WHITLEY Bay Women and Newcastle United Women’s five-goal cup thriller at Coach Lane was marred by a serious injury to Bay’s Amy O’Brien.
Goals from United’s Jess Havelock and Stephanie Eadon, plus a first minute own goal, were just enough to hold off a gritty performance from Whitley Bay, who had O’Brien taken to hospital with a fractured tibia and fibula.
United started off fast, opening the scoring in the first minute after a cross was turned in by a Bay defender.
Whitley created a couple of chances at the other end in the following minutes but failed to find the back of Laura Wareham’s net.
Meanwhile the lively Jess Foster was causing the Whitley Bay defence major problems with her pace, and on nine minutes a corner was headed home by left back Jess Havelock.
Newcastle began to build more pressure on the Whitley Bay goal, but they came up against a stubborn Catherine Clough between the sticks.
Despite Newcastle’s relative dominance it was Whitley Bay who scored next after a well worked set piece.
After a great ball in, Emma Bentley headed home.
From the kick-off, though, Stephanie Eadon scored the goal of the game as she ran past three defenders with pace and power before firing home to restore Newcastle’s two-goal lead.
Whitley Bay started the second half well.
But is was during another Newcastle spell of dominance that O’Brien suffered a fractured tibia and fibula after a challenge in the Whitley box.
Play was suspended for 35 minutes as an ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital.
Whitley Bay started the better after the injury, and on 75 minutes they made it 3-2 when Bentley chipped Wareham to set up a tense last 15 minutes.
On 88 minutes Bay got the golden chance to level, but they fired over from a one-on-one opening.
Despite the increasing pressure, Newcastle United held out for the win and setup an all Newcastle final with the Reserves, who won 8-0 over Newcastle University.