Alnmouth United 0 North Sunderland 1 – North Northumberland Football League, Divison One
Alnmouth United’s perfect league record came to an unexpected halt at home to North Sunderland, after a tight match was decided by a single Neil MacFarlane strike midway through the second period on Saturday, February 14.
There was not supposed to be any complacency as the reverse fixture had proved Alnmouth’s toughest victory, leaving it very late to come from behind but a similar scenario didn’t look likely this time as the visitors stuck to their task resolutely under mounting pressure, with Stephen Rutter organising a solid back-line, resulting in keeper Dean Avery never having to produce anything more than routine saves.
An even first half saw neither keeper tested and while the league leaders’ first shot of any note – Peter Murray’s effort from 20 yards on the hour just cleared the bar, MacFarlane’s chip from almost the touchline wide right was more precise, finding the target over the head of surprised home keeper Mick Ashurst.
The visitors almost doubled the lead straight away as the stunned home side allowed Robert Scott to break clear but forced wide by the advancing Ashurst. He only found the side net.
Alnmouth will hope to return to better form next week at home to Highfields, while North Sunderland will be looking to maintain some consistency and push on up the table.
Alnmouth United: M Ashurst, A Martin, R Wright, D Dawson, P Murray, B Rogerson, L Jefferson, A Murray, M Robson, J Frost (S Ayre), J Turnbull (D Carey).
North Sunderland: D Avery, S Rutter, S Keers, A Patterson, A Brannigan, J King, N MacFarlane, R Douglas, R scott, C Gardner, M Dawson, R Stanton, D Carr.
Referee: K Appleby. Match sponsor: Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth.