MATCH REPORT: AFC Newbiggin v Rothbury
Rothbury boss Tom Macpherson has been around the block so he knows not to get too bothered by a defeat – in fact he felt his side had done well at Newbiggin until their heads completely went in the second half.
The Reds were leading thanks to midfielder James Jackson’s 15th minute opener and although Liam Armstrong made it all square on the half hour, when the experienced and influential Jackson was dismissed just four minutes into the second period it all went pear-shaped.
Bradley Higgins put Newbiggin ahead just sixty seconds later and added his second with 20 minutes to play against the ten-men.
“It was tough and we got taught a couple of valuable lessons,” said Tom.
“Newbiggin are a good side and will take points off a lot of teams this year – they were ruthless in attack and managed the game really well. We, however, contributed to our own downfall. The sending off obviously acted as a turning point but we completely lost our discipline from that point onwards – which meant for a long 40 minutes!”
A double from Connor Willis in the final ten minutes slapped the gloss on the win for the hosts who moved up into fifth behind Rothbury with a game in hand.
“I was frustrated at our reaction to going 2-1 down with 10 men. At that score we are still in the game – demonstrated by Jake’s miss of the season at 3-1 that could have swung momentum back in our favour,” continued the player/boss.
“That being said, I was happy with large chunks of the performance. The first 50 minutes it was a very good game, us edging the first 25/30 and Newbiggin being the stronger team thereafter,” as he took a number of positives from the heavy defeat.
“Other pleasing aspects were the performances of Angus Stout, Jake Stevenson and Mins – until his red – as well as the return of Dunny and Mitch from injury.”
As the Reds look to put the loss behind them and move on, the manger would like to see the crowds come down to give the side some vocal backing as the fixture list has handed them games at Armstrong Park for the next four weeks.
“We look to a month of home fixtures now where we will look to progress into the next round of the divisional cup and build on our position in the league,” concluded the gaffer.
That run starts with the visit of West Moor & Jesmond in the Team Valley Carpets Combination Cup this weekend (kick-off 1.30pm) followed by FC United of Newcastle the following weekend (kick-off 2.00pm).
Rothbury are at home against Hebburn Town u23s and then Forest Hall Celtic (both 2.00pm kick-offs) on the subsequent Saturdays so there is plenty of scope for getting down to a game and supporting your local side.
Words: Jon Tait