Alnwick Town...3 Washington...2
STL Northern League, Division Two
ALNWICK Town ended their barren run of form with a priceless 3-2 victory over Washington on Tuesday night, writes James Willoughby.
A well-taken double from Jon Colley and a composed finish from Chris Moffet helped inspire the St James’ Park side to their first win since mid-January, halting a miserable run of seven straight defeats in all competitions.
They had to endure a nervy end to the game though, after John Wears’ 74th minute header brought Washington back into the contest and set up a nail-biting finale.
But Town held on for victory – a victory which also marked the first three points for new boss Paul Yeadon, who was full of praise for his lads after the final whistle.
“It’s a happy dressing room,” admitted the 28-year-old, who was joined in the technical area by 83-year-old Clive Burn.
“It is really, really good to win. I think the performance the lads put in was great.
“They were working for each other. There was commitment there and they were battling for Alnwick Town Football Club.”
A breathless start saw three goals in the opening five minutes.
Moffet opened the scoring after two minutes when he latched on to a short backpass and broke into the area before slotting calmly past Washington keeper Chris Bannon.
While the goal came from a poor Washington pass, neat play down the right from the lively Marc Nixon helped create Alnwick’s opener.
Things got better for Alnwick two minutes later.
With just four minutes on the clock, the hosts doubled their lead – and in fine fashion too.
A goal out of nothing, Colley placed the ball past Bannon from well outside the box.
But just when things were looking good, Washington hauled themselves back into the game a minute later, when Lee Hamilton outjumped Alnwick keeper Brian Brooks to head into the net.
But the entertainment did not end there, with chances at both ends.
Moffet had an opportunity to increase the lead but sent his effort just wide while Brooks had to be quick off his line to save with his feet from Hamilton, who was clean-through on goal.
Alnwick had the best chances in the first-half and were once again denied a third when Colley looped a bouncing ball over the keeper, only to see his audacious attempt cleared off the line.
Right-back Danny Lowes also went close, but his low, hard drive was saved by the feet of Bannon, while Colley tried another lob, but went wide.
Washington could have levelled before the breakthough, but Ben Richardson’s free-kick hit the top of the bar.
Alnwick did extend their lead on 52 minutes. Colley raced on to another poor backpass and finished well.
At the other end, Mike Rush had a goal disallowed for a push.
There were calls for Washington to be reduced to 10-men midway through the second period when keeper Bannon handled in his own half to deny Moffet running on towards goal in a quick Alnwick counter-attack, but he was saved an early bath by being given a yellow card instead.
Moffet went close to grabbing his second but his goal-bound free-kick was well-saved by Bannon.
Washington set up a tense finale, thanks to that Wears goal, which saw him head in at the far-post from a Chris Tate cross.
And Washington pushed Alnwick right to the end, going close on a number of occasions, including a Hamilton effort which forced a save from Brooks and a Richardson shot which went just wide. But Alnwick, who were cheered on by a noisy home crowd, including the Felton Ultras, held on to secure the win, to scenes of jubilation at the final whistle.
The result was a much-welcomed hat-trick for the club’s adult sides, coming on the back of wins for both the Reserves and the U21s at the weekend. Alnwick are away at Birtley Town on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
Alnwick (v Washington): B Brooks, D Lowes, N Catlow, B Murray, G Patterson, L Dundas, M Cockburn, M Nixon (K Willis), J Colley (B Keenan), C Moffet, K Hogg (D Baston). Subs: P Hodge. Match sponsor: Kitson Windows. Match-ball sponsor: Blackshaws.
Alnwick Town were knocked out of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup on Wednesday, February 29.
They lost the third round clash 6-1 at Northern League, Division One side Billingham Synthonia. Chris Moffet was the Alnwick goal-scorer.