New management team suffer their first defeat

STL Northern League, Division Two

Gillford Park...3 Alnwick Town...1

ALNWICK Town fell to their first defeat in three matches with a 3-1 loss at high-flying Gillford Park on Tuesday night.

It also signalled a first defeat for the new management team of Danny Olson and his assistant Rob Marshall who took over recently.

Town came into the game on the back of a 3-2 win over Chester-Le-Street and a 1-1 draw at Whitehaven.

And Alnwick started well against an inform Gillford Park side, who had won their last four matches in all competitions going into the clash with the Northumbrians.

Visiting Alnwick dominated the first 20 minutes.

The St James’ Park side were lively, keeping the ball on the ground, passing and moving and using the pace of Kieran Hogg and Ross McKenley on the wings to test the home defence.

Alnwick’s fine start was rewarded as early as the fifth minute, when Tom Vickers met a Hogg corner to put the visitors one-up.

Town nearly extended their lead in the 21st minute, but Neil Catlow saw his free-kick pushed over the bar.

Gillford Park then made two substitutions which changed the pattern of the game and cut the flow of balls to the Alnwick wingers.

Park began to put pressure on Alnwick – although Town did have another effort through Catlow – and the home side managed to level the contest in the 41st minute when Craig Wilson scored from the penalty spot, although Brian Brooks in the Alnwick goal did get a hand to the spot-kick.

Park started the second-half strongly.

With five minutes gone, they had a goal chalked out for offside, but just a minute later, they took the lead – James Earl scoring from a free-kick.

Park piled on the pressure and in the 54th minute, Tyran Taylor headed in the host’s third from a corner.

Alnwick made two substitutes, bringing on Paul Hodge and Scott McMullen, and there is no doubt that the fresh pair of legs got Alnwick back into the game.

Damien Baston also came off the bench to make his debut for Alnwick.

The visitors pushed for a way back into the game and they nearly found it through Vickers, but his header hit the bar with the keeper beaten.

There were no further goals as Gillford Park secured a 3-1 win.

Alnwick are back in league action on Saturday, when they are at home to Whickham, kick-off 3pm.

Alnwick Town (v Gillford Park): B Brooks, B Murray, T McPherson, G Patterson, N Catlow, T Vickers, R McKenley, T Brown, N McFarlane, D Davison, K Hogg. Subs: D Baston, K Willis, P Hodge, S McMullen.