TEAM NORTHUMBRIA4-1 ALNWICK TOWN
Alnwick went into this game buoyed up with three wins under Steve Mullen and Derek Atwell.
They had no illusions this would be a very hard game with Team Northumbria lying fifth and in good contention for promotion. In the reverse fixture, they won at Alnwick 2-4.
The Alnwick team showed one change when Ross Straughan came in for Tom McPherson.
Alnwick made the first opening after two minutes on a very fast pitch when Dominic Schiavetta controlled the ball and laid on for Tony Brown, just going the wrong side of the post.
Team Northumbria hit back straightaway when indecision in defence allowed Joe Bradley to score from close range, the first of his three goals.
Alnwick were being forced back from a very lively, aggressive team focused on promotion. The Town were pushing forward but the final pass let them down.
Then Alnwick compounded their early error when Luke Havant ghosted behind the defence on the right from a terrific pass from the left allowing Luke Havant to score with a cross-shot to make it 2-0.
Alnwick continued with some good approach work only to fail in the last third, but it was again Team Northumbria who found the net again after 30 minutes through Joe Bradley, who shot from the right-hand side of the box; it went between defender and past Glasper into the corner of the net.
Glasper was forced into a terrific long range shot from Ross McKeown 20 yards out, it went like a rocket.
Alnwick were forcing their way back into the game when a long ball from Kieran Hogg found Dominic Schiavetta, who bore down on the loose ball. Home keeper Steven Mundy charged out and did not attempt diving on it, electing to side foot to one side and clearing it at the second attempt.
It was Bradley who realistically put the final nail in the coffin, scoring his third and Team Northumbria’s fourth when a defender collided with the keeper allowing him a clear shot.
Half-time arrived with Team Northumbria 4-0 up and they deserved to be in the lead but not by four goals as Alnwick gifted them three.
At half-time changes were made with Danny Lowes and Darren Riddle coming on for Geordie Miller and Ron Straughan.
Alnwick came out in the second half, all fired up and went at Team Northumbria, pushing them back for long periods and forcing them into the long ball game.
Glasper was forced into a fine save from Kevin Carl half-way through the second half and a few minutes later James Jackson was scythed down near the box. The resultant free kick just went over.
The Town’s efforts were rewarded when Darren Riddell charged through the home defence and beat the advancing home keeper Steven Mundy and slot it home: 4-1.
Alnwick scored what they thought was a good goal when a Tony Brown free kick was half saved by home keeper Steven Mundy; the ball spun forward for Darren Riddle to cut through the defence and shot past the stranded keeper. To Alnwick’s astonishment it was ruled offside.
Next game Saturday, April 16 sees Alnwick v Stokesly, kick-off 3pm.