Red Row miss out on place in Minor Cup semi-finals

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Red Row missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the NFA Minor Cup when they were beaten 5-1 away to Alnmouth United on Saturday.

It was the first time in nearly two months that either side had played, due to the festive break and then the enforced lay-off which many sides have suffered as a result of the recent wet weather.

Alnmouth marched into the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history as Kevin Bell stole the show with four second half strikes.

North Northumberland League table topping opponents Red Row had endured an even longer break, but any rustiness didn’t show as they started the livelier, and it was no surprise that they took the lead on the quarter hour when a Ben Lilburn 20-yard free kick evaded everyone to find the net.

Judd Donohoe levelled things up ten minutes later, running onto Bell’s through ball, his finish going in off the inside of a post. Their composure restored, the home side turned things around on the hour when Bell opened his account, finding the bottom corner from eight yards following Brett Rogerson’s supply.

Mid-way through the second period, Red Row upped their tempo again in the increasingly sticky conditions, and their best chance came and went when Max Anderson found himself clear on goal following a defender’s miss-kick, but with Mick Ashurst advancing, the young forward miscued.

An amazing treble miss by three home players could have proved costly, but the tie was effectively settled on 80 minutes with a cracking 25 yard drive, which rebounded off the bar underside and over the line as Bell doubled his tally.

His hat-trick was completed five minutes later from the penalty spot, after he was fouled in the box, and he made it a day to remember against his former club when he netted again with the last kick of the game.

The reward is a home tie for Alnmouth against NFAL first division side Longbenton in the semis.