Dramatic End Sends Alnwick To Defeat
A controversial injury time winner condemned Alnwick Town to a 3rd straight defeat, in a game which seemed destined to finish as a draw in difficult blustery conditions.
|Gateshead Rutherford||2-1||Alnwick Town|
|Norton J (20m)||Maddison S (56m)|
|Barber G (90+2m)|
The usual changes to the matchday squad affected Alnwick Town on their travels at the weekend, although the return of striker Scott Maddison (who transferred back from Wallsend during the week) gave manager Paul Yeadon some experience in the starting line-up.
Conditions in Gateshead were blustery to say the least, and on a bobbly pitch it made for a day of stray passes and footballs flying out of play for a stop-start encounter.
Alnwick created 2 early openings, Tyler Scarth firing wide in the 3rd minute, and Ross Moore was inches away from connecting on the end of a Drew Eastlake cross.
Norton went close for the home side firing just wide after 14 minutes, but just 4 minutes later he would open the scoring. Inside the box he cut in from the right, and fired home with his left foot. (1-0)
Alnwick were almost level shortly afterwards, Ross Moore crossing into the box, but the wind took the ball goalwards, only for the goalkeeper to scramble back and tip over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Alnwick should have been level, but Brendan Balmbra's header went agonisingly wide of the post.
Alnwick's final chance of the half fell to Scarth. Kieran Hogg's long throw was flicked on by Eastlake, and Scarth's header was comfortably saved by the keeper. Half Time 1-0 to the hosts.
The lead for Rutherford was almost doubled shortly after half time, but Joe Turnbull saw his effort come back of the crossbar. A let off after the interval.
56 minutes and Alnwick were back on level terms. A scramble in the box with the hosts unable to clear fell to Maddison who smashed home the equaliser on his return to the club. (1-1)
Substitutions came for both sides and the wind picked up, and Gateshead began to increase their pressure kicking with the wind.
The winner would come in controversial fashion in the 2nd minute of injury time for the hosts. A ball into the box was bundled into the goal by Barber, despite what appeared to be a clear foul on keeper Brooks who was pushed into the net, and also claims for offside from the defence. The referee and assistant disagreed and gave the goal despite complaints from the away side.
A disappointing defeat in the game where a point would have been a fair result in what was in all fairness a poor game ruined by the weather conditions.
Team: Brooks C, Drummond A (Burns K), Henderson J, Hogg K, Dundas L, Balmbra B, Moore R, Douglas R, Maddison S, Scarth T (Muers P), Eastlake D (Threlfall J)
Unused: Muter C, McEwan E
Photos by Jason Sumner