Bamburgh Castle FC...4
THIS was the sole surviving fixture in the North Northumberland League between two in-form sides – Craster Rovers, who sat in third place, and Bamburgh Castle, whose mid-table position belied the fact they had won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions, only losing narrowly to Red Row and Wallsend Boys Club.
There were pantomime scenes before kick-off as the whole Bamburgh Castle squad and management were inadvertently locked in the dressing room after a door malfunction.
The match kicked off early in weak wintry sun and both teams began nervously. Indeed, a rare mistake by the Bamburgh Castle defence led to the opening goal. A blocked clearance was punished by Rovers striker Mark Chatteron after 10 minutes (0-1).
This set-back seem to spark Bamburgh Castle into life as Dan Johnson made surging runs down the right to force a string of corners.
Johnny Johnson almost levelled in the 26th minute when chipping the keeper, only to see his effort hit the bar.
Soon after, Bamburgh Castle were level when Alex Mackay wrong-footed Tom Parker and struck a low shot to beat keeper Smart from outside the box on the half-hour (1-1).
Craster forced corners and Bamburgh Castle’s defence was tested but the nearest they came was a shot from Parker which struck the side-netting.
Bamburgh Castle continued to press, but all chances went begging and the half finished level.
After a quick turn-around, Bamburgh Castle came out fired up and Mackay added his second for the club eight minutes into the second half (2-1).
This seemed to deflate Craster and Johnny Johnson added to their woes, seizing upon a loose ball to make it 3-1 on the hour.
At this point, Rovers must have been wishing referee Mick Hornsby hadn’t come to Bamburgh’s rescue as the home team began to dominate.
Chris Dalton was rewarded for a bustling display when finishing off a neat Bamburgh move to make it 4-1 with 15 minutes to go.
Bamburgh were now well in command and Smart had to save well from a Johnson snap-shot and a Dalton effort before play concluded.
Bamburgh Castle: J Crystal, G Turner, S Tanney, D Egdell, J Quinlan, I Patten, A Mackay, J Johnson, C Dalton, D Johnson, J Moffet, J Lidell, A Baillie, S Archer, G Fawcus.
Craster Rovers: N Smart, J Parker, S Watson, A Hogg, T Davison, T Parker, L Charlton, E Gillon, D Hogg, M Chatterton, J Hedley, J Clarke, M Jones, R Thompson, D Browell, R Straughan.
Man-of-the-match: A Mackay (Bamburgh Castle). Hospitality and Bamburgh Castle team sponsor: The Victoria Hotel, Bamburgh.