Vital victory for Welfare

North Sunderland...0 Red Row Welfare...2

Sportsworld North Northumberland League, Division Two

A DEPLETED Red Row side worked hard to come away with three points against North Sunderland on a blustery day at Seahouses.

The visitors went into the game missing eight first-team members but still managed to field a strong 11, and tried to play their usual passing game despite the strong wind.

The first real chance fell to the home side after an uncharacteristic defensive mix-up. The North Sunderland striker went clean through but John Charlton raced off his line to block his effort.

Red Row enjoyed the majority of possession after this scare but found it hard to create chances thanks to a combination of resolute defending from the home side and the disruptive wind.

But just as it looked like the sides would go into half-time goalless, the visitors stunned the home side with two quick-fire goals. Matthew Graham, who was making his full debut, latched onto a through-ball from Karl Taylor before slotting past the keeper to open his account for Red Row.

Veteran Stu Marshall, who was also making his full debut, made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when his free-kick went through the goalkeeper’s legs.

Red Row continued to play decent football in the second-half but spurned several opportunities to extend their lead.

With the home side’s keeper redeeming himself with a series of top-drawer saves, the pick of the bunch being from a deflection when he changed direction in mid-flight to stop the ball going over the line.

Karl Taylor was unlucky not to score when his strike hit the bar before Red Row were forced to survive a late North Sunderland onslaught to ensure they came away with a clean-sheet and a vital victory.

Red Row squad: J Charlton, J Giles, D Palmer, M Straker, S Marshall, K Taylor, J Small, R Baker, S Anderson, K Bell, M Graham, D Whenray, D Tinlin. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Matthew Graham.