Five goals help mark milestone

Alnwick town squad before Saturday's 1000th game in the Northern League.
Alnwick town squad before Saturday's 1000th game in the Northern League.

Alnwick Town marked their 1,000th Northern League game in stunning style on Saturday, with a last-day-of-the-season 5-2 victory over Washington.

And to add icing to the cake, the St James’ Park side could well be playing at this level next season, with their chances of avoiding relegation from Division Two looking more likely.

While Town ended the season second-bottom, and in the dropzone, they could be granted a stay of execution after league high-flyers Ryhope CW were last week classed as a ‘relegated club’ by the Northern League for failing to meet ground grading criteria.

If this decision is ratified by the FA leagues committee on May 17 then, subject to appeal, Ryhope will go back to the Wearside League and Alnwick will be safe.

It would be the perfect end to a season which finished so well on Saturday.

Watched on by a crowd of more than 150, Town served up a fine display of football worthy of the occasion.

Jon Colley sunk a first-half hat-trick before second-half goals from Kieran Hogg and Tony Brown completed the rout.

Not even a brace from Washington’s Dean Walker could halt the 1,000th game celebrations.

To mark the moment, which came just over three decades after Town’s first Northern League match – a 1-1 draw with Billingham Social FC in late summer 1982 – Northern League chairman Mike Amos presented the club with a commemorative salver.

Mr Amos said: “It was a lovely occasion. Alnwick is a smashing community club and it was a great pleasure to present them with a commemorative salver.”

The club’s junior players escorted the senior team out in their club colours on the day.

Town chairman Tom McKie said Saturday was a proud chapter in the club’s history.

Team: Brooks, Makin, Catlow, Murray (C), MacPherson, Patterson, Colley (Kidd), Brown, Keenan (Lowes), Thompson (Jackson), Hogg. Subs: Murray, Tait. Match Sponsor: Kitson Windows. Ball Sponsor: CBS World.