Alnwick Town manager Jon Egen praised his side’s attitude and performance after they halted a winless streak with a convincing 3-0 home victory over Tow Law Town on Tuesday night.
The midweek Northern League Division Two triumph, inspired by goals from Tom Macpherson, Jamie Dixon and Brad McClelland, was the St James’ Park side’s first win for a month in all competitions.
Alnwick’s return to winning ways came on the back of a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Whickham on Saturday (match report, p71), following a 6-0 cup defeat at Bedlington Terriers last Wednesday.
Egen, who took over as manager in May, was not only relieved to see his side take the three points, but was delighted at the dominant performance.
He said: “I thought it was probably our best 90 minute display. We kept the ball well and made good decisions when we had it, but most satisfying was that we showed good attitude to win it back.”
It was actually Tow Law who started the match on the front foot and moved the ball around well in the opening 10 minutes. But in truth, that was the away side’s only real period of dominance and Alnwick began to take control.
Captain Tony Brown – one of Alnwick’s stand-out men – had the home side’s first real chance with a fierce effort from outside the area which was pushed around the post by Thomas Orton. Alnwick took the lead from the resulting corner, which was taken by Tony Brown and headed in by Macpherson, who rose powerfully above the Tow Law defence.
The hosts extended their lead three minutes later thanks to lively full-back Dixon, who had a decent game and proved a real handful going forward. On one of his many forays up-field, he beat a Tow Law defender before riffling in a low shot at the near post, which was ruled to have crossed the line by the linesman before being cleared.
Alnwick were good value for their lead and almost made it three when Darren Riddell snuck in at the far post from a deep Tony Brown free kick, but his effort hit the woodwork,
Kris Willis and David Brown tested Orton, who saved well from both, before the break.
McClelland came on for hard-working midfielder Josh Willis in the 50th minute and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. On the hour, the hitman smashed home from close range after using his strength and pace to fashion the chance after a good ball from Dixon. He should have bagged a second at the death, but his one-on-one effort was saved by Orton.
Tow Law rarely tested Luc Glasper in the Alnwick goal and their best chance came towards the end when Lee Blades shot just wide.
Alnwick are at home to Northallerton Town on Saturday (3pm), before travelling to Bedlington Terriers on Wednesday in the first round of the Northumberland Senior Cup (7.30pm).
Alnwick Town (v Tow Law): L Glasper, J Dixon, L Dundas (R Baker), J Willis (B McClelland), T Macpherson, K Egen, K Willis, T Brown, D Brown, R Gair, D Riddell (J Jackson). Subs: R Straughan, J Briggs.