Black ’n’ whites leave Northallerton blue

Alnwick Town completed a league double over promotion hopefuls Northallerton Town with a comfortable and well-deserved 4-1 victory.

The Northumbrians came from behind to secure all three points; their second Northern League, Division Two win on the bounce.

Dale Kennedy scored twice, while Tony Brown and James Jackson were also on target, as the St James’ Park side eased their relegation worries.

The black ’n’ whites stay fifth bottom in 18th, but the win saw them move further away from trouble, with the teams below them all losing.

In a first half of few chances, Northallerton, who started the game in sixth place, came closest early on with Gavin Parkin hitting the woodwork, but neither keeper was really tested.

The opening period came to life in the 37th minute when, after failing to clear properly, a ball back into the box caught out Alnwick keeper Dan Mullen, who brought down the Northallerton forward and the referee rightly awarded a penalty to the home side.

Mullen was booked and, from the resulting penalty, he was sent the wrong way by Danny Shoulder (1-0).

Alnwick got back into the game though just before half -time.

Good build-up play came to James Jackson, whose pin-point cross met the head of Dale Kennedy, who found the bottom corner (1-1).

It was no less than the away side deserved.

There was some confusion in the crowd and with the officials as the ball actually went through a hole in the net, but the goal stood.

The first half came to a close with Northallerton keeper James Howarth, who was making his debut, going down in his goalmouth complaining of dizziness following an earlier collison with Tony Brown.

The second half was delayed by 15 minutes with the keeper being taken to hospital by ambulance with concussion.

With no substitute stopper, defender Stephen Banks took the keeper’s jersey for the home side and his first job was to pick the ball out of his own net. Alnwick flew out of the blocks and Brown broke through to slot past the helpless keeper to give Alnwick the lead for the first time in the game (1-2).

Things got even better for the away side.

A corner was flicked on at the near-post and Jackson jumped highest to put Alnwick 3-1 ahead less than five minutes into the second half.

Alnwick continued to pressure and restricted Northallerton to long-range efforts, most going high and wide and even out of the ground.

The win was sealed in the 70th minute, with Kennedy wrapping up a fine individual performance, chipping the goalkeeper from distance, sending the travelling supporters wild.

It secured Alnwick’s first away win at Northallerton since the 1988/89 season.

Next up for Alnwick is a home match on Saturday against fourth-bottom Brandon United. Kick-off 3pm.

Alnwick: D Mullen, B Murray, K Hogg, D Lowes, T Macpherson, K Elliott, J Jackson (D Schiavetta), T Brown, D Kennedy, T Vickers, A Makin (S Hogg). Subs: C Kidd, D Atwell, J Lowes.