Perfect introduction for league newcomers

DIVISION TWO

Alnwick U21s...1 Red Row Welfare...3

RED Row made it two wins out of two on Saturday in an entertaining game against fellow newcomers Alnwick U21s.

After a scrappy opening few minutes, the visitors took the lead when Kev Bell flicked the ball into the path of Robert Baker, whose powerful shot from the edge of the box left the Alnwick keeper with no chance (0-1).

Alnwick were always dangerous on the counter-attack but the centre-half pairing of Giles and Straker managed to deal with everything thrown at them with a series of important blocks and challenges, keeping the lively Alnwick forwards at bay.

Red Row doubled their lead after 25 minutes when Marc Nixon found Baker on the edge of the box.

His shot was this time parried by the Alnwick keeper, only for it to fall into the path of Darren Smith, who made no mistake from close range (0-2).

Alnwick again came back strongly and had an appeal for a penalty turned down before going close from a header that Marc Mavin saved, ensuring the teams went in at 0-2 at half-time.

Alnwick started much stronger in the second half as the rain started lashing down, soaking the pitch, and their pressure eventually paid off when a long punt forward was spilled by Mavin and the ball fell into the path of the Alnwick forward, Kieran Martin, who tapped it into an empty net (1-2).

This was the wake-up call Red Row needed.

They upped their game and were almost rewarded as John Charlton broke clear, only to put the ball the wrong side of the post.

Kevin Bell then went close with a header that was saved before Red Row were awarded a penalty after Karl Taylor was brought down in the box under a challenge from an Alnwick defender after a powerful run.

The home side claimed it was a fair challenge but the penalty stood and Baker’s weak strike just trickled over the line, despite the keeper getting a hand to it (1-3).

The match ended 1-3 as Red Row climbed to second in the league on goal difference.

Red Row Welfare would like to thank East Chevington Parish Council for their donation to the costs of running the club.

Red Row squad: M Mavin, D Palmer, J Giles, M Straker, J Gray, M Nixon, S Palmer, R Baker, A Potts, K Bell, D Smith, J Small, J Charlton, K Taylor, P Smith, D Harris. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Sean Palmer.