Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Late Brown wonder-goal sinks ten-man Town

By Ricky Butler at St. James' Park

TEN-MAN Northallerton Town slipped to a disappointing late defeat up at Alnwick on Tuesday evening as Tony Brown's last minute wonder-strike left Peter Mulcaster's side frustrated.

After a dominant first half display in which they had done everything but score, it became an uphill task for Town after Col Anderson was shown a straight red card on the hour for kicking out at Alnwick defender Danny Lowes.

But despite a battling performance from Mulcaster''s men that deserved far more than it got, it was Alnwick that grabbed all three points after Brown smashed home from 35 yards late on.

"It was a magnificent performance from us," said Mulcaster at the whistle. "Magnificent. We were the better side all the way through and I cannot speak highly enough of the lads.

"It was a daft sending off that has cost us. I didn't see it but they tell me it was the right decision. To be fair the goal that won it for them was a wonder strike and they probably won't score another goal like that until the end of the season."

With work commitments keeping Jamie Clarke, Ian Smurthwaite and Dale Elgie away, the Town starting XI showed four changes from Saturday's FA Cup defeat at the hands of Whitehaven.

Goalkeeper Alex Kell, who only completed his signing on Monday afternoon, replaced Dean Hudson between the sticks, while Andrew Porritt was in at left back in place of Lee Newby, with Danny McLachlan partnering Graham Caygill in attack.

Having suffered from a poor start at the weekend, Town looked determined from the off this time and dominated the first half. Darren Kokes, back in a midfield role, was denied by home goalkeeper Dan Mullen after just seven minutes, while Caygill saw an effort hacked clear by defender Lowes seconds later.

Anderson then came close twice in as many minutes - firing over the top in the 12th minute before being denied by a fine goal-line clearance from Alex Makin in the very next attack.

But Alnwick felt they should have had a penalty midway through the half when Grant Hickman appeared to handle a shot from Brown inside the penalty area, although referee Craig Chatten was unimpressed. Kell then had to be alert to save at the feet of James Jackson as the hosts briefly threatened to get on top.

However, Town should have been out of sight by the break. Jason Brazauskas, again the stand out Town performer, squared for Anderson when perhaps he could have shot himself, while Anderson, Caygill and Parkin all came close as half time approached.

The hosts began the second half with more tempo to their play but Town were soon dominating again and appeared to heading towards a fully deserved victory when Anderson clashed with Lowes on the far touchline.

At first it appeared Chatten was only going to book the Town man but after consulting with his assistant he produced a red card and Mulcaster's side were forced to play the final half an hour with ten men.

But you would not have known it as they dug deep and looked even more determined to get a result. Kokes fired over from 20 yards before Hickman twice came close to a third goal in three games with headers that just failed to hit the target.

However, despite replacing Caygill and McLachlan with Christian Holliday and Michael Colman, Town visibly tired in the closing stages and Alnwick appeared to have grabbed all three points when only a fantastic point-blank save from Kell denied Jake Lowes with less than four minutes left on the clock.

But it proved to be in vain in the end as Brown smashed home from 35 yards moments later to send Mulcaster's side crashing to a first league defeat of the season.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the lads out there," said the Town boss. "I am absolutely gutted for them all. I am gutted for all the people who came up on the train (to support us) too. But the fact is we have been beaten by an inferior side and that is hard to take."

Inevitably Alnwick manager Paul Yeadon did not agree. "Northallerton are a very good side but we probably deserved to win," he said. "Had they kept 11 men on the pitch it may well have been a different story but we did not get the rub of the green last year and perhaps we have this time.

"Yes it was great goal that won it for us. Tony Brown does that week in, week out. He is a real quality player who has the potential to go further. But he is at Alnwick at the moment and we are happy for that."

Town will now look to bounce back when Esh Winning visit the Calvert Stadium on Saturday. It may be too early in the season to call it a crisis, but this is now taking on the role of a must-win game for Mulcaster's men following two disappointing defeats.

ALNWICK TOWN - Mullen, Murray, McPherson, Lowes(D), Elliott, Hogg, Brown, Makin, Robinson, Jackson, Lowes(J). Subs - Troy, Moore, Trescott, Hills, Brookes.

NORTHALLERTON TOWN - Kell, Banks, Porritt, Hickman, Davies, Parkin, Anderson, Kokes, McLachlan, Caygill, Brazauskas. Subs - Johnson, Colman, Newby, Holliday.

REFEREE - C. Chatton.



  1. With cook, smurf and dale back we will beat Esh easily.

  2. Yeadon says Alnwick deserved to win, which game was he watching ?

    1. Not the one lastnight

  3. We were stronger than them in all areas.

  4. I think Alnwick finish second bottom last year and would have been in the Northern Alliance this year if it wasn't for the Ryhope situation.
    Surely we should be beating these teams easily.

    Roll on Esh on Saturday, who finished third bottom, we should manage a draw.

    Interesting to see what happens when we meet a decent team with promotion ambitions>

  5. Up next we play two very weak sides and I'm sure we will thrash both of them in style. This is the weekend we go large on our goals total. Fill your boots boys.