Don Valley I...4 Alnwick I...1
ALNWICK travelled to Sheffield on Saturday to face Don Valley, missing a significant number of key players.
They were, nonetheless, determined to play well and left the changing room in a positive frame of mind.
Both teams started well, with attacking play and strong tackling.
The hosts took advantage of the sun blinding the Alnwick goal area to take an early lead with a close-range sweep into goal (1-0).
Alnwick were not disheartened though and continued to press with some good running from Pringle, Murray and Brown creating space ahead of the midfield.
Determined tackles from Roberts and Allen denied Don Valley of any further opportunities at goal during the half and kept the Alnwick ladies in the game.
Pressure from Oates and Horn through the midfield eventually drew dividends and Alnwick were awarded a penalty corner close to the half-time whistle.
Allen’s direct strike was saved but the rebound was pounced on and continued pressure eventually saw Horn with the ball and she duly lifted it over the keeper’s outstretched stick to draw the score level (1-1).
The second half saw both teams fighting hard for possession in what was becoming an increasingly physical battle to gain the upper hand in the game.
Resilient marking by Fairbairn consistently blocked Don Valley’s main playmaker out of the game and the home team were becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to break through.
They won a series of penalty-corners which the Alnwick defence dealt with confidently, including a charge-down from Richardson that meant the hosts had to rethink their strategy.
Eventually, they managed to convert with a series of neat passes taking advantage of the numbers advantage that a short-corner provides to give them the lead again (2-1).
Alnwick continued to press but were repeatedly held up before they could enter the goal area and this prevented them from adding any further goals.
Don Valley continued pressing and were fortunate to squeeze two more goals in before the final whistle (4-1).
A disappointing result for the Alnwick ladies who face Newcastle University firsts this Saturday and aim to get back to winning ways.
Alnwick: T Graham, S Horn, N Richardson (c), R Allen, J Oates, S Fairbairn, E Brown, H Pringle, S Roberts, R Murray, C Reed. Player-of-the-match: Ruth Allen.