ALNWICK TOWN 1
Alnwick were missing Gary Bailes but other than that had a full squad to entertain Easington, one of last season’s surprise teams.
Easington are currently setting a good pace in third place in the League and recently knocked Ashington out of a Cup.
One of the strengths of Easington is that seven of the players play for the same manager and team on a Sunday as well.
Alnwick started in a positive mood moving the ball quickly and it nearly caused the opening goal after a few minutes when a move from Hay and Brown on the left released Brooks to cut in and hit a rising shot beating visiting keeper Kyle Donaldson but also just over the bar.
It was Alnwick dictating the game pushing the visitors back when a cross into the Easington penalty area from Brooks found Hay to head in for the referee to rule he had used his hand as well.
All the good work and pressure by Alnwick was undone when after 20 minutes in a 12 minute spell first by Luke Page took an angled shot on the left it was deflected by two players into the far corner of the net giving Town keeper Dominic McMahon no chance.
This was soon followed by goals from Joseph Ketteridge and Luke Page again.
In between the second and third goals Alnwick were not rewarded with a goal from good football started down the right via Brent Aisbitt, later substituted due to a bad leg injury, when he passed inside to Brooks and Hay combined for Brooks to turn the defender and made space to send a cracking shot just scrapping the outside of the post.
This was to become the pattern throughout the game.
Alnwick did not give up which has been the hallmark of their attitude when after the half hour a fast move down the Alnwick right through Matthew Graham, just on for Brent Aisbitt, crossed for Tony Brown to just fail to make contact and Liam Brooks followed up to take a volley again just failing to find the goal.
Half time arrived with the visitors ahead in goals but not in control of the game as the score may suggest.
Apart from the mad 12 minutes Alnwick were equal to their high-flying visitors.
Easington came out more determined to restrict Alnwick when after a couple of minutes Town’s keeper Dominic McMahon made two terrific saves in quick succession the first from Jack Pounder. The ball spun out for Peter Jones to follow up forcing Dominic to dive at the foot of the post.
Easington made the game safe with number four from Joseph Kerridge cut through the Alnwick defence to score his second.
Alnwick pushed Easington back and dictated play for the last 15 to 20 minutes. It started with Ryan Douglas down to Liam Brooks to head across the front of goal for the far corner making visiting keeper Kyle Donaldson to scramble the ball away. Due to the Alnwick pressure an Easington defender was seen to control the ball with his arm but no penalty was given.
Another Alnwick attack down the left and cross from Matthew Graham found Liam Brooks again the effort went tantalising close.
Alnwick gained a late consolation goal when a poor clearance from Easington was picked up by James Jackson, who moved the ball to his right, for Josh Hay to hit a powerful shot to make it 1-4 at the final whistle.