Smith nets treble as basement Town are downed by Durham

Alnwick Town 0-4 Durham City

Alnwick slumped to defeat once again in the Northern League on Saturday on another grey afternoon at St James’ Park.

The result matched the weather with Town remaining anchored at the foot of the table .

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It was a scrappy start to the game, but up until the visitors took the lead in the 14th minute, the home side looked as if they might hold their own.

An attacking Alnwick free-kick was blocked by the wall, and as the away side pressed, a cross-field ball was cut out by Callum Smith who ran on to take the ball around Glasper.

The game turned on this goal as home heads dropped, and in the 25th minute it was 2-0. Smith once again picked up the ball on the left, cut inside and fired in at the near post.

Alnwick were forced into an early substitution as Kristian Sands went off through injury, Danny Lowes replacing him.

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Alnwick almost got back into the game in the 35th minute. A deep cross was deflected goalwards by a Durham defender, but was cleared off the line to preserve their two-goal lead.

Rodgers should have sealed the game for the away side in the 38h minute, but his free header from a corner six yards out went over the bar, and a minute later Hird almost beat Glasper with a chip that went inches wide.

The third goal came in the 42nd minute when Smith completed his hat-trick.

A shot by Hird was blocked and fell to winger Smith, who took a touch and fired in to make it 0-3 before half-time.

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At the start of the second half, Alnwick got their first shots of the game. Laidlaw’s effort was blocked on the edge of the box, and a couple of minutes later Riddell thought he had Alnwick back in the game, but his chipped effort was clawed away by Caris.

As the ball came back into the box, Josh Hay met a cross with his head, but it crashed against the crossbar.

As the game began to stretch, Durham were awarded a penalty after the referee adjudged a foul by defender Straughan. Brad Hird sent his effort just passed the hand of Glasper into the bottom corner for 0-4. Durham settled at four, with no real efforts on goal in the final half-an-hour.

Alnwick: Glasper, Douglas, Fearns-Kennedy, Straughan, Sands (Lowes D), Westphal, Laidlaw (Robson), Brown (Threlfall), Hay, Riddell, Bright.