Bottom-of-the-table Alnwick Town suffered two defeats in the space of four days to put a dent in their fight for survival in Northern League Division Two.
A 3-1 defeat at Jarrow Roofing on Tuesday evening came hot on the heels of a last-gasp 3-2 loss to league leaders Crook Town on Saturday.
It left Alnwick rooted to the foot of the table with plenty of work needed to drag themselves away from danger. Relegation rivals Esh Winning and Horden CW played last night.
And Alnwick have a crunch week ahead – facing off against three teams in the bottom half of the table. On Saturday, they travel to Birtley Town (kick-off 3pm) before hosting Brandon United on Tuesday (kick-off 7.30pm). They are at second-bottom Horden CW on March 2.
In fairness to Alnwick, the games against Jarrow and Crook pitted them against two promotion-pushing sides.
Jarrow sealed the win on Tuesday thanks to goals from Peter Kane, Liam McBride and Andrew Appleby. Ben Keenan scored for Alnwick.
But it was nothing like the drama of the Crook match.
Two late, late goals from the table-toppers denied Alnwick a crucial win which they very much deserved.
With time running out in Saturday’s clash, Alnwick looked set to record a stunning victory against the league leaders. But an 87th minute goal levelled the scores, before 10-man Crook stole the points with a 96th minute winner.
It was cruel and undid the hard work which had come before. Admittedly Crook had taken the lead in the 15th minute through Kyle Davis.
But Alnwick played well and grabbed an equaliser in the 62nd minute, thanks to Tom Vickers.
Crook’s Ian Maddison was sent off in the 70th minute and then, with the clock ticking into the 84th minute, Alnwick found themselves in front; Tony Brown converting a penalty to put the hosts 2-1 up. The spot-kick awarded after Vickers was brought down in the box.
But it wasn’t to stay that way.
Warren Byrne’s 87th minute goal made it 2-2 before Davis grabbed that last-gasp winner.