Brown nets two penalties in Rothbury win - home loss for Alnwick

Rothbury 5-0 Gateshead Redheugh

Rothbury midfielder Tony Brown’s ball skills lit up a gloomy day like the Blackpool illuminations. The talented former Alnwick Town man netted twice from the penalty spot and was the creative force behind two more the week after his stag do in the seaside town.

“We were chuffed to bits with the result after a little mini break in fixtures, especially in the manner we did it with an emphatic scoreline,” said Brown.

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“The most pleasing was there was no signs of rustiness, we looked really solid at the back, never looked like conceding and at the other. Gaz Mccann is in a hot streak scoring for fun. Another 3 points closer to the end goal and we’re brimming full of confidence going into another tough game at Cramlington United next week.”

To call the Coquetdalers win routine does a disservice to the hard graft that they put in - they were solid in defence, dangerous in attack, stronger in the tackle and in Brown, and his midfield partner James Jackson, had the game’s outstanding players. Without ever really getting out of first gear, Brown and Jackson probed away with their passes, kept possession and the ball moving with short, tidy interplay - then when the opportunity presented itself, they could open the Gateshead defence almost at will.

Brown put the Red’s ahead from the penalty spot in the 13th minute and Michael Old extended the advantage in first half stoppage time. It was three just a couple of minutes after the break. Greg Woodburn’s skilful footwork tied a couple of Redheugh defenders in knots before he was felled on the far left edge of the box. Brown stepped up to curl the free kick onto skipper Tom Macpherson’s head, and he glanced it in past the keeper at the near post. It was just reward for a commanding performance by the big centre back, who controlled things on the pitch.

Brown was again instrumental in the fourth in the 61st minute, spraying an inch-perfect ball from his own half into the path of Old, who squared for Gareth McCann to slam high into the roof of the net. Brown added his second from twelve yards with 8 minutes left, coolly sending the stopper the wrong way to cap an assured display.

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“I was thoroughly impressed with our performance,” said manager Dan Herron. “I was expecting a rusty one after missing two weeks in a row. But the lads played some lovely football out from the back, and we looked back to our best in terms of fluid movement. The league table is quite an unfair reflection on Redheugh, the three times we’ve played them they’ve been better than their position suggests and never stop working,” he continued. “It was good to have Kyla back in the fold and enjoying it again, he buzzed around as usual but played up top in and around Gar, who by the way, scored one of our best goals this season! The build up football was quality from the back, his first touch and weak foot rocket was right in the top corner, on a postage stamp! Bread and butter for the PIG!”

Herron again stressed how pleased he is with the squad at the club with a number of changes to the starting line-up. “Although we were missing Thompa, Travvy and both Laviers brothers, we still had a strong 15 there who all played their part. I was also pleased that we didn’t take our foot off the gas so to speak, when you’re leading comfortably it’s easy to start getting sloppy but we maintained work rate and tempo.”

“The Redheugh keeper had a great game too, if not for him it could have been a bigger margin again, especially in the first half where coming in 4/5 up would be a fair reflection of our chances, but we weren’t clinical enough to take them.” “It was also good to see Blackpool hadn’t taken too much out of Tony too, he was his usual Scholes-esque self, quality on the ball and creating chance after chance, not to mention the two ice cool penalties. All in all a very commanding win, and in front of a very decent crowd too. It was good to see so many there, so thanks to them.”

Alnwick Town 0

Newcastle Blue Star 3

Alnwick Town suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Newcastle Blue Star at St James’ Park in the Northern Alliance Premier Division on Saturday. The visitors scored a goal in the first half and two more in the second to take all three points.

This weekend Alnwick are at home again when they face Killingworth at St James’ Parkon Saturday, February 23.