Alnwick Town 0-1 Brandon United
The basement battle of the Northern League saw Brandon United pull five points away from Alnwick Town with a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.
A couple of enforced changes saw Peter Scott suspended and Phil Bright injured following Thursday night’s defeat at Tow Law Town.
There were returns for Tony Brown, Danny Lowes and Ryan Dougas. Joe Threlfall started from the bench.
In what was a quite nervy opening period, both sides knew what an impact a win could have on their season.
The first shot of the game fell to Alex Laviers in the 16th minute, with Brandon’s first coming in the 24th minute going harmlessly wide.
A Tony Brown corner in the 28th minute was just inches away from a number of players coming in at the far post.
With 30 minutes on the clock the opening goal of the game arrived The ball was given away cheaply in Alnwick’s half, and as the ball worked it’s way across the 18 yard box, Craig Ruddy drilled a low right foot shot into the far corner, giving the visitors a 0-1 lead.
The visitors sat back after the goal, creating little, but Alnwick couldn’t find a way through.
Douglas’s cross into the box was headed just wide by Brown, and Douglas himself had a great chance to chip the keeper, but his efforts ended up safely in the keeper’s arms following a poor clearance.
Chris Laidlaw then had the ball in the back of the net, but he was judged to be offside, and at half-time Brandon still led by a solitary goal.
In the second half Alnwick again had the better chances, but the final ball or shot just didn’t do enough to test Patton in the Brandon goal.
Warren Byrne had Brandon’s best chance in the 53rd minute, but he fired over when through one on one with the home keeper.
Ross Straughan had a chance with a header, Tony Brown had a good chance well saved, and Chris Laidlaw broke through but finished with a tame shot straight at the keeper.
Substitute Jake Lowes went closest of all for Alnwick. He fizzed a cross in from the left, and to the amazement of everyone it crashed off the far post and came back across the face of goal. So close for the home side, and sadly a sign of how things were going.
A goalmouth scramble still couldn’t get the ball into the net, and Brandon sawout the game keeping hold of the ball for the final couple of minutes.
This was a difficult defeat to take. Alnwick had enough possession and chances to take at least a point from a game they had to win, but if they fail to score goals it’s always going to be a struggle.
Next up is an away trip to Jarrow (Tuesday) and Willington (Thursday), followed by home games on Saurday v Easington Colliery, and Monday night v Ryton Crawcrook Albion.
Alnwick: Hodgson, Robson (Threlfall), Pickard, Brown,Straughan, Lowes D, Laidlaw, Douglas (Lowes J), Riddell, Westphal, Laviers. Unused: Purvis, Cravagan, Wilson