Mixed emotions as girls lose battle but win the war

Brighouse Juniors Under-16s players Brooke Whitworth and Lauryn Smith.

Brighouse Juniors Under-16s players Brooke Whitworth and Lauryn Smith.

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Brighouse Juniors Under-16s Girls made the long trip to Harrogate to play Beckwithshaw Saints knowing that County Cup progress was already assured, with the hosts unable to form an eligible team.

Missing key players and in blustery conditions, the visitors struggled for fluency, despite good midfield performances from Lauryn Smith and player of the match Phoebe Durkin.

Lauren Naylor worked hard on the wing, but Brighouse Juniors were unable to create anything for strikers Emily Dooley and Emily Lovett.

The hosts took the lead after a defensive lapse in concentration, but Lovett was unlucky not to equalise before the break.

The highlight of the first half was a superb diving save from stand-in ‘keeper Tiegan Rowley.

Brighouse improved in the second half with a more solid defensive display, highlighted by Beth Thompson, Niamh Davis, Brooke Whitworth and debutant Caitlin Charlton-Shaw nullifying some tricky attackers.

As the away side pushed for an equaliser, Smith and 
Rowley went close to finding the target, while both substitute goalkeepers Durkin and Niamh Davis made good saves at the other end.

The home team grabbed a late second goal as Brighouse Juniors tired to eventually leave the visitors empty-handed, but it had been a brave effort.