Alnwick Town edge North Shields despite red card
Alnwick Town overcame a red card to clinch an important 2-1 home win over Northern Alliance Premier rivals North Shields.
Chances came for the hosts early on as the three-pronged attack of Thomas Forster, Lewis Fairbairn and Paul Muers created problems with their raw pace.
However, Town suffered a set-back on 36 minutes when, for the fourth time this season, they were reduced to ten men. A long, searching ball from the visiting goalkeeper set the centre forward in on goal and Rhys Hogg clipped his opponent before he got his shot away, leaving the referee with little choice but to dismiss him.
Town reorganised and continue their attacking game plan, surviving a couple of scares, but they got their reward in closing minutes of the first period.
Captain Jake Lowes fired in a low free kick that was cleared to the edge of the box but 18-year-old midfielder Dylan Handyside fired home with his first touch, smashing the ball into the bottom corner before the ‘keeper could even move.
It is the youngster’s third goal since returning to the club this summer.
Even with ten men Town continued to create the majority of the chances in the second half.
And they extended the lead with another spectacular strike.
Handyside reacted quickest to a loose throw-in and found fellow teenager Thomas Forster who took a touch before finding the net from 25 yards.
Throughout the second period the back three of Peter Murray, Kieran Cromarty and Lowes held firm to give Callum Brooks little to do in goal.
The energy of midfield trio Handyside, Evan McEwan and man of the match Ross Gair showed tremendous energy to get about the pitch and create the momentum to attack.
Youngsters Muers and Fairbairn ran themselves into the ground for their team and were replaced by Andy Murray and 17-year-old Tyler Henderson, who was returning from suspension.
There was time for some late drama and Shields broke to score in added time but the home side held firm to clinch the three points.
Town were hoping to repeat the success at Shankhouse last night, Wednesday.