North Northumberland League round-up
IN the eagerly-awaited top-of-the-table clash between current leaders Berwick United and second-placed Wooler, it was the visitors who came out on top with 5-2 away win, which now means they are two points clear at the top of the division with three games in hand and are now odds-on favourites to become league champions.
In an evenly-contested first half, it was not until the final 20 minutes of the half that the goal-scoring started, even though both teams had created and spurned chances before then.
Wooler took the lead on 27 minutes through James Scott but Berwick were level inside five minutes when Gary Fairbairn scored from the penalty-spot after Simpson had been fouled.
Scott then restored Wooler’s advantage with a glancing header from a Strangeways corner on 35 minutes only for Fairbairn to equalise again from the spot on 42 minutes.
The scoring for the half was not finished and Wooler were awarded a penalty when Drummond committed a foul inside the area and Scott duly dispatched the spot-kick to complete his hat-trick and see Wooler 3-2 ahead at the interval.
The second half saw Wooler increase their advantage on the hour when Jack Strangeways was on hand to volley home a cross from the right and substitute Adam Shanks completed the scoring in the final 10 minutes (5-2).
Belford failed to close the gap on the top two in the First Division when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rothbury.
Belford took the lead in the first half through Ryan Lillico and looked to be heading for the three points until Jackie Angus equalised for Rothbury inside the final 10 minutes of an evenly-contested match.
Tweedmouth Harrow and Shilbottle CW played out an entertaining draw and the only reason there were no more goals was the form of both goalkeepers who made numerous saves to keep their teams in the game.
Shilbottle took the lead midway through the first half through Michael Brown and it was Nathan Short who was on hand to force the ball home for the Harrow to make the score 1-1 at half-time.
The second half was a closely-fought affair but neither side were able to find the back of the net so the points were shared.
Stobswood United and Springhill were involved in an end-to-end game and it was the visitors who came out on top by the odd goal in five.
The goals for Stobswood United were scored by Eke and Townsley and the goals for Springhill were scored by Terry Fannon, with two, and Kyle Wood, with one.
ALNMOUTH United were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat to Tweedmouth Rangers but must be wondering how they did not take something from this game after being in control for most of the first half, creating and missing quite a few chances and only going in 1-0 up at the interval through a Rob Morton penalty.
In the second half, Tweedmouth gradually started to get a grip on the game and they equalised on 70 minutes with an excellent volley into the top corner from Lee Dodd.
This spurred the visitors on and they scored again on 75 minutes when Steve Eammons completed the scoring to give Tweedmouth Rangers a very hard-earned three points.
North Sunderland gained three valuable points with a 3-0 victory against third-placed Alnwick Town U21s and hero of the day was Ryan Thomson with all three goals.
Thomson scored on 10 minutes and 35 minutes to see North Sunderland go in 2-0 ahead at the break and he completed his hat-trick midway through the second half to see a depleted North Sunderland team to a hard-earned three points.
It was Shilbottle who emerged victors in a local derby against Amble St Cuthbert by 5-1.
Shilbottle were in control for most of the game and led 3-1 at the interval through goals from Fowler and Martin, with two.
The visitors’ consolation goal was scored by Blakey.
Shilbottle completed the scoring in second half when two goals from Parr saw them home.
Red Row Welfare continued their quest for promotion with three hard-earned points with a 3-2 away victory at Bamburgh Castle but the home team must be asking themselves how they did not take at least a point from the game.
Fourth-placed Craster Rovers fully deserved the point they gained against second-placed AFC Newbiggin in a very evenly-contested 1-1 draw at Windmill Field.
Newbiggin took the lead in the first half through Armstrong and it took Craster until the 80th minute before David Hogg came up with the equalising goal.