Red Row Welfare...4
RED Row Welfare had a solid start to the season in their first league game since reforming with a good win over Bamburgh Castle.
Straight from the kick-off, Red Row got the ball down on the floor and played some excellent football with Jaden Gray and Alex Potts combining particularly well on the left.
But it was Bamburgh who had the first real effort on goal, a deflection allowed the forward to run clear of the defence but Marc Mavin was able to get down low to stop the effort.
The hosts reacted immediately and went close when Jordan Giles’ header was cleared off the line before they managed to open the scoring after a slick passing move found its way to Darren Smith, whose deft flick off the outside of his foot played in Kevin Bell who played it over the advancing keeper to open his and the Welfare’s account for the season. The lead was almost doubled moments later. A fine Potts cross found its way to Sean Palmer but the keeper was equal to his powerful effort from the edge of the area.
Bamburgh fought back and had a couple of half-chances to level, thanks in part to Red Row falling asleep. Mavin saved well again and another chance went inches wide of the post, allowing the defence to breath a sigh of relief. The hosts were always dangerous on the break and almost grabbed another on the stroke of half-time when a Sean Palmer cross found Robert Baker, who rattled the post before it rolled to safety.
The second goal of the game came just three minutes into the second half, Darren Smith found the ball on the left side and turned his marker inside-out with a series of step-overs before curling into the bottom corner past the out-of-place keeper.
After this goal, Red Row took their foot off the gas and Bamburgh had a series of chances to grab a goal back. The closest they came was when the ball was hacked off the line following a goal-mouth scramble.
Red Row finally got their act together and Jack Small had an effort cleared off the line before another good move once again involving Smith, Bell and Baker led to the third goal. Smith found Bell on the edge of the box and he played in Baker on goal. Baker took a moment to compose himself before clinically rifling it into the bottom corner, a classy goal from the midfield playmaker.
This proved to be the boost they needed and Red Row finished strongly when Mick Straker’s dinked cross found Kevin Bell, who hit an acrobatic overhead kick from six yards to finish the scoring.
All in all, a good showing from Red Row, especially all four goals being well-worked, but some things need to be improved on as the season progresses, particularly keeping momentum and concentration throughout the 90 minutes.
Red Row Welfare and everyone associated with the team would like to dedicate their efforts this season to the memory of Liam Shanks and Paul Mavin.
Red Row: M Mavin, D Palmer, M Smith, J Giles, J Gray, S Palmer, J Small, R Baker, A Potts, D Smith, K Bell, J Charlton, K Taylor, M Straker, J Shepherd, R Morton. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Kevin Bell. Match sponsor: Ann and Kevin Mavin. Match hospitality: Red Row Brick Club.