Durham Corinthians 3-0 Durham City AFC
Saturday 21st January- 3pm - Wearside League - New Ferens Park
It was a strange moment entering New Ferens Park as the away team on Saturday, but City weren't about to shy away from the occasion. After an exemplary performance last weekend against Silksworth despite being down to 10 men, confidence was high heading into this fixture.The lads got some midweek training under their belts and added two new additions in the form of Alex Gudgeon and Jordon Southern from Farringdon Detached. Both coming into the starting eleven in the Durham Derby.
The North East had been plagued by freezing conditions, rendering all of the EPAC Northern League fixtures to be postponed, leaving the Durham Derby as one for the masses to attend. With 162 people in attendance, they watched these two sides face off for the very first time in the league and with the Citizens hoping to improve significantly on their 15-1 thumping from Corinthians in the cup several months ago.
The match got underway and within the very first minute, City got forward and Craig Megson made a brilliant run through the Corinthians backline and was through on goal. With only the keeper to beat, he could have taken the shot off himself, however Megson opted to cut it back for Ross Hutchinson to finish. Unfortunately however, he placed his shot just inches wide.
The lads then found themselves on the receiving end of a counter attack just moments later, with goalkeeper Liam Peverley pulling off a great diving save.
From then on, it was Corinthians who were the better of the two teams and were constantly being a thorn in the sides of our defenders with their quick countering, brilliant through balls and fast players, particularly out on the right wing.
Liam Peverley was once again called into action and yet again delivered, by producing a fantastic diving save from a Corinthians free kick and managed to push it out and away for a corner. However, despite his early heroics, the Citiznes found themselves 1-0 down in the 11th minute after a venomous Corinthians shot wiggled its way through Peverley's gloves and into the net.
From then on, City's confidence dropped slightly and struggled to get out of their half. Passes were wayward or gifted straight to the oppositions feet and the lads invited unnecessary pressure on themselves, which meant providing dangerous chances and opportunities to Corinthians.
Two brilliants saves by Liam Peverley in quick succession continued to keep the Citizens in the game. First, getting a big strong hand to an attempted chip in a 1v1 situation and the other, a brilliant reaction save from 6 yards out.
In the 21st minute, Craig Megson found himself through on goal once again, with only the keeper to beat, but his shot was straight at the keeper, with the ball being saved and back out into play and into Corinthians possession.
It was a game of missed opportunities for Durham City and they were made to rue them, when Corinthians doubled the score and made it 2-0 in the 28th minute. It was simply too easy for the opponents, who managed to get past the City backline unchallenged, leaving Liam Peverley no chance to save from a few yards out.
A few moments later, Durham City had a fantastic chance to reduce the deficit, when Lennox Magalhaes did brilliantly down the right wing and cut the ball back into the box for Jordon Southern to finish. However, his shot agonisngly beat the keeper but ricocheted off the crossbar. Craig Megson had the opportunity to capitalise on the rebound, but couldn't sort out his feet to reach the ball.
Jordon had the chance again to score on his debut just before half time, when he managed to make a wonderful run in behind the Corinthians backline and was through on goal. But with only the keeper to beat, he saw his shot saved.
Manager Wayne Gredziak and his coaching staff must have worked their usual halftime magic, as after the lads came out for the second half and the whistle blew, they looked a much better and energized side. Whilst the City defence and Liam Peverley continued to show pull off some great last ditch tackles and diving saves, the pendulum switched and it was the Citizens who started to edge the game just slightly. Maintaining possession, getting down quickly on the left wing and creating more opportunities.
The management opted for a change in personnel to inject some pace and strength into the game. Substituting Nathan Smith and Mitchell Stoker off for Mark McShane and Calvin Payne to receive their debuts.
In the 68th minute, City's pressure almost paid dividends, when Calvin Payne did brilliantly out in the left wing to dance past Corinthians defence before cutting a ball back to outside the box. Andrew Burrows was on hand to take the shot, but his first touch was just too heavy and Corinthians were able to get the ball back and begin their counter.
The opposition could have made it 3-0 just minutes later, but thankfully City were on the receiving end of some good luck when the ball pinged up and off the crossbar.
City continue to press and grow into the game as the match entered its last 10 minutes, but couldn't quite turn that possession into a shot on goal. The lads made one more substitution in the form of Kian Patton coming off for Louis Davidson.
But hearts were broken when Corinthians made it 3-0 in the 85th minute. Attacking down the right wing, the opposition managed to cut the ball back into the box for their teammate to calmly finish first time, leaving Peverley once again with no chance of saving.
Durham City made one final substitution, bringing on Juan D Caprio for Craig Megson with a few minutes reminding. However, the lads were unable to grab a late consolation goal and the game finished 3-0 in favour of Durham Corinthians.
A game of missed chances and opportunities, but once again another brace showing from the Citizens, with plenty of lessons to be learned ahead of our next game at home against Annfield Plain in seven days time.
We hope to see many of you there, as we draw a close to our January fixtures. Come on the Citizens!