Bedlington Juniors...1 Alnwick Town...8
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ALNWICK moved up to second place with this comprehensive win despite fielding a much-changed team against the league’s bottom side.
Alnwick fell behind when keeper Jay Graham strayed off his line and was lobbed from 20 yards by an alert attacker from Bedlington.
Bedlington’s lead did not last for long, however, as less than two minutes later, Raph McCall cut in from the right wing and surged towards the Bedlington penalty area before being brought down by no less than four players converging on him.
From Liam Cravagan’s beautifully-flighted free kick, Jack Elliott crashed the ball home to level the game.
Alnwick hit their stride now and soon took the lead. After some tight passing between Leon McHale, Cravagan and debutant Josef Laverty, McHale struck a fine goal from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom left-hand corner.
Within seconds of a save from a Bedlington opening, Alnwick were 3-1 ahead.
A good goal-kick from Graham came to McHale, lurking in the old-fashioned inside right position. He took on and beat three Bedlington defenders before lashing the ball right to left across the face of the goal into the top left-hand corner.
Six minutes into the second half, McCall, cutting into the penalty area from the right, unleashed a strong shot, which the Bedlington keeper could only get his finger tips to.Substitute striker Joe Pickard made sure it counted, thumping the ball into the net.
One minute later, Alnwick were 5-1 up, this time after excellent work from Joe Threlfall down the left wing. His cross-shot into the area led to a goalmouth scramble, with the ball eventually trickling into the net off McCall.
Threlfall finished off his own move in the 51st minute, when he drilled the ball hard and low into the bottom left hand corner of the net after another surging run down the left wing.
Goal number seven came via a great cushioned ball off Gavin Hogg’s midriff which played in Liam Cravagan who shot home confidently from the edge of the area.
Threlfall wrapped up the scoring taking a confident penalty with the last kick of the game to make it 8-1 and lifting Alnwick Town into an outstanding second place.
Alnwick Town: Jay Graham, Callum Robertson, Raphael McCall, Jack Clements, Liam Cravagan, Jack Elliot, Travis Robinson, Joe Harmison, Joe Pickard, Leon McHale, Gavin Hogg, Alex Law, Will Sibson, Joe Threlfall, Chad Frame, Josef Laverty.