rutherford Ravens made it seven league wins in a row, beating Durham Cestria 7-1 and declaring themselves genuine title contenders in the Northern Division of the North East Regional Women's Football League.
It took the home side 15 minutes to break the deadlock when Jennifer Brennan picked out Lynsey Wilkinson on the edge of the area and the Captain fired her shot past Francesca Ness in the Cestria goal. Although the Ravens dominated possession, Durham did hit with a quick counter but Hayley Regan cleared the danger with a perfectly timed challenge in the area.
The Gateshead team extended their lead on 25 minutes, when Ness misjudged Kate Bearman's cross and the ball bounced past the Durham goalie. Bearman then grabbed her second goal when she headed home from a Laura Foad corner.
Durham, who had been unbeaten in the league, appeared to be shell shocked and conceded a fourth goal a minute later when Elizabeth Campbell pounced on to a loose back pass and calmly slotted the ball past Ness. Two minutes later, Campbell turned provider, when her square ball was converted by top scorer Wilkinson.
The red and blacks rounded off a fine half as they made it 6-0 just before the break, when Brennan's cross was fired into the far corner by Campbell.
The Ravens were quick out the blocks at the start of the second half and won a corner on the 47th minute. The cross was swung in and Autumn Colledge rose tall to head the ball down to Tracey Embleton, who was quick to readjust her body and finish her chance like a true poacher.
The league leaders continued to play on the front foot with Bearman and Julie Duggan winning the midfield battle and spreading the play. The introduction of Kody Green and Michaela McHugh added pace and trickery and McHugh was unlucky not to score after great link up play between the pair.
During the last 10 minutes the visitors started to see more of the ball but Regan, Coral Colledge, Myriam Neaimeh and Kate Ramsey demonstrated the strength and determination to show exactly why the Ravens have the best defensive record in the league.
Durham Cestria did grab a consolation goal minutes from the end when Nicole Dack scored with a perfectly executed free kick giving Ravens keeper, Katie McTague, no chance.
Manager, Sean Wilkinson, said: "Today was our squad's best ever performance and I am proud of everyone, as we have beaten one of the best teams in this league by such an empathic scoreline."
Gateshead Rutherford Ravens: Kate Bearman, Jennifer Brennan, Elizabeth Campbell, Autumn Colledge, Coral Colledge, Julie Duggan, Laura Foad, Katie McTague, Myriam Neaimeh, Hayley Regan, Lynsey Wilkinson. Subs: Tracey Embleton, Kody Green, Rebecca Hardy, Michaela McHugh, Kate Ramsey.

Durham Cestria: Leanne Bates, Courtney Dack, Nicole Dack, Jessica Ellison, Rebeckah Innes, Ellie Marriott, Francesca Ness, Rebecca Pears, Sophie Tierney, Laura Watson, Keeley Wilkinson. Subs: Ashleigh Jones.

(Report by Jennifer Brennan)

Photo - Hayley Regan by Ian Appleby (Ian@IASportimages)

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