Alnwick Town 2-5 Northallerton
Alnwick are still searching for their first win of 2017 after a disappointing home defeat to Northallerton on Saturday.
Town included midweek signing from Heaton Stannington, Sam Walton and Cameron Tait. Sam Walton went straight in the forward line and Cameron was on the bench.
Northallerton were voted the Team of the Month for their performances in the League and reaching a League Cup Final defeating Billingham Synthonia midweek.
Alnwick were straight onto attack and had the ball in the net after six minutes but the referee said it was hand ball in a group of players jumping up at the near post.
Northallerton had no answer to Alnwick’s attacks with Walton on the left and Perez on the right and Josh Hay causing the visitors defence all sorts of headaches, but they had to sub Darren Riddell after 14 minutes and bring on Tait.
Alnwick went ahead after 20 minutes with a move from right to left and Sam Walton was put through outpacing the Northallerton fullback to finish in grand style with a clean shot.
Alnwick continued to dominate play but they could not add to their advantage.
Northallerton drew level through an unfortunate slip on a heavy pitch by a Town defender which allowed Nicholas Martin to score with a ground shot. Martin would continue throughout the game to be a very dangerous and fast player who went on to complete a hat-trick in the second half.
A short time later Martin netted his second from close range and put Northallerton 2-1 in front.
There was an ugly incident when the Northallerton player Samuel Hudson lashed out with his foot at Tait and their followed a melee with both players seeing yellow.
Town had another chance to level just before half-time but visiting keeper Michael Thackeray was quick off his line to cover.
In the second half the visitors went 3-1 up when an attack down the left allowed Shaun Hudson to cut in to shoot into the far corner.
Alnwick nearly scored a second when a great ball from the back allowed Hay to break free, but again Thackeray reacted quickly to thwart the danger.
Minutes later Ross Straughan just missed a good cross to head in from 10 yards. Alnwick were getting back into the game when Sammy Perez brook free on the right to outpace the defender and calmly slot the ball home for Alnwick’s second.
Lowes was unlucky with a close range shot which was blocked,and second later Perez broke through but was unable to finish. Northallerton made the game safe when Elliot Glade made it 2-4 and the final goal came from Martin to complete his hat-trick.
Northallerton were clear winners at 5-2 but they had to admit afterward that they had a severe test.