Alnwick Twice Denied By The Flag As They Succumb To Defeat
Jonathan Colley was denied a goal either side of half-time as Liam Davidson’s strike gave AFC Fordley 7th spot.
|AFC New Fordley||1-0||Alnwick Town|
|Davidson L (65m)|
By Ben Swain
Leon Midgley’s threaded pass between the two opposition centre halves, into Colley’s forward run, was deemed as too late by the referee as he blew the whistle just as the forward executed a chip over the goalkeeper for his initial disallowed attempt.
Liam Davidson’s well struck shot from distance found the top left corner to give AFC Fordley the three points and seventh place before Colley was to be denied yet again.
After a mistake by Liam Dodds to kick the ball straight at Colley, the forward was judged to have fouled the goalkeeper, on his path to steal the ball and slide it into the open net.
While both sides started with a lot of energy, the game end to end, it was the visitor’s defence which was threatened the most in the opening stages.
In the 3rd minute came the opening attack of the game. AFC New Fordley’s Lewis Forbes intercepted the ball high into the opposition half and quickly passed the ball head of him to Dean Ellis who was able to turn on the ball to face the goal, around the edge of the area. He played a through ball forward and to his right into the path of Ryan Hucks whose cross was met by the head of defender Brendan Balmbra to clear behind.
Hucks took the resulting corner which troubled Thomas Slack, in the Alnwick goal, to get the slightest of fingertips to the ball but couldn’t hold, the danger eventually cleared.
Play was then stopped as Lee Dundas stayed down from an aerial collision where he was needed to deal with another cross into his box.
Despite a few breakaways, Alnwick had hardly tested the opposition defence until the 8th minute. Cameron Cunningham’s corner flew only to the near post but attacking the ball was Jack Henderson. He directed a powerful header goalwards only for it to be blocked by a body in the way.
The ball was cleared all the way into the running line of Ryan Hucks in the Alnwick half. Pressured in close proximity by Jake Lowes, however, the final shot was both high and wide.
Another quick counter ended a flurry of end to end moments for either side.
Craig Hopwood latched onto a through ball on the left wing and was in behind the advanced Henderson. His low cross was half cut out by Dundas but the ball continued to run through and under Alnwick goalkeeper Slack. Balmbra made the last ditch interception and cleared to turn defence into attack, finding Colley. His run down the right hand side promised much but eventually he was forced too wide and out of play.
Alnwick thought their high intensity pressure had paid off. Alnwick won possession high into New Fordley’s half and Midgely in possession around 20 yards out, played a well weighted through ball infront of Colley to run onto. As he powered up a delicate chip over the goalkeeper, the referee blew the whistle for offside, denying Colley the opening goal as the ball dropped over Dodds’ head.
Alnwick’s defence continued to be the busier of the two back lines but now for being in possession of the ball as the game lost its intensity for the majority of the remainder of the first half.
There were penalty claims for AFC New Fordley early into the second half.
Lee watched the ball drop out of the air, in Alnwick’s penalty area, when appearing from the back of him was Dundas who, by the referee’s decision, fairly won the ball, forcing Lee to the ground in the process.
The goal eventually came for the hosts just after the hour mark. Picking up a loose ball on the right, edge of Alnwick’s penalty area, Liam Davidson found himself in acres of space. Facing towards goal, a distance from the edge of the box, he unleshed a right footed strike from the right side of centre, which over the diving Slack in the Alnwick goal and into the top left corner.
Joseph Threllfall had played just 8 minutes when he was inches away from levelling the score. Henderson’s free-kick passed through everyone until it found Threllfall attacking from the back post. His run from left to right was continued when his touch of the ball took it over the keeper but narrowly wide of the post.
Just a minute later and Alnwick thought they had scored, only to be denied once again.
A mishit kick from New Fordley’s keeper, Liam Dodds, cannoned straight off Colley who was furthest forward for Alnwick. Despite being the wall side of the keeper, he managed to beat his opposite number to the ball and best judge the bounce of the ball. Knocking the ball safely away from the keeper, Colley was just left to place into an empty net, only for the ref to call play back for a foul on Dodds.
Alnwick end the season in ninth place in their first season back in the Northern Alliance Premier Division.