Castle close in as leaders slip up in derby game

North Northumberland Football League round-up

Division One

Tweedmouth Rangers’ challenge took a knock as they lost out to local rivals Highfields United.

Keiran Cromarty, Lee Dodd and Jack Strangeways scored for Rangers but a Simon Hargreaves hat-trick and a Jay Dagleish strike gave the win to Highfields.

Bamburgh Castle moved into second place in the division as two Johnny Johnson goals and a Gareth McCann strike gave them the win at Rothbury, whose two replies were scored by Chris Coe.

Red Row 3 Springhill 0

Red Row hosted Springhill on Saturday and recent form and performances suggested a home win against the league’s bottom team.

The game was into the 21st minute before a decent effort from the home side, a good run by full-back Tommy Eason found Darran Smith, whose shot was saved by Richardson, the visiting keeper.

Ten minutes later, Red Row took the lead when a Paul Smith free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall, only for the ball to fall to Ben Lilburn for a tap-in (1-0).

Springhill kept at it and could have pulled one back but for a miss by winger Young.

Red Row got a second goal after good work by Mark Nixon resulted in him finishing easily from five yards (2-0).

The third goal came on 80 minutes, with leading scorer Sean Palmer breaking at speed and finishing well (3-0).

This was a difficult game on a poorly-maintained pitch.

Red Row from: M Mavin, Liam Eason, B Lilburn, M Nixon, D Palmer (man-of-the-match), J Giles, S Black, P Smith, D Smith, J Small, S Palmer, J Charlton, W Simpson, G Reed, K Bell.

Next week, Red Row host Amble St Cuthbert’s in a cup game, kick-off 1.30pm – players meet at the ground no later than 12.30pm.

North Sunderland 1 Shilbottle CW 5

Shilbottle recorded another crucial victory in their quest for the league championship with this comfortable victory at Seahouses.

The Colliers opened brightly in blustery conditions and were unfortunate not to take an early lead when Josh Hay had an effort well saved by the North Sunderland keeper and Liam Brooks put a good chance over the bar.

However, they opened the scoring after 35 minutes when Matty Graham was played in by Ron Murray to finish well (0-1).

Within five minutes, they were two up when Liam Brooks got on the end of a long clearance to shoot home (0-2).

A third goal followed just before the interval when Brooks did well to win the ball and play in Josh Hay to lob the keeper and give his side a comfortable advantage at the break (0-3).

Following the restart, the Colliers continued on the offensive and increased their lead after 65 minutes.

Good team play saw Richard Brown down the left and cross for Chris Graham to finish well (0-4).

The home side pulled a goal back against the run of play, when Rikki Hume was caught in possession and they broke clear to reduce the deficit (1-4).

However, the Colliers’ four-goal advantage was restored on 75 minutes when a good through-ball from Calvin Flanighan put Josh Hay clear to finish with ease and wrap up a resounding victory (1-5).

Shilbottle: A Wilson, B Balmbra, C Graham, R Murray, R Hume, B Wake, C Flanighan, M Graham, L Brooks, J Hay, R Brown, A Douglas, S Shandon, S McEwan. Shilbottle’s man-of-the-match: Matty Graham with Neil McFarlane taking the award for North Sunderland.

Division Two

Lowick United ensured runners-up spot as they netted eight times without reply at home to Lynemouth Anglers United.

Mark Dunlop, three, Kevin Greshon, two, and single strikes from Alan Thompson, Sam Morrison and 16-year-old debutant Ben Fairbairn were the Lowick marksmen.

Alnmouth United had two Judd Donohoe goals and a James Woollett effort to thank for their win at Hedgeley Rovers, whose goal-scorer was Jordan Furness from the penalty-spot.

Craster Rovers had Shaun Toal scoring a hat-trick at Duns, whose two replies were from Keiron Renton plus an own-goal.

Embleton WR 1 Amble St Cuthbert 7

The Amble side notched the biggest win of their short history, while Embleton’s loss of form continued.

The visitors took the lead in only the second minute, Reece Ramsay coolly finishing from the inside right (0-1).

The next half-hour brought almost total domination from the Cuddies, but no further goals as both Reece and Liam Ramsay and Brad McClelland all failed to finish chances with the Embleton keeper in fine form.

A superb, last-ditch tackle by the Rovers’ left-back denied Reece Ramsay a second after a superb, flowing move.

Embleton posed something of a threat, however, and on the half-hour mark levelled the scores with a well-placed drilled shot from Chris Chisholm (1-1).

A minute later, though, St Cuthbert’s were back ahead, combative midfielder Connor Smith showing the other side to his game by sending a missile of a free-kick from 30 yards out into the top-right corner of the net (1-2).

Fortunately, the net stopped the ball or there may have been collateral damage in Craster.

On 42 minutes, a typical, mazy run from Liam Ramsay ended in him being tripped in the box and young referee Peter Taylor, impressive throughout, was close at hand to point to the spot.

Ramsay passed the ball to his goal-hungry brother Reece, who expertly converted the penalty (1-3).

McClelland then almost put the Cuddies three goals ahead, but the Embleton goalie did excellently to deny him in the one-on-one situation.

Embleton improved after half-time but did not create any clear-cut chances. Amble should have scored on two or three occasions but it was not until the 82nd minute that they made sure of the win, Reece Ramsay slotting home for his hat-trick (1-4).

The home side’s defence then went rather absent without leave and the Cuddies had several more chances and took three of them, Liam Ramsay chipping the goalie, Joe Henderson hooking in over his head and substitute Ethan Iredale becoming the first Cuddie to reach double-figures in goals with a cheeky back-heel flick with the last kick of the match (1-5).

Amble St Cuthbert’s man-of-the-match: Joe Henderson.