Ryhope CW 2 Alnwick Town 1
Northern League, Division Two
Alnwick Town were unable to hit the heights of their incredible 4-3 comeback victory against Norton and Stockton Ancients on Valentine’s Day, as they lost 2-1 at Ryhope CW on Saturday.
A second-half Nathan O’Neill double inflicted the defeat on the St James’ Park side, who scored a late consolation through Adam Shanks.
Alnwick’s showing at Ryhope was much a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.
The previous Saturday, they had come back from 1-3 down to beat high-flying Norton and Stockton, in a match which was dedicated to club legend, Eric Hately, who passed away earlier this month.
But the trip to Ryhope was a different story and for some reason, the black ’n’ whites were fairly flat throughout.
In fact, both sides weren’t really at the races, especially during a lacklustre first half.
Ryhope were first to create a chance when Alnwick keeper Luc Glasper was forced to make a near-post save from a close-range shot from Richard Hodgson.
Alnwick, who were missing Jon Colley, made a number of half-chances, but poor final balls resulted in nothing.
One of Alnwick’s chances fell just before half-time when home keeper Jonathan Ball fumbled a save, but luck went his way as he fell on the ball with an Alnwick forward a few paces away.
The deadlock was broken in the second period when Ryhope scored from a penalty when an Alnwick player brought a Ryhope player down. Up stepped O’Neill to make it 1-0.
The second half was peppered with half-chances and a number of errors by both sides with not much to warm supporters of either side.
Ryhope doubled their lead in the 65th minute when O’Neill cut in to the box from the left and hit a rising shot, giving Glasper no chance.
Alnwick were slowly coming into the game and hit the bar. They were then awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to go and Shanks converted, but it was just too little, too late.
The result sees Ryhope sit 10th, while Alnwick are sixth-bottom.
Alnwick travel to Whickham on Saturday.
Alnwick: L Glasper, D Lowes, J Lowes (R Straughan), K Egen, T Macpherson, K Hogg, D Riddell (J Loughborough), T Brown, A Shanks, S Hogg, G Mbvianga. Subs: K Douglas, S Straker, D Atwell.