Last Minute Scramble Denies Alnwick 3 Points
A goalmouth scramble in injury time denied Alnwick all 3 points, as Ponteland headed back down the A1 with a point.
|Alnwick Town||2-2||Ponteland United|
|Muers P (69m)||Cook G (55m)|
|Threlfall J (83m)||McIvor L (90m)|
The last time these sides were together in the Northern Alliance, Ponteland snatched the title from Alnwick on the final day of the season. This season both sides have had positive starts, and if results had gone their way, Ponteland could have found themselves back at the top of the table.
There were more changes to the starting 11, starting places for Muers, Dixon, Drummond and Lowes, with McClelland, Clark, Quinn and Pickard missing out.
There was little action in the opening minutes at St James' Park. Alnwick's opening chance falling to Paul Muers. The forward closed down the goalkeeper who looked shakey at times, and blocked his attempted clearance, but was lucky to see the ball come back into his hands.
Midfielder Josh Briggs was booked in the opening 20 minutes, his first foul of the game for a pull-back. Frustrating as a number of fouls would go unpunished throughout the game.
Alnwick had the ball in the back of the net in the 27th minute. A freekick with lofted to the back post, finding Jamie Dixon who headed home. Unfortunately the assistant's flag was up, Dixon penalised for a push on the defender.
The chances remained in the 1st half, one for each side. Ponteland would strike an effort into the side netting, and Muers fired a shot just over following a good move up the pitch with quick passing from the home side. Half Time 0-0.
2nd half, and early enforced change saw Danny Donohoe replace the injured Ross Moore.
At times during the game Alnwick had lived dangerously, a number of passes falling short and being cut out. In the 55th minute they were made to pay. A defensive backpass to the keeper was underhit, and Gary Cook capitalised to fire the visitors into the lead. (0-1)
It would take 15 minutes for Alnwick to get back on level terms. Another freekick for the home side was whipped in by captani Jake Lowes, who found Paul Muers unmarked in the penalty area, who volleyed home. A cracking goal. (1-1)
Alnwick were pushing and starting to play better football. Josh Briggs almost put the home side ahead for the first time on the night, but his effort grazed against the side netting. Jamie Dixon then followed suit, trying his luck from distance on the half volley but just wide.
The pressure paid off, and Alnwick got themselves ahead with less than 10 minutes to go. A through ball was chased down by winger Joseph Threlfall. With the keeper out of his box and losing out in the tackle, Threlfall turned and whipped the ball into the empty net. The home side were ahead and the delight on the players was clear to see. (2-1)
With time ticking away, Alnwick almost sealed it. Threlfall whipped in another dangerous cross, but it was just too quick for Danny Donohoe rushing in at the back post.
Ponteland had a secret weapon though which had been used throughout the game. As the clock struck 90 minutes, a throw in deep in Alnwick's half was launched into the penalty area. Pinball in the box, and somehow the ball found its way into the net, with Liam McIvor claiming the goal for the visitors. (2-2)
Another late goal conceded, but with experience little mistakes will be eradicated as the season progresses.
Team: Brooks C, Drummond A, Lowes J (Henderson J), Briggs J, Balmbra B, Burns K, Moore R (Donohoe D), Dixon J (Milham H), Maddison S, Muers P, Threlfall J
Unused: Slack T, Forster T