Alnwick Town 1-1 South Shields
South Shields secured a hard fought point with a 1-1 draw away at Alnwick’s St James Park, the game was played in a gale force wind and torrential rain that made flowing attractive football difficult to say the least.
Shields dominated the early stages and their pressure was rewarded on 12 mins; Barrie Smith collected the ball wide on the right flank and beat his man before firing a cross into the box and Stephen Ramsey marked his 200th appearance for the club with a well taken goal.
Shields continued to pressurise the Alnwick defence but they were unable to find a way through a resolute home defence.
As the game approached the 20th minute a Stephen Ramsey shot was deflected past the post for a corner; the corner was fired into the box by Craig Watson but the Alnwick keeper Dan Mullen was first to the ball and the danger cleared.
Alnwick were finding it difficult to break out of defence and with the half hour mark approaching Colin White pressed forward and sent a cross into the box for Stephen Ramsey but the Shields striker sent his header just over the bar.
Within a minute Shields again went close, along throw from Colin White found Barrie Smith on the edge of the box but his shot flew wide of the post.
From the restart Alnwick had a rare foray into the Shields half but Kieron Hogg’s long range shot failed to trouble Jak Wells in the Shields goal.
Alnwick maintained the pressure on the Shields defence and a minute later were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal; Tom Truscott played the ball into the path of Steven Hogg but his shot was well saved by Jak Wells.
Shields again began to take control of the game and on 35 mins a Barrie Smith shot was turned round the post for a corner; the resulting corner was floated into the box by Craig Watson towards Stephen Ramsey but again the Shields striker saw his header fly the wrong side of the bar.
Against the run of play Alnwick levelled the score when Tony Brown found Tom Truscott in space and he fired in from close range.
As the game approached the half time break Colin White fired a long range shot at goal that was well saved by Mullen and the sides went into the break level at 1-1.
The second half started with the players having to endure torrential rain and a thunder and lightning storm but as in the first half Shields started the game the quicker of the 2 sides, Chris Locke raced down the right flank before sending a cross towards the back post where it was met by Luke Richardson but his header flew wide of the upright.
With the second half 10 mins old Shields manager Jon King made his first change of the game as Ivan Stoyanov replaced Craig Watson.
Both sides were finding it difficult to cope with the conditions and were unable to create an opening as the ball spent more time off the park than on.
As the hour mark approached Shields pushed forward and a long throw from Colin White was met by Stephen Ramsey but he was denied by a good save from Alnwick keeper Mullen.
Shields continued to press forward an a minute later a free kick by Chris Feasey found Luke Olabode in space but his header flew wide of the post.
Shields continued to look the more likely of the sides to claim all three ponts and again a long throw from Colin White caused problems for the Alnwick defence but Luke Olabode was denied by a superb save from Mullen.
With 20 mins remaining Shields made a second change as Cameron Foster replaced Luke Olabode.
Shields continued to press forward looking for a winner but they could not prise open the Alnwick defence and when they did manage to create an opportunity Mullen was on hand to deny them; on 75 mins barrie Smith broke clear of his marker but a superb diving save by Mullen kept the scores level.
In the closing stages of the game Chris Locke collected the ball wide on the right before beating his man and sending a cross into the box but Jordan Fraser headed wide and the sides left the field all square at 1-1.
Shields are next in action at home to Stokesley on Saturday 9 November.