Alnwick Town 0-5 Newcastle University
Keith Douglas returned to Alnwick Town on Saturday, bringing his Newcastle University side with him, and it was clear to see they will be the team to beat this season in the Northern Alliance.
Newcastle University arrived at St James’ Park on Saturday averaging five goals a game in the league this season, and that record was maintained as they claimed a comfortable 3 points to extend their lead at the top of the table.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the home side, who failed to trouble visiting keeper Macleod over the 90 minutes.
The early warning signs were there for Alnwick when Laidler fizzed an effort just wide in the opening minutes.
The Uni took the lead in the 14th minute. Niza Chilfuya given space to open the scoring. (1-0).
Paul Muers was forced off early in the game and was replaced by Craig Muter.
Alnwick’s 2 first half chances fell to Moore and Drummond, but both efforts were high and over the bar.
The visitors would have the ball in the net another 2 times in the first half, but fortunately for Alnwick both were disallowed for earlier fouls.
Daniel Donohoe had Alnwick’s best chance, following good build up play he fired an effort across goal and wide of the post. Half Time 0-1.
Five minutes into the second half and Chilfuya scored his second of the game, this time a header. (0-2)
Subs for Alnwick saw Jason Imeson come on to make his debut, and Brandon Mallaburn again making the step up from the Development Squad.
Mallaburn almost got Alnwick back into the game. Driving at the defence, his right foot effort would clip the outside of the post.
The game was virtually sealed with 15 minutes to play. Keith Douglas finding space at the back post to tap in on his return. (0-3)
Substitute Lee Scott would complete the scoring for the visitors in the final few minutes with 2 cracking left foot efforts giving Brooks no chance. (0-4, 0-5).
A quite dominant display from the visitors who will prove difficult to beat on that performance. Scoring plenty and tight at the back. Definite title favourites in the early stages of the season.
Team: Brooks, Henderson, Lowes, Burns (Imeson ), Balmbra B, Pickard , Donohoe (Mallaburn ), Drummond (Cravagan ), Maddison, Moore, Muers (Muter ). Unused sub - Slack.
Gateshead Redheugh 1
Deadly Dan Thompson’s winner was hailed as ‘a special’ by team-mate James Jackson as Rothbury advanced in the League Cup.
The former Wallington hit-man netted in each half as the Reds went into Round Two and a meeting with Premier Division Newcastle Chemfica.
Midfield star Jackson was brutally honest in his assessment of the game afterwards and summed it up with two words: “Job done.”
But he felt that Thompson, who is now back up to the eight goal mark for the season after having a double against Jesmond chalked off when the result was expunged from the records, was ‘his usual brilliant self’ and his second goal was ‘amazing.’
“We played some fantastic stuff in spells, but we showed our weaknesses as we don’t work as hard as we need too at times,” he said.
“It’s still early on in the season, but there were some great results for us in the League today. Speaking personally, maybe, but we now need to focus on the League and keep doing what we are doing. We like to play football and we must enjoy it while we play it, and hopefully the fans enjoy it too.”
Jackson has been a key player in the Rothbury side since joining last season and is enjoying his time at the club.
“When I step on to the pitch at Armstrong Park, I am buzzing,” he admitted.
“I had a chip on my shoulder at my previous club as I was never used as much as I would like, but here I feel loved and the village is amazing. My girlfriend and I have moved locally and we love it.”
He is also looking forward to the test of playing top-flight opposition in the next round and said: “We, as a club, can only look forward to the tie and see how we fair against Premier Division side.”
Although Thompson’s opener was cancelled out by an Aiden Routledge strike for Redheugh, he chipped the keeper with a sublime effort to win it.
Rothbury joint player manager Dan Herron said: “It was a good performance - we missed a few chances, but ground the result out well.”