Ebac Northern League, Division Two
Alnwick Town’s habit of coming from behind to snatch late draws came to an end on Saturday as they came up against Northallerton.
In what was a game of two halves, Town had a number of chances in the first period and kept to their recent routine of conceding before getting a goal back, Tony Brown once again getting on the scoresheet.
But in the second half, the away side went off the boil and conceded two further unanswered efforts.
There was to be no heroics like last week when the black and whites first grabbed a last-gasp equaliser against relegation rivals Stokesley on the Saturday, before going even better on Tuesday and coming from behind three times to take a point thanks to a Brown hat-trick at Birtley.
Those two precious points, on the back of a recent run of good form, saw Town sitting three points clear of theNorthern League, Division Two drop-zone.
But in an unexpected, and unwelcome, result on Monday, Esh Winning, also scrapping it out at the bottom, won 4-1 against Seaham,
Coupled with this defeat for Alnwick, the two teams now both have 24 points, with Winning having a game in hand.
Alnwick stay in the slighter safer position of 22nd for now thanks to goal difference.
In North Yorkshire on Saturday, the first half was fairly even for possession and Alnwick had the more chances through Dale Kennedy and Tony Brown, who had two shots blocked in front of goal.
Halfway through the first period, Town keeper Brian Brooks had only really been called into action once, to tip over a speculative long-range shot, but Alnwick gifted the home side the opener through a defensive mix-up on 26 minutes.
The black and whites continued to pressure and four minutes later Brown hit back when he squeezed between two defenders and shot past home keeper James Briggs.
Unfortunately, Town couldn’t capitalise on their possession and chances in the first half and allowed Northallerton in with some slack defensive work by the team.
On 65 minutes, Carl Chillingford capitalised on loose marking and a failure to clear, heading in from five yards to edge the home side in front.
And with ten minutes left on the clock, they put paid to any hopes of another comeback when another poor clearance allowed Craig Wister to bundle the ball in.
However, it was only the St James’ Park side’s third defeat in the last nine and they still sit outside the bottom two, if only just.
Alnwick are back at home on Saturday when they take on Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, kick-off 3pm.
Team: Brooks, Makin, Catlow (Convery), Murray, Patterson, D Lowes, Brown, Colley (Hutchinson), Kennedy, Jackson, Hogg. Subs: Hall, Kidd.