Red Row stretch lead at top

Alnmouth Utd...1 Red Row Welfare...4

North Northumberland League Division Two

RED Row came away from Alnmouth with all three points on Saturday but missed a host of chances and will have to improve in their crunch game with second-place Newbiggin this week.

Red Row, who were fielding the same side that fought hard to beat North Sunderland the week before, looked stuck for ideas in the opening 15 minutes but fortuitously found themselves in front after the Alnmouth keeper’s throw went straight to Karl Taylor who showed excellent technique to lob him from at least 25 yards (0-1).

Kevin Bell, who, going into the game, hadn’t scored in four games, raced through almost straight after the restart but his shot hit the post.

It looked like his drought was going to continue after his penalty, awarded for hand-ball, was saved by the Alnmouth keeper.

The visitors hit the crossbar twice in a matter of seconds first from Matthew Graham and then from Dan Palmer, both being almost identical cross-shots.

Graham had a hand in Red Row’s second goal, dropping deep before playing in Taylor with a perfect through-ball. Taylor played the ball across goal for Bell, who finally ended his dry spell for goal number 27 of the season (0-2).

Just before half-time, Red Row were awarded a second penalty but the normally-reliable Robert Baker blazed over from 12 yards.

There was an element of familiarity in the way Red Row started the second half, with the team thinking the game was already won, which allowed Alnmouth back into the game. They made it 2-1 after Red Row’s defence was left exposed by the midfield and the impressive Ryan Taylor ran through before rounding John Charlton to score a fine solo goal.

The introduction of the returning Paul Smith and Sean Palmer injected some much-needed life into the league leaders, with Smith’s passing and Palmer’s movement complementing each other perfectly.

Stu Marshall scored his second free-kick in as many games, expertly curling into the bottom corner to restore Red Row’s two-goal cushion before Jordan Giles made sure of the result, heading home from on the goal-line after a fine free-kick by Karl Taylor, who again impressed on the right-wing.

Red Row squad: J Charlton, J Giles, D Palmer, M Straker, S Marshall, K Taylor, J Small, R Baker, S Anderson, K Bell, M Graham, P Smith, S Palmer, J Baston, M Smith. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Robert Baker.