PIN POINT RECRUITMENT NORTHERN ALLIANCE, PREMIER DIVISION
ALNWICK travelled to Gateshead for their twenty-third league match of the season. The pitch at Gateshead left a lot to be desired and the strong windy conditions were not the best.
Alnwick had the first real chance when Scott McMullen’s corner was headed against the bar by Tony Brown.
Alnwick were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes after Tony Brown was upended in the box. Up stepped Tom Vickers to score his tenth goal of the season.
Gateshead were hitting the long ball to target man Kevin Hay with great effect and Brooks pulled off a magnificent save with his feet just before the interval after a long throw into the box saw a scramble occur.
The second period saw Alnwick have the advantage of the slight slope. A long kick from Brooks saw Dale Kennedy latch on to the ball, his attempted lob of the keeper hitting the top of the cross bar and going behind for a goal kick.
From Alnwick nearly gaining a two-goal cushion, Rutherford pulled back a goal back moments later, Kevin Hay steering the ball past Brooks from a cross to the crowded area.
Vickers did well as he created a shot from 25 yards out which was heading for the top corner of the net but the keeper made a tremendous full-stretch save.
The incident of the game came on 70 minutes. A speculative N Catlow free-kick from 30 yards out saw the home keeper claim the ball on the goal line but he did not fully control the ball and Mark Cockburn chested it over the line as the keeper stepped behind the goal line and the referee awarded a goal. A resulting revolt from Rutherford players saw a couple of yellow cards.
Alnwick had a great opportunity on 80 minutes, Ben Keenan doing well on the right as he flashed a ball across the goal line without anybody getting a touch of the ball.
Rutherford pressed for the equaliser in the dying moments but Alnwick hung on for the win.
Rutherford played better than their mid-table position suggests and can no doubt cause teams problems on their home ground in the remaining games of the season, Alnwick again taking the points in a hard-fought game.
Pizza Royale man of the match: Garry Patterson.
Squad: B Brooks, N Catlow, D Lowes, B Murray, G Patterson, S McMullen, M Cockburn, T Brown, C Moffet, D Kennedy, T Vickers, B Keenan, G Bails, K Elliot, J Swordy, M Armstrong, D Lillico.
Next home game v Ponteland United on Saturday.