Hexham 2-0 North Shields
After the disappointment of Wednesday night's defeat at Northbank it was vital that Hexham got back on to the rails or the thret was large that this season might just implode after showing tremendous promise. Opponents today were the vastly improved North Shields Athletic, the team sheet bore very little resemblance to the team that Hexham took three points off way back in the autumn of 2011. Their place in the league table dose no justice to the present crop of players the management of North Shield have assembled in the recent months. Hexham were slow out of the blocks midweek but that complaint could not be levied at them on Saturday, from the off they were competing for the ball and all three units defence, midfield and strikers were working well.
This was required as North Shields did not come and lie down they came to give Hexham a game and compete for the points on offer. The first half was mostly Hexham but not quite breaking down the shields defence. The visitors were a big side and the home strikers had great difficulty in winning any aerial duels against the 6ft plus centre half Johnny Tait.
Despite the home side having more of the game in the opening half shields stopper Tallen Campbell was not troubled to much as most of the game was being played out in the middle third. Hexham felt they had done enough to be in front but with no breakthrough they just had to be patient to get their noises in front in the next forty five minute
That was the plan but shields had other ideas and come out feeling they had competed with the home side and there was no reason why in the second half they could take the points. To be fair to the visitors they edged the early encounters but there was still very little between the sides. On the seventy minute mark the game took a match winning swing to Hexham, Liam Heenan did well to keep possession when it looked like it was running away from him. He managed to get a shot away which caught Campbell out but he did well to get a hand to the ball as it looked to be creeping in at the near post. He was unable to hold on to the shot and it bounced back along the line which created a three man chase between Ali Stobbs and his marker along with Campbell who reacted swiftly to defend his goal, thankfully Stobbs won that race and hurled himself at the ball when the defender and the keeper looked favourite to win.
This goal puts Mark within one goal of equalling the all time record for goal scorers since the Alliance team was resurrected six years ago. With seven games to go Mark has his sights firmly on Iain Strachan's record which has stood despite Iain moving on three years ago. This was enough to break the resolve of the shields men and the game fizzled out but you will not have to look far too seen one of the favourites for promotion next season providing that this side sticks together. More good news later in the day was received when news broke that table toppers Red House Farm had dropped points at home against Whickham Lang Jacks which meant that Hexham were now only four points behind with three games in hand sitting comfortably in second place. Hexham, Northbank and Wallsend have to all play each other before the curtain comes down on the campaign and with Red House dropping back into the pack there may be a few twists and turns before the table is assigned into the history books
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