AN improved second half performance from West Allotment Celtic proved enough to see off Alnwick Town on Friday night with a well-taken brace from Liam Hudson earning three points for the home side.
Paul Stoneman named an unchanged side from that which outclassed Birtley Town over a fortnight ago, with Kallum McGlen and David Henderson retaining their starting berths in favour of the returning Tony Lancaster and Sean Reid.
Celtic retained the more positive 4-4-2 formation, with Liam Hudson partnering David Dormand in attack.
From the outset, the game resembled a pitched battle, as Alnwick struggled to retain possession, and Celtic failed to test the visitors despite having the lion’s share of the ball.
Town midfielder Tony Brown had scored five times in four games prior to the fixture and was the first to threaten Aiden Ames’ goal, but his effort from long range soared well over.
At the other end, some tidy work from Dean Lee afforded Allotment a shooting opportunity in the area, but Dormand’s shot was deflected behind.
After an uneventful opening, a serious-looking injury to Kallum McGlen threatened to overshadow proceedings.
The winger went down in agony after a relatively innocuous challenge, and had to be carried from the field of play.
McGlen was later taken to hospital by an ambulance crew, where it was determined that the promising midfielder had injured his ligaments, and would be out for at least a month.
After the interval, Allotment upped their game, and looked the more likely to take the lead. Substitute Chris Hutchinson impressed in McGlen’s place on the right hand side.
The winger found Liam Hudson in the area with a low cross, but the forward’s volley cleared Brian Brooks’ crossbar.
Alnwick looked uncomfortable in their own third, and Allotment began to turn the screw.
The introduction of Sean Reid from the bench added something extra to the Allotment attack, and the substitute was inches away from putting the home side ahead with 15 minutes remaining.
Hudson’s whipped square ball evaded the Town back line, but flashed agonisingly beyond the on-rushing Reid.
Allotment finally grabbed the opening goal with 12 minutes remaining. Hudson received the ball with his back to goal, rolled effortlessly around his marker, and curled a precise shot into the back of the net.
Allotment finally sealed the victory two minutes from time, courtesy once more of Hudson.
Dean Lee burst past Town’s defence and deep into their penalty area, only to chip the ball across goal into the path of Hudson, who prodded home from five yards out.
The hosts could have snatched a third in the final attack, but Lee failed to pick out the unmarked Hudson. Nevertheless, Allotment deserved the win on the balance of play.
Alnwick posed little threat to the hosts’ goal, in no small part due to their own profligacy, but also thanks to the solid performances of Stephen Little and Paul Stoneman at the back.
A largely sub-par Celtic may have secured back-to-back victories in the league, but will have to perform to a higher standard if they are to take points from Brandon United on Thursday night.