ALNWICK TOWN 1
HEBBURN TOWN 0
Alnwick took all three points in the first game of the post Laidlaw era with a well deserved, hard fought victory over Hebburn.
It took ten minutes for the first chance of the game to come, landing Hebburn’s way. A cross from left back Scott Wallace found the head of Glen Hargrave at the back post but the header was directed wide of the target.
Rob Baker almost created a good opportunity for the home side. Baker got past Christopher Feasby who stumbled, giving the Alnwick full back room to cross. The cross landed on top of the net, panicking the keeper but nothing more then that.
Hargrave had his second chance of the game with just under half an hour played, dragging the ball back a couple of times to create some space. He hit a curling effort that was blocked and headed behind for a corner by Tom MacPherson.
Alnwick then had their go at opening the scoring, Danny Lowes curled in a pinpoint cross for Tony Brown but the midfielder headed high and wide. That was the last meaningful attack of the first half, which ended at 0-0.
With 15 second half minutes gone, Alnwick had two great opportunities to go ahead. Darren Riddell beat Michael Watson with ease before hitting a cross from an impossible angle. The shot found Lewis Robson on the right hand side, who tried to whip in the cross but it was blocked. The danger was not over with the blocked cross landing for Brown, who tried chipping Steven Hubery. Hubery pulled off an unbelievable backwards diving save to tip Brown’s effort over.
The action continued from the resulting corner. Baker’s corner found Riddell on the edge of the area. Riddell sliced a first time shot straight back to Baker. The ball was put back in finding the head of James Jackson, who got above the defence to flick the ball goal wards. It cannoned off the top of the bar and over.
Hebburn’s first real chance of the half came 68 minutes in via sub James Talbot. His shot was saved well by the outstretched left arm of Luc Glasper. The rebound fell back to him but it was blocked away as defenders threw themselves in the way of the ball.
The deadlock was broken with around 15 minutes to play. Lewis Robson picked up the ball in his own half and unchallenged, had the entire right wing to himself. He got to the corner of the box with two fellow black and white shirts with him, he didn’t need them. He struck the ball (unknown whether it was a shot or cross) arrowing straight into his far top corner.
The remaining 15 minutes were littered with attacks from the visitors, however they could not find a way through the solid Alnwick defensive effort.
This was a great start to Steve Mullen’s reign with a well deserved win at St. James’ Park, moving Alnwick from the bottom of the form guide and helping to pull them away from trouble.