Alnwick end their season with a stalemate

Alnwick Town v Birtley Town. Tom Macpherson in defensive action. Picture Steve Miller.
Alnwick Town v Birtley Town. Tom Macpherson in defensive action. Picture Steve Miller.
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Alnwick Town brought the curtain down on their 2013/14 Northern League Division Two season with a 0-0 draw against Birtley Town on Saturday.

The clash also marked an end of an era, with club stalwarts Bryan Murray and Brian Brooks playing their last games for the St James’ Park outfit.

Alnwick Town v Birtley Town. Kevin Elliott on the ball. Picture Steve Miller.

Alnwick Town v Birtley Town. Kevin Elliott on the ball. Picture Steve Miller.

However, the long-standing and dedicated duo, who have been with the Northumbrians through thick and thin, are still retaining their association with the club.

Saturday’s draw with Birtley took Alnwick’s tally for the season to 39 points – 10 more than last year – and they ended the season fifth-from-bottom.

Both sides went into the game knowing they were safe of relegation and this match of few chances had an end-of-the-season feel to it.

Birtley had the game’s first opportunities with Damon Reakes and Cameron Nichol both shooting wide.

At the other end, Tony Brown had a couple of chances for the home side, but his efforts were just off target. Lee Waugh also came close for Alnwick. Birtley almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Murray saved his side by clearing a goal-bound shot.

Alnwick moved up a gear in the second half and Chris Fawcett had two good shots in quick succession which were saved by visiting keeper Jordan Harkness.

A quick break by Birtley presented Jakie Nicholson with a clear chance, but Brooks was up for the challenge and made a good save.

With the game petering out, Alnwick nearly broke the deadlock when Alex Makin found Brown, whose flicked header just scrapped the bar.

In the end, both sides had to make do with a point, but Alnwick can look back on a season which has seen a big improvement on the previous campaign.

Alnwick Town: B Brooks, G Mbiavanga, K Hogg, T Macpherson, B Murray, K Elliott, A Makin (J Jackson), T Brown, L Waugh (K Douglas), C Fawcett, D Lowes (S Hogg). Sub: D Schiavetta.

○ The club’s presentation evening is being held on Friday, May 16, at the town’s White Swan Hotel. Entry is £10 per person.

Alnwick Town’s AGM for senior, reserve and junior levels, is on Sunday, May 18, in the clubhouse at 6.30pm.