Alnwick’s recent run of poor form continued when they were dumped out of the Northern Alliance Challenge Cup at Killingworth on Saturday.
Paul Yeadon’s side went down 6-1 on their visit to north Tyneside, having been undone by a second-half hat-trick from Morien.
Alnwick gave a decent account of themselves in the first half but found themselves trailing 2-0 at the break with Hudson and Lamb on target for the home side.
They did, however, suffer an injury set-back when striker Paul Muers was taken off with a back injury after 30 minutes.
Killingworth went 3-0 up early in the second half, but a goal from Cunningham reduced the arrears to 3-1.
But then Morien decided to leave his mark on the game and went on to net a second-half hat-trick which gave the hosts a comfortable victory and passage to the next round.
Willington Quay Saints 2
Rothbury piled on the late pressure but couldn’t force a winner after coming from behind twice against Saints.
The point kept the Coquetdalers on top of Division Two, albeit on goal difference, from Cramlington United and Whitley Bay Sporting, though the Reds have games in hand.
Boss Dan Herron was disappointed with the first half display as the Hillmen were slow out of the blocks, but had no real complaints about the result.
“We were very poor in the first half and lacked quality and movement, though Willington’s tactics and shape made it hard too,” he admitted.
“The only thing of real class in the first half was Kyle Smith’s quality, sweeping through-ball to Greg Woodburn, whose first touch was immense. Kyle and Sam Proudlock were the stand-out players in the first half, and Al Laviers in the second. But other than that, we lacked movement and looked very rigid in the opening period,” he said.
Ross Thirlaway squared across the box for Dylan Adamson to ram in the opener for the visitors but Rothbury hit back when Woodburn ran onto Smith’s perfectly-weighted through-ball and slammed home past the advancing keeper.
Woodburn was delighted to get himself back on the scoresheet and revealed that the players in the dressing room afterwards were a bit disappointed not to have taken full advantage of the chances they had created.
“It was a good game for the neutral with bags of chances for both teams – we were backed by a big crowd yet again which is always a bonus as it gets you fired up for the match,” said Woodburn.
“It felt good to be back on the score-sheet after a few hit-and-miss games, but I can’t take all the credit as Kyle played a 50-yard through-ball to leave me with a bread-and-butter finish! I thought Kyle and Mins (James Jackson) in the middle were key to the hard-earned point, with Mins dropping deep and spraying the passes and dictating the play and Kyle with his work rate and leadership qualities which are always a massive up-lifter,” he continued
“I think, in the end, a draw was a fair point. Northern Alliance football has given the village a huge boost. At the start of last year, the team was one game away from folding as we had to scrape a team every week and to be where we are now in such a short space of time is amazing – all the credit goes to Dan and Tom Macpherson for turning the club on its head.”
Herron felt that the changes made at the break helped to boost the performance of the league leaders and, with a bit of luck, they could have taken all three points.