South Shields 0-3 Alnwick Town
By Philip Reay
South Shields suffered a second defeat in three days as they went down 3-0 at home to Alnwick Town on Saturday.
Shields started the game on the front foot, and inside the first two minutes were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal.
New signing Alex Berhan curled the ball round the defensive wall and beyond the reach of Daniel Mullen in the Alnwick goal, but the ball struck the post and the danger was cleared.
Shields continued to press forward, and on five minutes a long ball over the Alnwick defence just eluded Stephen Ramsey and again the danger was cleared.
A minute later, Adam Burnicle fired a shot at goal that Mullen managed to collect at the second attempt.
From Mullen’s clearance, the ball fell to Thomas Vickers, and his shot was cleared off the line by Ben Clarey.
Shields maintained the pressure on the Alnwick defence, and from a corner on the right the ball fell to Burnicle, but his shot was blocked and Colin White then fired the ball over bar.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Alnwick twice went close through Lee Waugh.
First he fired a shot over the bar, followed by a header that again flew just over the bar.
Shields again began to dominate, but were unable to convert their chances.
Berhan floated a corner into the box, but Tito Davidson fired his shot tamely into the keeper’s hands.
A minute later, Berhan again provided a cross into the box towards Luke Richardson, but he headed the ball just wide of the upright.
Then, against the run of play, Alnwick went a goal to the good.
The Mariners defence were caught out as a throw from Waugh found Vickers in space, and he lofted the ball over the head of Shields keeper Jak Wells.
In the closing stages of the half, a cross come shot from Davidson grazed the outside of the post, and the sides went into the break with the visitors holding a slender advantage.
Within a minute of the restart, Alnwick were awarded a penalty that was dispatched by Keith Douglas to give the visitors a two-goal advantage.
Shields thought they had reduced the arrears as Burnicle fired the ball past Mullen, but the celebrations were cut short as the assistant referee had his flag up for offside.
On the hour, Shields were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal that was fired in by Richardson, but Mullen gathered the ball without difficulty.
At the midpoint of the second half, Alnwick had a series of corners, and eventually their pressure bore fruit as Kieran Hogg fired in from the angle of the box for 3-0.
Shields pressed forward in the closing stages of the game but were unable to trouble Mullen, and the game ended 3-0 to Alnwick.
The Mariners are next in action on Tuesday when they host Brandon United at Eden Lane.