MATCH REPORT: Rothbury v Hebburn Town U23s
While the youngsters have impressed at Armstrong Park in recent weeks, it was one of the most experienced players in the squad who netted as they Reds drew 1-1 with Hebburn Town u23s.
Big Paul Dunn has pulled on the number nine shirt at clubs around the region in a long and distinguished career, so it was something of a coup when former manager Danny Olson brought him to Rothbury during the summer.
And the celebratory smile was as wide as ever when Dunny headed in through a crowd of players from close range to put the Reds ahead shortly after the break.
“Dunny is a leader, he does an excellent job leading the line for us and he also talks the other attacking players through the game, making everyone’s job much easier,” said player/manager Tom Macpherson, who was also quick to praise the man at the other end of the pitch, ‘keeper James Morton, whose first half penalty save gave the side the impetus to push on and get themselves into the game.
“I think we have an excellent blend of youth and experience in the side to be fair. That definitely helped us on Saturday against an impressive Hebburn side. Tony Brown is a different type of leader, he is a lot quieter – until he’s had a few pints – but leads by example by always being available for the pass,” laughed the gaffer.
“I thought Saturday was an excellent advert for the Northern Alliance, it was one of those games that just flew by. I felt Hebburn were the better side first 20 minutes then we changed shape to match their 3-5-2. This gave us a much better foothold on the game and Greg, Tony and Jake in the midfield were class. I think a draw was the right result, Hebburn had a lot of possession without hugely threatening us whereas we were dangerous on the break and had a few guilt edge chances – namely me from about 4 yards out – I think the header is in Amble,” he joked.
John Murray levelled for the visitors just after the hour but a decent point was enough to maintain third position in the table for Rothbury.
Gaffer Macpherson says the club are looking forward to welcoming Forest Hall Celtic on Saturday in what will be the Reds’ last game at Armstrong Park of 2021 – so he is encouraging the fans to get down before a long December of games on the road.
“We played Forest Hall a couple of times in the cup competition at the end of last year and they have some very talented young lads so we will have to be on it,” continued Tom.
“It’s the last game of the year at home and there’s no Newcastle game so it would be great to see the Don Jeans West Stand full,” he smiled.
It certainly would – so get yourself down, buy one of Neil’s raffle tickets, cheer on the lads and have a laugh at Don’s jokes before your Saturdays become a mad dash at the Metro Centre ahead of Christmas.
Words: Jon Tait Pictures: Susan Aynsley