Making a point

A LAST-GASP equaliser at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion on Tuesday evening ensured Alnwick Town maintained their unbeaten away record this season.

For the third time in as many games, the St James’s Park side earned themselves a valuable point away from home to keep them in the hunt near the top of the table.

While Alnwick felt like it was two points dropped on Saturday at Washington, on Tuesday it was more like points gained, as it had been in the comeback in the Bank Holiday Monday derby thriller at Morpeth Town.

It took until the 89th minute before Town managed to grab an equaliser in this game, one that was severely affected by the weather.

In the first half the wind was so strong that Alnwick could barely make it out of their own half with the same being true for the home side in the second half.

Even so, Town left it late after the Tyneside club’s recent signing from Consett Mark Eccles had scored direct from a corner in the 30th minute.

Alnwick’s goal saviour was Brian Murray who poached a point for his side just before the final whistle.

The point sees Alnwick move up to third in the table behind Team Northumbria and this Saturday’s opponents, Darlington RA.

However, Town have played an extra game on many of the teams sitting just below them, so every point is vital.

This weekend’s match against top-of-the-table Darlo will be another test in Town’s first season back in the Northern League, which has seen them so far win three and draw four of their eight games.

A victory for the home side on Saturday would see Alnwick climb above Darlington in the table who, at present, are only one point above, although they do have a superior goal difference.

If other results were to go their way, with Team Northumbria facing Birtley Town at home, three points would see Alnwick back as league leaders.

But Team Northumbria will be looking at a good points haul over the coming weeks, with three games in a row at home. One is against Northallerton Town, who are languishing in 18th, and another against struggling North Shields, who have gained just two points this season and are propping up the table (at the time of going to print - both sides played last night).

After playing south of Newcastle in their last two games, Alnwick’s 3pm kick-off on Saturday offers an ideal opportunity for fans to get down to St James’s Park and give the Town a boost in what promises to be another tough encounter.

The top three sides are all in league action, despite only three ties in Division Two taking place this weekend.

Many of the division’s other sides are in cup action in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase.

And Alnwick’s run of league matches continues with another midweek fixture next Tuesday, when they welcome Crook Town in a 7.30pm kick-off.

The home side will see this as a good opportunity to pick up three points against a side that are currently sitting in the bottom half of the table in 14th.

However Alnwick will be aware of Crook’s solid away form, with the County Durham club having already picked up seven of their eight points on the road.

•Next fixtures:

Saturday, September 10: Darlington RA (H; 3pm)

Tuesday, September 13: Crook Town (H; 7.30pm)

Saturday, September 17: Esh Winning (A; 3pm)