No four-tune for Alnwick in luckless derby-day loss

Action from Morpeth Town v Alnwick Town on August Bank Holiday Monday.
Action from Morpeth Town v Alnwick Town on August Bank Holiday Monday.

A search party should be formed to find Lady Luck, because she’s gone missing from Alnwick Town .

Either that, or she’s decided to stop smiling over this St James’ Park side.

In which case, can somebody sweeten her up?

Because Alnwick are in desperate need of some good fortune – and quick.

Their 4-0 derby-day defeat against Morpeth Town on Monday in the Ebac Northern League Division Two clash was unlucky, undeserved and a case-in-point that when your luck’s out, boy is it out.

Losing youngster Kieran Hogg early on to injury was cruel – especially after it followed an exceptional bit of play from the wide-man.

Hitting the woodwork twice – the first of which would have brought Alnwick level – was harsh on the hosts.

Conceding a freak goal in the dying moments of the first half – at a time when the St James’ Park side were on top and in the contest – was farcical.

And letting in a fourth from a shot which took a wicked deflection rubbed salt in the wounds.

Alnwick’s luckless 90 minutes – and not for the first time this season – meant an unimpressive Morpeth left St James’ Park with maximum points.

It meant that Alnwick have lost three games on the spin – all of which have ended 4-0.

And it meant that Alnwick have now gone four matches without scoring, despite creating plenty of opportunities.

Alnwick boss Paul Yeadon knows his side need to start turning chances into goals.

He said: “I’m gutted at the result and frustrated that we can’t score. We created chances all game.

“The last three games have been the same – they haven’t been a fair reflection of the games themselves.

“It is hard when you play like that and come away with nothing. It is important that the lads keep their heads up.”

Alnwick, who were missing a host of first-team regulars, needed to keep it tight early on.

But for the second home game running, they found themselves up against it immediately, conceding after two minutes, when Michael Chilton steered the ball past keeper Ryan Beal from close range.

While Alnwick may not have scored this season, it should be just a matter of time before they do, with the lively Wyn Fremlin up front. The pacey frontman gave Morpeth all sorts of problems and deserved a goal.

A mix of acceleration and trickery saw him force good saves from keeper Jak Wells.

Alnwick’s Danny Lowes was desperately unlucky when he saw his fine effort hit the post.

Despite the 1-0 deficit, Alnwick looked good value, but suffered a crushing blow right at the end of the first period when Beal’s miscued goalkick went straight to Chilton who headed in from the edge of the area.

It was a catastrophic moment in the context of the game.

Five minutes after the break, Morpeth extended the lead, when Andrew Keenan scored from a free-kick.

Fremlin went close, but his free-kick was palmed away.

Things got worse for Alnwick in the 65th minute when Morpeth went four-up; Steven Anderson’s shot took a huge deflection, leaving Beal with no chance.

Soon after, Alnwick’s Marc Nixon saw his fine curling effort from the edge of the area smash against the bar.

Such moments summed up Alnwick’s luckless day and luckless start to the season.

With a trip to Consett in The FA Vase on Saturday, here’s to hoping their luck will change.

Alnwick Town: R Beal, L Dundas, D Hills, B Murray, G Patterson, T McPherson, M Cockburn (R Straughan), D Lowes (P Murray), A Hutchens, W Fremlin, K Hogg (M Nixon). Subs: B Brooks, A Makin.