WOEFUL Alnwick Town were thrashed 7-0 by Team Northumbria in the battle of the Northern League second division’s top two at St James’ Park this afternoon, writes Paul Larkin.
Had Alnwick won, they would have leap-frogged Northumbria at the summit.
As it was, a highly-dubious penalty as early the 10th minute set Town on a downward spiral, after Tony Brown’s ‘foul’ was adjudged to have been inside the box.
The livewire Peter Watling converted the spot-kick at the second attempt, Brian Brooks initially making a fine save low to his left but the ball rebounding into the path of the onrushing striker who made amends with a simple tap-in.
Watling and Team Northumbria never looked back.
Another strange refereeing decision gave the visitors a free-kick 30 yards out five minutes later. The ball was launched into the box where Tom Davies ghosted in to extend the lead to 0-2.
Although Alnwick huffed and puffed, they never really made any impression on a tidy Team Northumbria side.
The vistors enjoyed the best of the chances for the rest of the half, midfielders Dean Critchlow and Graeme Cairns orchestrating the play.
A depleted Alnwick kept the score to 0-2 until half-time but after the break, the floodgates opened.
Watling grabbed three more at the start of the second period and at five down with only just over an hour on the clock, Alnwick were staring down the barrel of a gun.
Three substitutes, Ben Keenan, Ross MacKenley and James Davidson steadied the ship for a while and Town began to enjoy more possession but it didn’t last long and Team Northumbria rounded off an excellent display with two late goals from Dan Riley and John Sherlock.
Full report and pictures in the Northumberland Gazette on Thursday.