Pleasing performance despite Northallerton defeat
Despite a 3-0 defeat there was plenty of promise for Alnwick as they performed well against a Northallerton side in a very good run of form writes Media Officer Mark Craggs.
Northallerton 3-0 Alnwick Town
McLachlan 11’, Aaron Ramsbottom 15’, 80’
Northallerton started the brightest of the two sides, having their first opportunity after only two minutes, finding the run of Andrew Ramsbottom but keeper Callum Brooks was out quickly to save at the feet of Ramsbottom. The games was scrappy throughout with both sides struggling to get hold of the ball. Alnwick looked to cause a threat at the 10 minute mark, playing a ball over the top to try and use the pace of James Jackson whoever the Northallerton keeper Matthew Calvert got to the ball to clear and under little or no contact from the aforementioned striker Calvert threw himself to the ground screaming and was somehow awarded the free kick he asked for.
Only a minute later Northallerton got a rather controversial goal. What to most people looked like a blatant foul on Darren Riddell went unpunished by the rather poor referee. With no foul given Northallerton hit the visitors on the break. Elliot McGlade played in a low cross for Daniel McLachlan and he fired across goal to find the bottom corner and to open the scoring. Alnwick looked to hit the Yorkshire side with an instant reply, Tony Brown whipped in a great free kick that was put out for a corner before Andrew Inness saw his shot from a good 25 yards out flash just over the bar. It didn’t take long for the next to come however, only four minutes in fact. Northallerton hit Alnwick on the break once again, McGlade was denied well by Brooks but the ball rolled to the edge of the box where Aaron Ramsbottom waited and he slotted into an empty net as Brooks hadn’t had the chance to recover. 2-0 to Northallerton.
Alnwick had another attack themselves two minutes later, Jackson played a good ball out wide for the run of Lewis Robson. Robson played a good cross to the back post towards Darren Riddell but the full back James Muir headed the ball away for a corner before the Alnwick wide man could get their. Jamie Dixon was next to almost turn provider, hitting a long range shot come cross but Tony Brown couldn’t get a touch on the fast moving ball to divert it goal wards. Alnwick weren't done just yet, Brown controlled the ball and took a couple of touches to set himself as the defence stood off him, whoever his well hit shot went just wide of the keeper's right hand post.
Alnwick then went incredibly close with just over 30 minutes on the clock. Another fast break from Alnwick saw them cause the defence massive problems. Lewis Robson got room for a cross that should have found Tony Brown on the penalty spot, however Brown missed the ball almost completely just getting a touch with his knee as the ball went past. This slight touch help the cross onto Darren Riddle who hit the bouncing ball first time towards the near post. It hit the inside of the post but somehow flew out. On the stroke of halftime the final attempted attack for Alnwick was once again stopped by the ref but this time he physically stopped it as he was facing away from the play and Andrew Inness’ long pass hit his back, The panicked referee blew for halftime straight after the incident. The ‘Wick went into the break 2-0 down.
Northallerton had the first chance in a slow start in the second half with was almost as close as Alnwick in the first half. After Tom MacPherson gave the ball away Aaron Ramsbottom cut inside and had his shot blocked by Ross Straughan but won a corner. Aaron Ramsbottom again caused the trouble winning a free header that was blocked by Brooks. The rebound fell back to Ramsbottom as he cannoned a shot off the outside of the post and away. Alnwick looked to get a in behind for a chance and very nearly managed it after some nice link up play from Jamie Dixon, Lewis Robson and Tony Brown however Dixon’s final pass, a through ball to Robson, was a bit too heavy for the winger to get their so it rolled away for a goal kick.
Alnwick were still very much in the game and looked to use Robson to cause Northallerton problems once again. Inness played an inch perfect lofted ball out to the right for Robson to run onto. Robson won a corner when his attempted cross was blocked. The corner pin balled around in the box and was eventually cleared but only as far as Brown who hit a shot on target from around 25 yards out but its was headed away for yet another corner. This one was an all round calmer situation and was gathered easily by Calvert. It was a similar story five minutes later, Inness once again playing a nice ball into the path of Robson, who saw his cross blocked for a corner. The keeper caught this one first time however.
Northallerton almost added a third with 18 minutes to play, substitute Damon Reaks beat Straughan with ease and crossed to McGlade. The provider of the first two goals tried to turn scorer with his side foot volley dropping just wide of the far post. Northallerton came even closer from their next attack. Aaron Ramsbottom stole the ball from Ross Gair before cutting the ball back to Andrew Ramsbottom for a first time shot that flew just over the bar. A third was added with 10 minutes left on the clock, a careless trip by MacPherson give McGlade the chance for another assist from, this time from a free kick. The midfielders free kick found the head of Aaron Ramsbottom who found the bottom corner to double his tally for the game and triple his sides lead, 3-0 to Northallerton.
And that's who it remained, Alnwick deserved more and will be encouraged by the game in the long run.