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Rothbury return to the top of Northern Alliance Division 2

Football report
Football report

Gateshead Redheugh 2-3 Rothbury

Skipper Tom Macpherson got on the scoresheet as Rothbury came from behind twice to return to the top of the Northern Alliance Division Two on Saturday.

The hard-working Macpherson – who is also joint-player manager and an official at the Armstrong Park club – heaped praise on dead-ball delivery expert Tony Brown for his contribution during the victory.

Despite going behind after being caught out by a swift counter-attack with Lee Laidlaw netting, Rothbury hit back and Macpherson rose to direct a header beyond the keeper from a quickly-taken Brown free-kick to make it all-square.

“The goals from set pieces have been a real bonus this season,” said Macpherson afterwards.

“Tony Brown is putting them on a plate for Joel (Laviers), Sam (Proudlock), Michael (Old), Travy (Matty Travis) and myself, who are all six foot-plus.”

Although Macpherson was pleased with his second goal of the season, the captain admitted that Rothbury had made hard work of the win and they had to dig deep to take the three points.

“We were below par. We made changes to both the starting 11 and the formation and it took us far too long to adjust, but we battled well to get ourselves back into the game,” he said.

“To be fair to Gateshead Redheugh, that’s the second time they’ve given us a really good game. I think they will take points off teams and their current league position probably isn’t a true reflection. Thompa (Dan Thompson) was very good, as usual. He ran the channels tirelessly and created chances on his own. His goal was also top-class again.”

Redheugh went back in front as the dangerous Aiden Rutledge got in behind the defence and slotted into the bottom corner, but Thompson levelled things up by latching onto a defence-splitting pass from Old and chipping the keeper from 30 yards in a wide position.

Greg Woodburn grabbed the winner with a near-post volley as Rothbury piled on the pressure, though they were forced into rearguard action after that and Macpherson was delighted with the determination shown in the back-line.

“We defended excellently after that and put bodies on the line when needed,” he said.

Skilful midfielder Brown, who was a team-mate of Macpherson’s at Alnwick Town previously, said he was ‘absolutely loving’ his time at Armstrong Park, both on and off the pitch.

“The lads are great crack, especially Maxi. I had my first experience of the Newcastle House disco the other month, and there were some eye opening goings on – absolutely tremendous!” he laughed.

“Redheugh are a dogged side and tough to play against with a keeper with hands like a Matty Fowler’s shovel, so sometimes when it’s tight like that set pieces can make a big difference and luckily that’s how it panned out. Although we weren’t at our best, we showed the type of character you need to be champions, by winning the bread and butter games.”

On Sunday, Rothbury staged a friendly/charity match at Armstrong Park with a number of former players in action.

The game proved to be a tremendous success and the club would like to thank all the players for participating and everyone who made donations on the day.

Shankhouse 2

Alnwick Town 0

Alnwick Town went down to a disappointing 2-0 away defeat at the hands of Shankhouse in the Northern Alliance Premier Division on Saturday.

There was not a lot between the sides in the early stages of the game, but gradually Shankhouse started to exert their authority and they opened the scoring after 30 minutes.

A second goal just before half-time saw the home side take a grip on the match as the teams turned around at half-time.

But in the second half Alnwick could think themselves as being a little bit unlucky as they had two goal line clearances, a Maddison header off the crossbar and a penalty claim turned aside.

Town are not now in action until October 23, when they face Hebburn U23s at St James’ Park.