Perfect record dented but Red Row still on course

AFC Newbiggin...1 Red Row Welfare...1

North Northumberland League, Division Two

RED Row Welfare lost their 100 per cent league record but still took a massive step towards the league title after being held to a draw at second-place Newbiggin in an entertaining game.

The visitors had the first chance of note, with Kevin Bell slotting a through-ball into the path of Darren Smith but the Newbiggin keeper raced out to smother at his feet before he could get a shot away. The home side then had a good chance of their own, with Tony Messenger ghosting in unmarked but he hit his shot straight at Marc Mavin.

On the verge of half-time, Ronnie Warwick almost put Red Row ahead, reacting quickest to get on the end of a weak attempted clearance but his shot was cleared off the line from a tight angle.

The visitors took the lead early in the second half with a fine attacking move. Ronnie Warwick picked up the ball just inside Newbiggin’s half and passed into the path of Darren Smith, who tricked his marker by letting the ball run through his legs, allowing Sean Palmer to latch onto it. He took a second to compose himself before placing the ball perfectly into the bottom corner (0-1).

Newbiggin came back stronger after going a goal down, Marc Mavin racing out to stop Messenger as he was about to shoot, with the dangerous Ashley Smyth firing the rebound over the bar. Stu Ingram also had a golden chance to score but his touch let him down when he was one-on-one with Mavin.

Just as it looked like the visitors were going to do the league double over their title rivals, Colin Mclelland nodded in from a free-kick with five minutes to go to rescue a deserved point for Newbiggin.

While Red Row lost their 100 per cent record they remain unbeaten and seven points clear with six games to go.

Red Row: M Mavin, J Giles, M Smith, M Straker, D Palmer, M Graham, P Smith, R Warwick, S Palmer, K Bell, D Smith, J Baston, K Taylor, J Charlton, G Taylor, J Small. Match sponsor: Performance Personal Training. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Ronnie Warwick.