ALNWICK TOWN 3
Alnwick faced a promotion-pushing team with Ryhope lying third with an extensive and experienced squad with Northern League Division 1 and Football League experience.
After saying that, Alnwick supporters were served up seven goals in a pulsating game which, using a well used saying, was ‘a game of two halves,’ Ryhope in the first and Alnwick in the second.
In the end the game was decided on at one end with the Ryhope keeper saving on the line with his leg, while diving the other way and Ryhope scored with a deflection from a defender trying to cut the ball off; strange thing, football.
Ryhope made early progress and their quality of finishing saw them lead 3-0 at half-time with goals from Dan Stevens, Chris Trewick and Josh Home-Jackson, all the goals coming from set pieces.
After only two minutes of the second half Alnwick were awarded a free kick and Tony Brown stepped up to send a rising, curling shot into the net to pull a goal back.
There then followed a purple patch when Darren Riddle was brought down in the box for Tony Brown to step up and score, number two for Alnwick and make it 2-3.
Within four minutes Alnwick were level when Davy Brown bagged his first goal for the club to make it 3-3.
In the last 10 minutes Alnwick nearly grabbed the lead when Tony Brown and Davy Brown combined in front of goal only to see Ryhope keeper Jonathan Ball dive the wrong way but his trailing leg stopped the ball on the line.
Alnwick then went down to 10 men when James Jackson was forced to leave the field after a two-footed challenge.
Alnwick physio Dave Ross had to give extensive treatment on the pitch and Jackson was carried off. He may miss a few games.
As luck would have it, Ryhope took advantage to net the winner through Stevens, whose shot was deflected past Glasper.
Town manager Joe Egen said: “We could be faulted for being undone on set pieces but Ryhope are a highly experienced team.
“We were three down by half-time and they must have felt they were home and dry butone of Alnwick’s trademarks this season is they never give up and their good passing was to play a part in making Ryhope look second best and on another day we might have taken a point.”
Saturday’s match sponsor was Lunchbox.