Alison Nicholl’s U17 girls were out to avenge Tuesday night’s last minute 2-1 defeat by today’s opponents Hungary as they continue to prepare for their UEFA Mini Tournament.
“The girls didn’t deserve what happened the other night and I’m so pleased for them that they put things right today” she said.
Northern Ireland opened up the brighter of the two teams and as early as the 3rd minute a free kick from Katie Martin stung the hands of visiting Keeper Luca Barti,. Keeper Barti was in action again shortly afterwards when a long-range effort from Stacey Brice tested the Hungarian custodian.
The girls in green force a whole series of corners on 18 minutes and Megan Beattie’s venomous shot was deflected just wide of Barti’s goal.
The best opportunity to take the lead fell to Captain Emma McMaster who connected well with a Brooke Baine corner only to see her header pass just over the crossbar.
Hungary had their first real chance on 21 minutes when some good work by Anada Csanalosi seen her pass find Stella Kiss on the six yard box, Kiss completely scuffed her shot and gave Lauren Currie a simple save to make.
Northern Ireland took a deserved lead on 26 minutes when Emma McMaster got on the end of a Brooke Baine free kick and headed past Barti giving her no chance.
Lauren Robson was unlucky not to increase the lead just before the break and right on half time Megan Beattie had a great effort deflected just wide of the post.
HALF TIME; NORTHERN IRELAND 1 HUNGARY 0
The second half was a mirror image of the first with the girls well on top continuing to pepper the Hungarian goal and you worried that the pressure needed to be rewarded with another goal.
It was busy striker Rebecca Bassett who eventually stepped up to the plate and sealed the win when she latched on to a great pass before coolly slotting the ball past Luca Barti to make it 2-0 on the hour mark.
Game over we thought, but a team is always vulnerable just after they score and this was the case, as almost from the restart a 30 yard pile driver from Barbara Zagonyi beat Lauren Currie all ends up, fortunately the shot smashed against the bar and rebounded to safety.
Boss Nicholl was upbeat after the game, “ We kept possession well and dominated the game, as we did the other night but this time we got the result we deserved. I was particularly pleased with the fitness levels of the girls, we’ve been working hard at this and I think it showed over the two games, she continued, “this result was a reward for all their hard work and we now look forwards to our UEFA Mini Tournament.
FULL TIME; NORTHERN IRELAND 2 HUNGARY 0
NORTHERN IRELAND STARTING TEAM;
1, Lauren Currie 2, Stacey Brice 3, Brooke Baine 4, Yasmin White
5, Caitlyn Hamilton 6, Emma McMaster © 7, Megan Beattie 9, Rebecca Bassett
10, Lauren Robson 11, Katie Martin 14, Louise Crawford.
SUBS 8, Blaithin Macklin 12, Lauren Perry 13, Abbie Magee 15, Jordan Robinson 16, Niamh Ruddy
17, Chelsea Cochrane 18, Morganne Beggs 19, Megan McMurray.