FC United of Newcastle’s Steven Thompson scored the only goal of the game before tempers flared including a dismissal for both sides.
Not before Perez hit the bar with his penalty shortly after falling behind, he was then involved in a heated altercation with Connor Brown, from the visitors, resulting with both players being sent off in a heated match.
With just nine minutes on the clock and Alnwick were behind. The initial corner was punched clear by Alnwick keeper, Thomas Slack, but only as far as the advanced Brown on the edge of the box. His shot from the right was deflected into the control of Brendan Balmbra inside his own area. Taking too much time on the ball, however, in came Thompson to firstly poke the ball away from the defender and then smash home from close range.
The first booking of the match came the way of Kieron Green in the FC United of Newcastle goal, when Alnwick were given the chance to level the score from the spot. Leon Midgely intercepted the ball close to the opposition box and found a through ball, this time to Perez. The forward’s first touch took the ball past the keeper but there was no way through for Perez, for the body of the Kieron Green in the goal, bringing down the Alnwick man for a penalty and a yellow card for Green. Perez stepped up himself but after beating the keeper, sending him the wrong way, was denied by the bar.
This was the first foul of several on Perez till he himself saw red. Michael Rankin picked up the second yellow for FC United of Newcastle and of the game, for an earlier foul, but it was Perez’s reaction, to an unrelated foul, that got him his marching orders. Brown appeared to accuse Perez of poking him in the eye to which sparked a few moments of pushing and shoving between players of both sides to which the referee finally got under control by brandishing cards. Perez saw red first shortly followed by Brown.
The rest of the half was played with a lot of promise but no final product, until Alnwick came close to levelling to score from another foul moments before the break. Ryan Douglas took the free-kick and hit a right-footed curling effort over the wall but it didn’t quite dip far enough and cannoned back off the top of the bar.
More fiery challenges came in the second half and both sides had a man in the referees book just five minutes into the second half. First to get booked was Alnwick’s Douglas for his late challenge which sparked a reaction from the FC United of Newcastle players, none more so than Scott Hulse.
Just a minute later and Hulse was on a yellow for a late challenge of his own, the final straw for his manager. Hulse was replaced for the visitors by Luke Steel, but it was Alnwick’s introduction of Drew Eastlake, replacing Ross Moore, which sparked the biggest reaction.
Just a minute after entering the field and Eastlake created his first chance. He beat one man as his cut inside from wide right into the centre of the pitch. Just beyond the half way line, he chose the option to his left, Douglas, rather than trying to go it alone. Douglas quickly played the ball over the top of the opponent’s defenders and into the path of Eastlake’s run in behind. Continuing at pace, Eastlake advanced with the ball down the right side of the opponent’s box but finishing with a tight angle, his shot was blocked away behind the goal.
The pair linked again shortly after but the outcome was the same, and Alnwick were unable to break through the opposition defence to find their leveller. Alnwick’s final game of the season is a visit to AFC New Fordley. Alnwick Town starting line-up: Slack, Lowes (Brooks 87’), Balmbra, Dundas, Henderson, Colley (Threlfall 74’), Douglas, Hogg (McEwan 45’), Moore (Eastlake 54’), Midgely, Perez
FC United of Newcastle starting line-up: Green, Brown, Bolton, Swan, Rankin, Thompson, Reay, Winter, Hulse (Steel 54’), Carr, Kieron