Seasiders battle to salvage a point

DIVISION TWO

Alnmouth Utd...3 Belford...3

ALNMOUTH rescued an unlikely point after trailing by three goals early in the second period, with Chris Hay registering a brace for the visitors and Mark Oman doing likewise in reply, both from the spot.

Despite trailing at the break due to Hay’s neat lob over Andrew Boyd on 12 minutes, Alnmouth carved out enough opportunities to have led comfortably, notably when Chris Sinton spread himself to block first Lance Burton’s shot as he ran clear on goal followed by the same player, this time providing with a delicate scoop through only for Mark Oman to produce the same result.

Oman then found space again, latching on to Karl Taylor’s cross, but blazed wide from 10 yards.

Steve Carey was next to be denied by the keeper, while John Wilkie had also threatened on a couple of occasions, just missing the target on the end of set pieces.

At the other end, Neil Jefferson went closest for Belford but Boyd smothered well.

In contrast to the opening period, Belford were immediately the livelier in the second and were soon two to the good on 50 minutes when Gary Fairbairn’s header rebounded off the bar for Ryan Thompson to return it into the net from ten yards.

Two minutes later and the game looked over as a contest as Chris Hay found himself completely unmarked to blast past Boyd.

The demoralised home side looked in danger of being over-run as Belford poured forward in search of more success but Alnmouth began at last to stir and Lewis Conroy was unlucky with a sweet volley from range that just cleared the bar and then went close again with a header from a Karl Taylor centre.

The comeback started with a little over 20 minutes remaining, when Conroy was pushed over as he was about to strike from close range. Oman converted the penalty.

A needless trip in the area then followed 10 minutes later, allowing Oman another free shot which he duly dispatched.

The Seasiders were now in full steam as Belford lost their grip and it was no surprise when the leveller arrived in almost the next attack, Karl Taylor latching on to Michael Straker’s threaded diagonal through-ball before finding the net from 15 yards.

In keeping with the nature of this match, the balance of play then swung yet again as the shell-shocked visitors steadied themselves and regaining their composure, began to press as time approached, however, Ryan Thompson squandered the best chance when firing over at the death.

Alnmouth: A Boyd, C Rutherford, J Wilkie, M Straker, S Fulton, R Taylor (N Whitfield), R Stalker, K Taylor, M Oman, S Carey (L Roper), L Burton (L Conroy).

Belford: C Sinton, B Young, D Thompson, T Grethe, F Tait, G Fairbairn, G Pearson, R Lillico, C Hay, R Thompson, N Jefferson, A Thompson, P Murray, S Hunter. Alnmouth man-of-the-match: Karl Taylor. Belford man-of-the match: Ben Young.

Referee: P Robinson. Match sponsor: Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth. Match ball sponsor: Johnny Blythe, Painter and Decorator.