Town leave it late to snatch crucial point

Alnwick Town 1 Stokesley Sports Club 1

Ebac Northern League, Division Two

A last-gasp Tom Vickers goal rescued a point for Alnwick Town in their relegation scrap against Stokesley Sports Club.

Both sides remained above the dropzone at the end of Saturday’s clash, but are still embroiled in the Division Two survival dogfight.

The draw moved Town two points clear of second-bottom Esh Winning, albeit having played one game more.

It could have been worse for Town, but for Vickers’ 85th minute header.

Ben Bonner had given Stokesley the lead, breaking the deadlock on the half-hour.

Prior to the kick-off there was a minute’s silence for Les Todd who died recently after an illness.

Les was a long-time friend of Town from the early 1970s and was very active in the Northern Alliance and the Northumberland FA.

The St James’ park side were without Dan Thompson and Neil Catlow.

A strong easterly wind made for tough conditions and it was a match of few chances.

Vickers had the game’s first effort after 20 minutes. He cut inside and went close with his shot.

Bonner capitalised on a defensive mistake to put Stokesley one-up. He rounded Brian Brooks in the Alnwick goal before shooting into an empty net.

Chris Moffet went close for Town before the break, but Stokesley had the lead at the interval.

Efforts on goal were in scant supply in the second period.

With five minutes to go, Town won a free-kick. The ball was sent across the goal and Vickers was on hand to head in from close range.

Town nearly snatched a late winner. Moffet put Ben Keenan through, but visiting keeper Tom Laverick saved Stokesley.

Both sides had to settle for a point in this survival showdown.

Alnwick Town: Brooks, Lowes, Colley (Keenan), Murray, MacPherson, Patterson, Moffet, Brown, Kennedy, Vickers, Hogg (Hall). Sub: Makin.