SPORTSWORLD NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUE, RUNCIMAN CUP, QUARTER-FINAL – Belford...3 Alnmouth Utd...4(aet)
A PULSATING cup quarter-final clash punctuated by some spectacular goals saw Alnmouth come from behind three times to defeat Belford, with central-defender Mick Straker capping a commanding performance with two strikes in the last period of extra-time to secure the tie.
The home side were off to the perfect start when only two minutes in, Andy Thompson supplied Chris Hay, whose cross was headed home by Ryan Thompson (1-0).
The first leveller arrived 20 minutes later at the end of a flowing move. Steve Smith laid inside to Mark Oman, who found Darren Smith on the wing, he turned and beat his marker before his pinpoint cross was met on the volley 20 yards out by Sean Anderson, leaving Chris Sinton helpless (1-1).
Belford were then disgruntled when Seasiders’ keeper Liam Roper survived a scare as racing out of his area, he stopped a one-on-one situation with the referee crucially deciding he had played the ball. But the home side did regain the lead soon after as Paul Murray was on hand to find the net from close range (2-1).
The visitors carried the game to Belford, continuing after the break and Anderson had already threatened when connecting with Steve Smith’s cross before he found the net again with an almost identical hit, with Oman providing a perfect long diagonal ball (2-2).
In extra-time, Alnmouth found themselves behind for a third time when Greshon hit the target with a clever over-head kick from just inside the area following a corner (3-2).
A third equaliser arrived a couple of minutes into the second period when Straker found the roof of the net from 10 yards after good build-up from Chris Dalton and Stephen Carey (3-3).
The same player registered the eventual winner with another stunner in keeping with the tie: receiving from Karl Taylor 25 yards out, his first time drive flew straight into the top corner.
Alnmouth match sponsor: Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth. Alnmouth match ball sponsor: Johnny Blythe, Painter & Decorator.