TOW LAW 3
ALNWICK TOWN 1
Alnwick went into this game on the back of a mid-week 2-1 win over Crook Town.
Alnwick travelled in the knowledge the game was in doubt and that remained so until match officials declared it was on an hour before kick-off.
The problem was fog which made for poor visibility. The constant light rain also made playing very difficult on a very soft pitch with long grass.
Alnwick went on the attack very early with a ball in from the left to James Jackson only to see his on-target shot deflected away. Tow Law created their best chance after 10 minutes when Alnwick keeper Callum Brooks made a fine two-footed save from Michael Calvert.
There were further chances at both ends, but at half-time it remained 0-0.
Thwere were floodlight problems at the start of the second half and against the run of play Tow Law took the lead through Adam Knowles, who hit a cross shot in 62 minutes.
Alnwick upped their pace when Lewis Robson’s shot was palmed over by home keeper Thomas Orton, who was the home team’s saviour on a few occasions. With Alnwick pushing for the equaliser they were caught out with a right wing move when Dean Sexton scored to double Tow Law’s advantage after 80 minutes.
Alnwick hit back with a fine three-man move from midfield which resulted in James Jackson pulling a goal back with a diving header.
Tow Law were hanging on, but a left wing move down the line saw David Parker cut along the by-line to net and make the final score 3-1.
CROOK TOWN 1
ALNWICK TOWN 2
The first goal was scored with 23 minutes gone, Darren Riddell’s shot from the edge of the box was too hot to handle for keeper Ryan Graham. Graham parried the ball straight to James Jackson who hit through a quickly formed crowd to put Alnwick one up.
The lead was rather short lived with Crook equalising in the 30th minute. A corner landed kindly at the feet of Jonathon Wright inside the six yard box. Wright fired home giving Callum Brooks no chance. Crook almost scored again as Callum Johnston hit a first time shot across goal but it flew just wide of the far post. Crook went close again after a series of defensive errors at the back for Alnwick, Damon Ellis was presented with an open goal, however awfully of balance the ball traveled very high and rather wide of the target, Alnwick got lucky.
Josh Hay went close to a debut goal in the first half as a bullet header from Thomas Butler’s corner was well saved. The score remained 1-1 as the game entered the break.
Jackson nearly added a second five minutes into the second half, his shot on the turn was saved by Graham from the bottom corner at the near post. The Alnwick lead was restored in the 54th minute as Josh Hay did get his debut goal with a calm finish, slotting his shot just under the keeper, after a great defence loosing through ball from Danny Lowes. 2-1 to Alnwick.
Jonathyn Quinn had a chance to add a third but his half volley was hit straight at Graham. With 10 minutes to go, Brooks saved Alnwick with an outstanding reaction save to a powerful header Crook skipper Jamie Tunstall. Hay could have netted a second after a good cross from deep by Lowes but a heavy first touch let him down and Graham collected. It wasn’t to matter however as Alnwick took home all three points in and the first ones of Adam Laidlaw’s reign
Alnwick Town have signed midfielder Andrew Inness, who made his debut on Saturday at Tow Law.
Inness is a ball winning central midfielder who will bring height to the centre of the St. James’ pitch and is also able to pick a pass. The manager of Newcastle United Women’s Development team, where he works alongside Adam Laidlaw and Thomas Butler as well as working alongside Ross Flintoft for the NUFC Foundation as a community coach, he will bring coaching knowledge and add on pitch organisation.
The 33 year-old has around 350 Northern League appearances to his name across both leagues, playing for Birtley, Washington, Esh Winning, Jarrow Roofing and Ryton.
In outgoing news, winger Ross Moore has left the club as well as striker David Brown who has joined Northern Alliance Premier Division side Blyth Town.