Turn out and give support at St James’ Park for Non League Day

Alnwick Town v Billingham Town
Alnwick Town v Billingham Town

Alnwick Town hope to attract a large crowd when they host Seaham Red Star on Saturday, as part of the Non League Day initiative.

The aim of the national campaign is to raise awareness of non-league football and ask fans to support their local club on a day when there are no Premier League or Championship fixtures.

Alnwick defending against Billingham Town. Picture by Alnwick Town AFC Supporters Club

Alnwick defending against Billingham Town. Picture by Alnwick Town AFC Supporters Club

The Northern League, Division Two match kicks off at Alnwick at 3pm. Admission is £5 adults, £3 conc and children.

Alnwick go into the weekend’s match on the back of mixed fortunes in their last two games, beating Billingham Town 4-3 last Saturday before losing to Hebburn Town 5-1 on Tuesday.

The midweek clash was always going to be a tough ask for the black ’n’ whites, against a Hebburn side who had not lost a league match this season.

But hosts Alnwick went in front five minutes before the break when Keith Douglas smashed in a penalty. It came after Adam Shanks was fouled in the box, following a mazy, solo run from the frontman.

Alnwick Town v Billingham Town

Alnwick Town v Billingham Town

The game was turned on its head after the break though, when, 13 minutes into the second period, Alnwick’s Ross Straughan was sent off for a foul on the Hebburn player.

The visitors were awarded a penalty, although it looked like the initial contact was outside the box.

Alnwick keeper Dan Mullen saved the penalty but Shaun Reay crashed in the rebound to level the scores.

Things got worse for Alnwick a few minutes later when Callum Smith capitalised on a mistake to round the keeper and put Hebburn in front.

Alnwick Town v Billingham Town

Alnwick Town v Billingham Town

The visitors’ numerical advantage began to tell and while Alnwick battled hard, they were unable to stop Hebburn adding to their tally.

Tall target man Channon North grabbed a brace before Calvin McMahon completed the scoring in injury time.

The victory extended Hebburn’s unbeaten start to the league season, but Town will point to the sending off and debatable spot-kick as being the game changer.

The match and match-ball sponsor was Coast and Castle Estate Agents in Alnwick.

Brett Robertson scores for Alnwick against Billingham. Picture by Alnwick Town AFC Supporters Club

Brett Robertson scores for Alnwick against Billingham. Picture by Alnwick Town AFC Supporters Club

St James’ Park is certainly the place to see goals and there were seven of them in Alnwick’s 4-3 win over Billingham Town on Saturday.

Alnwick broke the deadlock in the 20th minute. when Bryan Murray, who appears to have postponed last season’s retirement, chased down a loose ball and crossed for Keith Douglas to tap home.

Brad McClelland made it 2-0 on the half-hour. Tony Brown played a perfectly weighted ball through the defence for McClelland to latch onto. His first effort was parried by the goalkeeper, allowing the striker a second chance, which he took.

After the interval, Billingham got themselves back into the game and sparked a goal spree in the process.

Whensley struck from distance giving Mullen no chance to reduce the deficit in the 60th minute, only for Brett Robertson to get his first goal for Alnwick two minutes later.

Billingham grabbed a goal back in the 65th minute after a Callender tap in. Alnwick’s Stephen Hogg made it 4-2, scoring with his first touch, but a nervy final 10 minutes followed, thanks to a goal from Bishop to make it 4-3.