Reality check for Town

Alnwick Town Football Club v Hebburn Town.
Alnwick Town Football Club v Hebburn Town.

Alnwick Town...0 Hebburn Town...5

STL NORTHERN LEAGUE, DIVISION TWO

Alnwick Town Football Club v Hebburn Town.

Alnwick Town Football Club v Hebburn Town.

A SECOND-HALF goal blitz helped condemn Alnwick Town to their first league defeat of the season.

Visiting Hebburn Town netted four times after the break to build on a 1-0 half-time lead as they inflicted a 5-0 loss on their newly-promoted hosts.

A brace from Tony Stephenson, as well as goals from Christopher Lunn, Christopher Tate and Stephen Gary Forster saw Hebburn take the points in the Northern League Division Two clash on Saturday.

It was the first defeat of the season for Alnwick, who went into the fixture sitting at the top of the table, after a promising start to the campaign had yielded 10 points from a possible 12, following three wins and a draw.

But Hebburn ensured the St James’ Park side, weakened by holidays and injuries, were brought back down to earth with a bump.

And they dealt their newly-promoted hosts an early blow when Lunn converted after just seven minutes.

Despite going one down, Alnwick did have first-half chances, including a couple of James Swordy efforts.

At the other end, Hebburn could have increased their lead five minutes before the break, but Jeffrey Forsyth missed from close range.

Alnwick looked bright in the early exchanges of the second half as they tried to find an equaliser and 10 minutes after the re-start Ross MacKenley put in a great cross from the left but it just skimmed the head of Dale Kennedy.

Shortly after, a Neil Catlow free-kick tested the Hebburn keeper, who could only push away his effort, but Kennedy was unable to convert the follow-up.

Swordy also had an effort, but his shot was directed straight at the keeper. Alnwick were punished on 68 minutes when Hebburn made it 2-0.

Tate turned quickly and tucked it away in the right-hand corner to grab Hebburn’s second of the match.

Things got worse for Alnwick 10 minutes later when Stephenson scored the first of his goals, converting from the penalty spot.

And he grabbed his second and Hebburn’s fourth eight minutes from time.

Forster completed the rout, netting in the 86th minute.