WHAT do you get if you take 14 players who haven’t played a match for seven weeks, throw in the consumption of several turkey dinners, too many boxes of chocolates and the odd alcoholic drink or two?
Well in the case of Alnwick IIs you get a determined team playing in sub-zero temperatures and a seven-goal haul.
With the support of the club coach on the sideline, three substitutes and a few dedicated supporters, Alnwick had all they needed to make an enthusiastic start.
Lucy Brown, Linzi Taylor, Elodie Straker and Beth Satterly were all making their debut for the senior team and all played a vital part in the result.
The first goal came a few minutes into the game from Humphries, who worked the ball from outside the D into the circle to put it past the keeper.
A rebound goal from Elodie Straker on her debut soon made it 2-0.
Reed and Humphries worked well down the right and Humphries put in a great cross for Sparrow to score from a firm strike. From a penalty corner, Fairbairn scored again to take it to 4-0 at half-time.
During the first half, Alnwick’s end of the pitch had frozen over and with 95 per cent of play in the North Shields end, the umpires agreed to continue to play without a change of end.
The second half saw Alnwick continue to dominate and the rotation of substitutes kept the pace of the game. North Shields were barely allowed to break but when they did, the ball was dealt with confidently by the Alnwick defence.
Second half goals came from Lucy Brown, another from Straker and a deserved goal from Reed.
Not a pretty game but good teamwork with all players contributing well in the freezing conditions.
The win keeps Alnwick at the top of the table although next week’s tough opponents Northumbria St George are currently third but with two games in hand.
Alnwick: Linzi Taylor (GK), S Roberts, C Frew, K Leung, R Hopkins, B Satterly, E Young, H Sparrow, S Fairbairn, C Reed, J Humphries, L Brown, E Brown, E Straker. Player-of-the-match E Straker.
The team thanked match sponsor Cafe Tirreno.