Alnwick Town’s survival hopes were dealt a blow on Saturday as they threw away a second-half lead to lose 3-2 at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
Goals from Tony Brown and Chris Moffat had put the Northumbrians in front, giving the Northern League Division Two strugglers’ hope of securing their second league win on the bounce.
But a brace from Albion’s Brian Dodsworth put paid to that, as his two goals helped his side come from behind and inflict a 14th league loss on bottom-of-the-table Town.
His double followed Liam McNamara’s first-half opener.
Saturday’s defeat kept Town seven points adrift at the foot of the table.
It could have been a different story though. In the opening 35 minutes of the league clash, the St James’ Park side hit the woodwork three times; Moffat was denied twice while a Brown shot also struck the post.
Albion were largely quiet early on, although Mark Waite did force a fine save from Brian Brooks in the Town goal.
Town’s hard work was undone in the 38th minute when McNamara put Albion ahead.
Town started the second-half brightly and hit the woodwork once again, when Daniel Thompson’s shot bounced off the far post.
In the 50th minute, the Northumbrians eventually grabbed the goal their play deserved.
Moffat cut the ball across the box for Brown to hit a hard, low shot into the net.
At the other end, Dodsworth threatened to put his side back into the lead, but Brooks was quick off his line.
Town went into the Division Two clash looking to build on their last-gasp victory against Whickham the week before.
And they put themselves in contention to secure their second win on the spin when Moffat headed in from a Steven Woods’ cross to put Town 2-1 up with 20 minutes to play.
But it wasn’t to be Town’s day.
In the space of 10 minutes, the game was turned on its head. Dodsworth converted for Albion in the 73rd and 83rd minutes to put his side 3-2 up.
Town pushed hard for an equaliser and Tom Vickers went close with an overhead kick. They couldn’t find a way back into the game and the Northumbrians were made to pay for missed chances.
Town’s next two league matches are at home to Chester-Le-Street on Saturday (3pm) and Jarrow Roofing away on Tuesday (7.30pm).
Alnwick Town (v Ryton & Crawcrook Albion): Brooks, Lowes (Makin), Catlow, Murray, McPherson, Hills, Brown, Nixon (Woods), Thompson, Vickers, Moffat. Sub: Elliott.
○ Town played Northallerton Town last night in the cup. See www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk for the result.