Alnwick Town 0 Thornaby 1
Northern League, Division Two
Alnwick’s difficult start to 2015 continued as they went down 1-0 to Thornaby on Saturday.
The St James’ Park side, still looking for their first win of the year, lost out to a James Clarke first-half goal.
Alnwick, who were without a number of regulars including Gloire Mbiavanga, Tony Brown, Ryan Douglas and Jon Colley, felt they deserved something from the game.
But despite their best efforts, they slipped to their third defeat in four league games. Alnwick keeper Luc Glasper was called into action first, pulling off a full-length save from Jamie Bellamy. At the other end, Keith Douglas shot wide.
The hosts had another chance when Darren Riddle ran down the right, turned the full-back and shot across the box without anyone following in for an open goal.
Alnwick’s Jake Lowes then shot wide.
Thornaby opened the scoring on the half-hour when James Clarke turned his defender in the box to hit a hard shot giving Glasper no chance.
In the 34th minute, Alnwick’s Adam Shanks was upended in the visitors’ box only to see the referee signal play on and soon after Shanks and Riddle combined to allow Riddle space at the near post, but his fierce shot was well saved by Thornaby keeper Michael Duff.
The second half started off at a fast pace and it was the visitors that nearly added to their lead when a quick attack beat the offside trap and Glasper had to be quick off the mark to save the day.
Towards the middle of the half, Alnwick were gaining more possession and more openings and in the 65th minute Riddle created space to take a good hard shot forcing visiting keeper Duff to make a fine save.
Then Alnwick hit the bar during a hectic scramble in the Thornaby penalty area.
Thornaby came back strongly when substitute Joseph Mewin went on a good run but shot wide.
The defeat left Alnwick sixth-from-bottom, while Thornaby sit eighth.
Alnwick face a tough game this Saturday when they travel to fourth-placed Team Northumbria.
Alnwick (v Thornaby): Team: L Glasper, J Loughborough, T Macpherson, R Straughan, R Hume, K Egen, D Riddle, K Douglas, A Shanks, S Hogg, J Lowes (B Murray). Subs: B Brooks, S Straker, D Atwell.