Welfare through to semis despite lacklustre display

Tweedmouth Rangers...1 Red Row Welfare...2

Runciman Cup, Quarter-Final

RED Row booked their place in the Runciman Cup semi-final, despite a lacklustre performance against a Tweedmouth side that has vastly improved since the two teams first met earlier in the season.

Red Row started horribly with pass after pass going astray as well as a catalogue of individual errors, so it was no surprise when Tweedmouth took the lead early on, with the home player hitting an attempted clearance from a corner straight into the roof of the net with real venom (1-0).

After this early scare, Red Row bucked up their ideas and started to play some decent stuff with Sean Palmer looking particularly dangerous, doing the hard work to get past a couple of defenders but hitting his shot straight at the keeper.

The visitors’ equaliser came from a rare glimpse of their undoubted quality with a fluid passing move starting with Dan Palmer as he dispossessed the Rangers’ forward before finding Paul Smith, who passed into the path of Kevin Bell. He held up the ball before slicing the defence open with a lovely through-ball into the path of in-form Karl Taylor, who took a moment to compose himself before firing across the keeper into the bottom corner (1-1).

Red Row almost took the lead soon after as Smith’s piledriver went just over the bar from all of 30 yards, before they finally got their noses in front on the stroke of half-time. A fine Smith corner found the head of Jordan Giles forcing the keeper into a save that could only reach the feet of Mick Straker who lashed home from close range for his first ever Red Row goal (1-2).

Early in the second half, Red Row thought they had extended their lead with yet another fine Smith pass being flicked in off the head of Matty Graham, only for it to be harshly ruled out for offside. Soon after, Taylor had what seemed to be a stone-wall penalty appeal turned down before the majority of the Red Row side took turns to miss good chances to put the game to bed.

Graham almost got the goal his effort and skill deserved, going close from 25 yards before blazing over from close range.

Tweedmouth almost punished Red Row for their sloppy finishing but a late header from the striker was hacked off the line by Dan Palmer to ensure Red Row reached their first semi-final.

Red Row squad: J Charlton, J Giles, M Smith, M Straker, D Palmer, K Taylor, P Smith, S Palmer, J Baston, K Bell, M Graham, J Small, S Anderson, D Carr. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Paul Smith.

Other results in the North Northumberland League – Division One: Berwick Utd 5 Longhoughton Rangers 1; Shilbottle CW 1 Wooler 2. All other games postponed.

Division Two: Alnwick Town U21 4 Craster Rovers 2. All other games postponed.

Runciman Cup, Quarter-Final: AFC Newbiggin 6 Alnmouth Utd 0; North Sunderland 1 Bamburgh Castle 3; Tweedmouth Rangers 1 Red Row Welfare 2.