BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA 2
ALNWICK TOWN 0
Billingham Synthonia came into this game on the back of five unbeaten games and even now strengthened their squad with a number of Middlesbrough/Sunderland Academy players.
Alnwick were wanting to bounce back from their disappointment last Saturday when they drew with Birtley, having lost a three goal lead.
It could not have been a harder game to bounce back on as Billingham Synthonia had set their sights on an immediate return to Division I with a local business backing them.
Alnwick had already proved that they can live with high flyers when they outplayed South Shields earlier.
Alnwick kicked off and within a few minutes the home team created a chance when captain Tom McPherson cleared the danger from James MacGowan and then Alnwick hit back through Jamie Dixon to Ross Gair allowing Darren Riddel in and only a desperate tackle by Matthew Dixon stopped him.
It was mostly Billingham Synthonia’s possession and pressure but Brad McClelland had a chance after the ball spun back but his shot went wide.
Alnwick were restricted to a couple of chances in the first 15 minutes and a couple of minutes later an Alnwick keeper mistake (Mark Strasshine) tried to round Jamie MacGowan near the bye-line but MacGowan won the battle to score from an acute angle:
The game progressed with Billingham Synthonia having the possession but stern defence prevented them adding to their score. After the half hour Brad McClelland created a half chance for Darren Riddle to cut in but again it was another nearly goal.
Alnwick’s keeper redeemed himself with some good work and pulled off some tremendous saves. Alnwick had another good chance when Ross Gair turned the defender and home keeper Jack McLaren had to dive full length. It was something of an unexpected bounce of the ball that resulted for Billingham Synthonia’s second when a bouncing ball sailed over the defence and fell to Reece Kenney to head in: 2-0
The home team was worth their 2-0 lead having the lion’s share of possession and chances. They were very fast on attack so the Alnwick defence did well to restrict the home team. Alnwick had a few good chances but could not capitalise on them.
Three minutes into the second half Darren Riddell forced the home keeper to dive full-length to one-handedly push the ball away for a corner and a few minutes later the home keeper again saved the day for Billingham Synthonia from a move from Josh Willis and Ross Gair for Brad McClelland to test the keeper.
Alnwick were gaining possession and some very good chances but always had to watch Billingham Synthonia’s fast attacking football.
Alnwick keeper Mark Strasshine acquitted himself with some good saves and quick action. Darren Riddell and Brad McClelland combined well for Brad to make space, only to see his effort just go wide.
The home team through Reece Kenney and Christopher Lawther both went close but the Town defence was up to it with Town keeper saving at point-blank from Lawther and Kenney.