Red Row Welfare...3 Newbiggin...1

North Northumberland League Division Two

RED Row went three points clear at the top of the North Northumberland Division Two after a hard-fought victory in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash against bitter rivals Newbiggin.

Both teams were unbeaten going in to game.

The home side started the brighter playing a good passing game but Newbiggin opened the scoring with a goal out of nothing when Tony Messenger fired in a fine volley from the edge of the box leaving Marc Mavin with no chance.

This left the homeside shell shocked and Red Row seemed nervous for a 10 minute spell with too many passes going astray.

Red Row got themselves together and drew level when a pin-point Sean Palmer free-kick was flicked in off the end of Karl Taylor’s foot, the home side finished the half well but where unable to find another goal.

Red Row also started the second-half strongly playing slick passing football and creating chances at will, Robert Baker went agonisingly close with a volley from the edge of the box before Kevin Bell forced an excellent save out of the Newbiggin keeper with a 25 yard strike, just as it looked like Red Row weren’t going to find a way through Freathy went close with a rare chance for Newbiggin but Red Row broke down the right with Bells shot being parried into the path of Darren Smith who finished from close range to give the home side the lead.

Newbiggin had an appeal for a penalty turned down before Robert Baker made sure of the win claiming a goal after it took a big deflection of Newbiggins Chris Waters.

Red Rows second-half performance was probably their best of the season and the way they played ensured they fully deserved their victory.

HFC Pizzas man of the match: Sean Palmer.

Red Row squad: M Mavin, J Giles, M Smith, M Straker, D Palmer, K Taylor, S Palmer, R Baker, J Gray, K Bell, D Smith, S Anderson, M Nixon, J Small, J Charlton.