Alnwick Town 0
West Allotment Celtic 4
Alnwick Town slumped to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of West Allotment Celtic in the opening fixture of their Ebac Northern League Division Two campaign last weekend, writes Liam Murray.
The result was an indication of the challenges that lie ahead following the departures of experienced defenders Neil Catlow and Gary Patterson.
Manager Paul Yeadon, admitted that inexperience was the key difference between the two sides: “We’ve lost some of the older heads. Patterson has retired and Catlow has also left. Both had over 10 years of experience so it’s going to be a learning curve for the whole team. We need to start again and put it right against Ryton on Wednesday,” he said.
Alnwick nearly got off to the perfect start inside the first 30 seconds when a misdirected header by Glenn Ford gifted James Jackson a one-on-one opportunity to put the home side in front. Jackson spurned the chance and hit it wide.
Meanwhile, the visitors began to take control, testing Alnwick goalkeeper Daniel Mullen on a few occasions. Mullen was equal to their efforts.
After Allotment’s David Dormand struck the crossbar, the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes as Sean Reid took advantage of a headed pass between the Alnwick defence and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Alnwick missed another early chance after the interval, only for Allotment to add to their lead. Paul Stoneman netted from a corner and substitute Lawrence McKenna was afforded a simple tap-in, benefitting from a calamatous mix-up between Alnwick’s goalkeeper and defence. Marc Allen tied up proceedings with a fourth near the finish.
A heavy scoreline in the end, but Yeadon remains optimistic: “All due respect, Allotment played good football.
“But in the end, it was three mistakes that did it.
“There’s a lot of young lads in the squad and they’ll just have to learn quickly. We look to move on from last season and try to get a comfortable mid-table finish.
“To do this, we need to persevere and hopefully have a good cup run in the FA Vase. This will boost morale and keep heads up,” he said.
Alnwick Town: D Mullen, A Makin, J Lowes, D Lowes, T McPherson, D Hills, B Murray, K Elliot, J Jackson, K Hogg, T Brown. Subs: D Kennedy, B Brooks, A Jobson, L Dundas, R Moore.