ALNWICK TOWN 0
CHESTER LE STREET 2
Alnwick, who made three changes, were out to avenge the same fixture at the end of last season when Chester le Street won 3-0.
The trouble was, Chester le Street had not read the script!
You did not have time to blink when a long ball was sent back to Alnwick keeper Callum Brooks; he could not pick it up and was closed down rapidly by Michael Hepplewhite who managed to dispossess him and to slot the ball home in the first minute.
Early exchanges showed that Chester le Street were sharper and Alnwick a bit under par.
Brooks redeemed himself to some degree when he made a fine save from Scott Heslop, who broke into the box from the left.
Alnwick picked up the pace when Brad McClelland broke quickly and visiting keeper Aiden Ames had to charge out to clear. Alnwick were having more possession but Chester le Street were quicker on the attack. Alnwick had another chance when McClelland again broke clear of the defence; Ames charged out to the edge of the box and Brad ended up on the ground, with Chester le Street being lucky not to concede.
Chester le Street were very adept at the quick break which made their best opening and Brooks again came to the rescue when he saved a point-blank shot from Lee Mole.
The visitors were having more possession but Alnwick went close in the dying minutes of the first half when James Jackson saw a shot tipped over, whilst Tony Brown headed just went wide from a free kick.
In the second half the visitors were quicker to the ball although McClelland had a header saved by the keeper’s legs.
Alnwick, to their credit, still made chances but they could not take advantage.
Town’s central defender Tom McPherson, was then sent off for a second innocuous yellow.
The game was settled with ten minutes to go when Chester le Street attacked down their right in a fast move to clip over a long cross ball just into the box for Heslop to head in.
After the game Town manager Jon Egen said: “Unfortunately the end of a long week saw a tired display v Chester le Street, where we gave away another two goals by our own poor decisions.
“Overall we have shown a lot of positives footballing wise and we have made some progression from early preseason.”