Town goal blitz is the icing on the cake

Alnwick Town...3 Horden CW...0

STL NORTHERN LEAGUE, DIVISION TWO

A SECOND-HALF goal-fest saw Alnwick Town to a 3-0 victory over struggling Horden CW on Saturday.

Tom MacPherson, Adam Shanks and Jon Colley were the scorers for the north Northumberland outfit as they brushed aside the division’s bottom team.

The goal blitz teed up Alnwick’s second Northern League, Division Two win on the bounce, following a 1-0 triumph at Esh Winning the week before, to maintain their fine start to the season.

It’s been contrasting fortunes for Horden though, who find themselves at the wrong end of Division Two.

But despite their poor start to the 2011/12 campaign, Horden went into the Alnwick clash on the back of a midweek 3-1 victory over Brandon United in the Preliminary Round of the Durham Challenge Cup, and had two Hartlepool apprentices in their squad for the St James’ Park clash.

It was Alnwick though who exerted the early pressure in the match.

Mark Cockburn floated in a cross which caused panic in the Horden defence resulting in the keeper just managing to clear.

Alnwick went forward again and Paul Hodge crossed for Shanks, only for Horden defender Jake Cairns to save the day with a well-timed tackle.

The hosts came close to undoing their dominance though when they nearly gifted Horden a goal – Gary Bailes almost putting into his own net when his header back to keeper Michael Armstrong missed the intended target and instead went wide of the goal.

But Alnwick managed to clear the corner and a quick attack by Hodge found Tom Vickers whose shot was blocked by Chris Freeman.

Shanks and Hodge had other efforts on goal, while at the other end, Kevin Price had Horden’s best effort of the half, but his shot skimmed the bar.

With the teams unable to break the deadlock in the first half, it was Horden who almost took the lead early in the second when poor defending allowed Chris Dobbs to have an effort on goal, but his shot went over the bar.

The deadlock was broken in the 55th minute.

An Alnwick corner found Vickers, who nodded back to MacPherson who headed home.

Colley nearly extended Alnwick’s lead in the 75th minute, when he beat a defender before shooting at goal, but his effort went over the bar.

But Alnwick didn’t have long to wait before doubling their advantage.

Three minutes later, Colley found Shanks who outpaced a defender before rifling in a shot from distance.

The sheer speed of his effort saw the ball hit the roof of the net before the Horden keeper moved.

Colley rounded-off a good day at the office for Alnwick when he scored in the 85th minute.

He grabbed the black and whites’ third when he cut in from the left touchline and, still some 10 yards from the corner of the penalty area, he launched a high curving and dropping ball past the stranded keeper into the top right corner.

It was the icing on the cake for Alnwick who recorded their fifth league win of the season.

Alnwick are at home to Team Northumbria on Saturday.

The league contest kicks off at 3pm.

Alnwick Town (v Horden CW): Armstrong, Murray, Catlow, Hodge, MacPherson, Bailes, Cockburn (MacKenley), Vickers (Willis), Gibbard (Colley), Shanks, Brown. Subs: Brooks, McMullen.

l Alnwick have been drawn to play Northern Alliance, Premier Division side Ponteland United in Round One of the NFA Senior Benevolent Bowl.

The cup clash is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, at Ponteland.

l Alnwick were away at Easington Colliery last night in a Northern League, Division Two match. Visit www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk today for the result.