Rangers in the doldrums after early strike
Published at 07:36, Wednesday, 02 October 2013
PRUDHOE Town recovered from their Monkwearmouth Charity Cup exit to jump up to 12th in the Wearside League.
They were disappointing in their 5-1 defeat to leaders Stockton Town in the cup, but they put that behind them to put four past a struggling Gateshead Leam Rangers side.
Any real quality from both sides was lacking, but the hosts made the most of their visitors’ woes with Leam having to rely on players from their Northern Alliance counterparts.
But it was the away side, without a win this season, who bared their teeth early on as they took the lead on four minutes through Chris Lowther – not to be mistaken with the home team’s chairman!
And it was a real gift, Rob Smith’s attempted back pass to Ross Thomas failing to make it much further than a yard to allow the grateful striker to round the goalkeeper and net unopposed.
But Prudhoe controlled the game from then on, levelling on 14 minutes through Kai Hewitson just moments after Ste Forster’s low drive was kept out by the fingertips of Ryan Docherty.
Gateshead were appealing for offside as Andrew Clarkson played in his strike partner, and there was never going to be any other outcome but a goal when the confident youngster raced through to slide past Docherty.
But Town’s shaky defence was as open as their visitors’ back line was, and Lowther passed up a glorious opportunity to re-open his side’s advantage within a minute when he shot wide when clean through.
A further slackening off then saw Gateshead captain Leon Kane collect a throw in acres of space, and his cross to the back post found the unmarked Jay Curry who somehow headed over from close range.
There were always going to be chances for Prudhoe at the other end as Leam’s concentration levels could not stay at a constant level, and Clarkson put the hosts’ noses in front on 21 minutes.
The rejuvenated striker was played in with a ball over the top and he lobbed the keeper who managed to get a fist to it but not enough to prevent it sneaking over the line.
It gave the home side the confidence to pour forward and Clarkson shot narrowly wide after Michael Roberts’ effort was cleared off the line.
Hewitson then had the ball in the back of the net for the second time, but the goal was ruled out when the linesman judged the challenge on Michael Steinmetz in the build-up was too physical.
But three minutes later he had created some breathing space between the teams, using his left foot for the first time to slam home his side’s third of the evening after substitute Jonny Barrett sent him in with his first touch.
Gateshead’s chances of getting back into the game were rocked moments later, his temper getting the better of David Ridley as the full back was sent to the changing rooms for swearing at the referee.
The away side still sensed a slip-up at the back for Prudhoe would allow them in, and it nearly came when a lack of communication between Marc Sagar and Thomas saw Lowther pop in, only for the goalkeeper to recover and scoop the ball from his opponent’s feet.
Chances were few and far between after the break, but Prudhoe again dominated possession and a sweeping move involving David Wansell and Clarkson ended with striker Ste Forster forcing a good save from Docherty.
The goalkeeper then thought he had again done enough to keep out Clarkson’s effort when it rolled along the line after striking the post, but the referee’s assistant was well placed to see it had crept over.
Clarkson was a shoo-in to complete his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining, but the decision to try to round Docherty rather than pull the trigger backfired as he was thwarted by a diving save.
Still Prudhoe left gaping holes at the back for Gateshead to exploit, but they lacked the quality to punish their hosts with Will Jarvis Smith hitting the crossbar and Anth Huddart’s overhead kick from the rebound easily gathered.
An under-strength Prudhoe travelled to Ashbrooke Belford House days later and, even though manager Tony Boakes was named on the bench, they managed to claw a 1-1 draw.
Forster was the man on target for a Town team reduced to 10 men when Lee Blackburn was given his marching orders.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1950Friday, December 15, 1950....
THREE watercolour paintings donated by Queen Mary were auctioned off to raise money for a new Darby and Joan club in Hexham.
A site had already been bought, but a further £6,000 was needed to run the club for the elderly.
The auction, opened by Viscountess Allendale, saw the paintings raise over £8 for the fund.