Penrith AFC narrowly claimed their first league win of the season, defeating West Allotment Celtic 2-1 in a game of two halves.
West Allotment went into the match off the back of a strong 2-0 league win away to Seaham Red Star, which included an impressive clean sheet.
However, in their tie at Penrith, their clean sheet was wiped away after just 48 seconds with Ryan Veitch scoring a volley after Allotment failed to clear the ball away from a dangerous cross. Veitch connected with his right foot and struck a sweet shot from the edge of the box which flew into the left hand side of the net.
Penrith doubled their lead in the 14th minute as Kevin Connelly rose to head home after an accurate cross from left back Jake Smith was not dealt with by Celtic defenders.
Minutes after, West Allotment almost found themselves back in the match after striker Shaun Reay, who was played through on goal after a good passing move, had his shot saved by the right foot of Penrith goalkeeper Jonny Jamieson.
Penrith were continuing to provide trouble for Allotment and they almost added a third through the cleverness of Martyn Coleman. After twisting and turning past three defenders in the box, his shot was pushed brilliantly behind the post by Celtic’s Chris Bannon.
The first half ended as poorly as it started for West Allotment, with Paul Kane being forced to come off after landing badly on his ankle and adding his name to the injury list.
The second half saw West Allotment push heavily for a way back into the game, controlling possession with ease. Striker Stephen Young found himself in space with just the keeper to beat but his low shot went inches past the post.
Allotment captain Ian Dunn also had a key chance to half the deficit after the ball landed into his path after a deflected strike from winger Adam Laidler. However, his shot was blocked crucially by a rushing Penrith defender.
Despite a constant pressure for a goal in the final period of the encounter, Allotment could not find the target when they desperately needed to. However, in stoppage time, they managed to score a late consolation goal through an Adam Laidler free kick. Laidler’s free kick managed to sail through a crowd of players in the box and into the bottom corner.
Despite the slow start, manager Jon McDonald was impressed with his team’s performance, particularly in the second half.
He said: “After our very good performance in the second half, we deserved at least a point from the game.
“Chris Bannon did not have a save to make in the second half and we totally dominated the ball. We must learn fast around doing the little things right as this division can be unforgiving.”
West Allotment Celtic will be looking to take their chances in their next league fixture as they travel to high-flying Sunderland RCA on September 3.
Two goals from David Henderson were enough to give West Allotment Celtic their first league victory of the season at Seaham Red Star.
West Allotment were going into their game at Seaham Town Park on the back of a 3-2 defeat to West Auckland on the opening day of the league season.
After a goalless first half with very little opportunities in front of goal, Celtic’s Henderson burst into life in the second half, securing the side’s first points of the new campaign with two excellent finishes.
After conceding in the early stages of Saturday’s defeat to West Auckland, Celtic almost found themselves behind in the eighth minute when goalkeeper Chris Bannon denied Seaham striker Robbie Bird from seven yards out with his left foot.
Half-chances from Allotment captain Ian Dunn and defender Mikey Hall were as close as the away side could get to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes.
Eight minutes into the second half, midfielder Henderson gave Celtic the lead. After linking up well with his team-mates on the outside of the box, he advanced past the group of Seaham defenders and struck a sweet strike into the roof of the net.
The home side piled great pressure onto the West Allotment defenders. However, Mikey Hall and Kyle Dobson, coming on for the injured Josh Day, stood strong alongside the full-backs Barney Dobinson and Chris Locke.
Seaham looked to have equalised but Bird not quite get the ball over the line as Craig Hindmarch comfortably cleared the ball away. Minutes later, goalscorer Henderson was available on the post to clear the ball off the Allotment line from a dangerous Seaham corner.
After saving a goal for his side at one end, it got even better for Henderson as he doubled Celtic’s lead at the other, picking the ball up and beginning a counter attack. Striker Scott Swanston was able to hold the ball up brilliantly from a trio of Seaham defenders to feed Henderson, who calmly curled the ball past Seaham keeper Shaun Newbrook and into the bottom right corner.
Seaham continued to press forward in search of a comeback, with Bannon being forced to make some crucial saves. He looked to have finally been beaten late from Seaham’s Tom Price, who rounded the shot stopper, but the defence managed to clear the ball away from goal and hold onto their clean sheet.
West Allotment manager Jon McDonald was delighted with his side’s victory. He said: “We showed a great sense of character, competing very well in the second half and scoring two good goals on the counter attack.”
McDonald was also full of praise for goalscorer Henderson. He added: “David is highly capable and can open up teams with ease. He is great to watch.”
West Allotment Celtic will travel Washington on August 24 for their next match in the Northern League, looking to add to their points tally.
West Allotment Celtic were beaten 3-2 by a spirited West Auckland side in their opening league fixture.
Celtic led 2-1 at half-time but let the advantage slip in seven minutes in the second half.
West Auckland, playing at home, took the lead in the 10th minute through Ross Gardner. The midfielder fired a strike through a crowd of West Allotment defenders from 20 yards out.
However, Celtic showed signs of positivity and equalised through striker Scott Swanston. Swanston managed to nod the ball into the net, and off the post, with the ball just crossing the line.
It got better for the away side as they took the lead for the first time in the match, with David Henderson producing a brilliant turn to wrong foot the defenders and then slotting the ball into the top corner.
The second half saw West Allotment lose their lead after Ross Gardner scored his second goal of the game from a free kick on the 50th minute, with goalkeeper Chris Bannon spilling the ball into the net.
Six minutes later, West Auckland regained their lead after Mark Hudson hammered a shot towards goal which flew over the goalkeeper from 25 yards out.
There was late drama in added time as West Allotment were waved away a penalty by the referee as substitute Nikolay Ivanov was thought to be bundled over.
West Allotment manager Jon McDonald still remained upbeat despite the result. He said: “Our first half performance was good after going behind.
“Ultimately, there were two errors in a crazy 10 minute spell early in the second half which cost us a share of the points. There is plenty of positive signs with the group continuing to gel together and we are looking forward to visiting Seaham Red Star on Tuesday.”
West Allotment Celtic were knocked out of the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round after losing 2-0 to Northern League neighbours Consett.
West Allotment, playing their home game at Heaton Stan’s Grounsell Park, struggled to create many clear cut chances against an organised Consett side.
The first half offered few chances with a penalty, which was cleared away by referee Derrick Wade, being the highlight of the opening 45 minutes.
Consett began brightly in the second half and took a deserved lead in the 63rd minute, with captain Dan Craggs firing home from 20 yards, with his low shot going in via the post.
Consett doubled their advantage five minutes later, with striker Michael Sweet heading from three yards out after brilliant footwork and a clever cross from Luke Sullivan.
West Allotment manager, Jon McDonald, said: “It was a scrappy affair with very little goal mouth action from both sides. The lads put in a good first half performance. However, two lapses of concentration cost us in the second half.
“Nevertheless, there are plenty of positives going into our league campaign starting at West Auckland on Saturday.”
The away side progress to the Preliminary Round of the prestigious tournament, where they will face Clitheroe FC.
On August 7, West Allotment Celtic will begin their journey in the FA Cup, taking on league neighbours Consett in the Extra Preliminary Round.
Celtic are one of the 736 football clubs that will be participating this year, dreaming of reaching the final and lifting the famous cup under the Wembley arch.
It has been 10 years since the Benton-based club entered the FA Cup, for the first time, and they will have an opportunity to reach the Preliminary Round of the prestigious competition (should they beat Consett) for only the third time in the club’s history after reaching the stage in 2009 and 2013.
The manager, Jon McDonald, is optimistic that the team can progress well in the tournament and potentially reach the First Round Qualifying for the first time.
He said: “It is always a privilege to be involved in the biggest cup competition in football. With the current crop of players we have assembled I believe we can go far this season.”
The winner of the tie will face an away trip to Clitheroe FC, who currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North, one tier above West Allotment.