Alnwick Town boss Paul Yeadon admitted clinical finishing was the difference after seeing his side succumb to a 4-0 defeat against Northallerton Town on Tuesday night.
But he insists his young team will learn a lot from the loss and bounce back.
A second-half hat-trick from Northallerton hitman Adam Emson made the game safe after his strike partner Carl Chillingworth fired the North Yorkshire outfit into an early lead.
It condemned Alnwick to their first defeat of this season’s Ebac Northern League Division Two campaign, following an opening-day draw at Tow Law Town on Saturday.
The 4-0 scoreline was harsh on the hosts, who saw a lot of the ball and produced some neat build-up play, especially in the first half. But a lack of cutting edge in the final third returned to haunt the hosts, with Northallerton more devastating in and around goal.
Yeadon said: “I thought the lads played well. It was good, positive football and we had most of the play.
“They didn’t have many shots but the difference was they scored. They are a side with proven goalscorers.”
Northallerton got off to the best start possible when Chillingworth converted from close range after two minutes.
The visitors could have extended their lead.
Chillingworth fired over the bar from a few yards out before Stephen Butterworth saw his sublime chip hit the post.
The hosts had chances of their own in the opening period, including a Jon Colley header which looped over the bar while Paul Hodge had his powerful goalbound effort blocked at close range.
Alnwick went close to levelling the game soon after the interval. Colley was on the end of an incisive breakaway but his shot went agonisingly wide with keeper James Briggs beaten.
Emson grabbed his first of the game on 65 minutes, breaking into the area and smashing the ball low past Ryan Beal in the Alnwick goal.
Wyn Fremlin nearly grabbed a lifeline for the hosts, but his angled shot went just wide.
Northallerton extended their lead in the 75th minute. The visitors broke from an Alnwick freekick and Emson slotted coolly past Beal. Moments later, Emson had his hat-trick, blasting home from the penalty spot to complete the scoring.
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