Alnwick Town 2-6 Heaton Stannington
It is now seven straight league defeats for Alnwick Town, who slip to the bottom of the Northern League following defeat to Heaton Stannington, writes Johnny Mason.
The Alnwick squad, missing a number of players due to work commitments and injuries, included goalkeeper Sam Bouttell, who signed on Friday to ensure the club had a goalkeeper available for the match. Starts were also handed to James Jackson and Lewis Robson, with Josh Hay being named as captain for the game.
It was a positive start from the home side, who were keeping things tight at the back and creating chances. Stephen Young had the first chance of the game but saw his effort saved. In the first 20 minutes, further chances fell to Douglas, Coyle and Hay, but none troubled the former Alnwick goalkeeper Dan Mullen.
As with many previous games, it would be an error that would lead to the first goal of the game. A cross wasn’t cleared, allowing Adam Laidler to shoot low into the bottom corner to give the away side a 1-0 lead, with only their second chance of the game.
The second goal of the game came 10 minutes later. A corner was lofted into the six-yard box and Dan Robinson climbed above the goalkeeper to head in the ball (0-2).
Heaton should have been out of sight five minutes before half-time, but Jake Turnbull somehow shot over from six yards out. He would also find himself booked on the stroke of half-time for a dive in the penalty area.
Dan Thompson almost got Alnwick back into the game right after the break, but his effort was kept out by Mullen.
The third came from Dan Robinson, and Bouttell can count himself unlucky, having tipped the first shot onto the post, but the Heaton forward was the first to react.
Ryan Douglas then missed the best chance of the game, somehow heading over from a couple of yards out. It was looking like another one of those days for Alnwick.
It was 4-0 after the hour, with Ethan Tait tapping in from close range.
Alnwick finally scored in the 70th minute, 396 minutes since their last goal in the league defeat to Northallerton Town. Substitute Philip Bright whipped in a left-footed cross for Dan Thompson at the back post who couldn’t miss. (1-4)
The comeback would be short-lived though, as Jake Turnbull got on the scoresheet, his effort going through Bouttell into the bottom corner.
Lee Johnson scored Heaton’s sixth from distance in the 76th minute (1-6), and Phil Bright would cap a positive performance as sub with Alnwick’s second just before the final whistle (2-6).
The goal drought is finally over, but the defeat, along with Darlington RA’s win over Blyth, means that Alnwick slip to the foot of the table. A long way to go still, but the run of defeats must come to an end.
Alnwick: S Bouttell, C Laidlaw (S Bell), J Lowes, B Fearns-Kennedy, R Douglas, L Robson (P Bright), J Jackson (L Dundas), J Hay, S Young, L Coyle, D Thompson.