Alnwick Town have preserved their Northern League, Division Two status with a 4-2 victory over lowly Esh Winning this afternoon.
A Tony Brown brace and single strikes from Chris Fawcett and Keith Douglas helped inspire the win, which took the club’s points tally to 38 and ensured that they will play at this level next season.
The black ‘n’ whites went into the game knowing that a draw would be enough to guarantee survival, but they went behind in the 26th minute thanks to a fine effort from outside the area by Brian Burton.
However, second-bottom Winning have conceded more than a century of goals this season, and it wasn’t long before they leaked their 128th of the league campaign. Brown converted his first of the match with a spectacular strike from distance in the 29th minute.
Town then took advantage thanks to two quick-fire goals, with Fawcett scoring from 25-yards on the half-hour mark and Brown grabbing his second in the 33rd minute.
Winning gave themselves a life-line in the second half when Burton converted from the penalty spot with 15 minutes left to play.
But Town weren’t finished and Douglas smashed in from close range shortly after Winning’s second.
Brown had the chance to complete his hat-trick, but his last-minute penalty was saved by Thomas Orton.
The victory meant that the black ‘n’ whites have secured survival with four games left to play. It is a big improvement from last season when they finished in the dropzone, but were saved because Ryhope CW, who were second in the league, were relegated for failing to meet ground criteria.
As for Winning, the defeat puts them right in trouble and their stay in the Northern League could well be coming to an end.
Alnwick Town: D Mullen, G Mbiavanga, K Hogg, B Murray, T Macpherson, L Waugh (P Murray), A Makin (J Jackson), T Brown, T Vickers, K Douglas, C Fawcett (S McMullen). Subs: D Atwell.
See full report in Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette