Unbeaten run for Delaval at nine games

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JUST seven days after playing Cramlington Town, Seaton Delaval Amateurs welcomed their local rivals to Wheatridge Park looking for a repeat of the previous week’s victory.

With Jordan Fry and Michael Fenwick absent, the home side introduced Craig Cook and John Fitzpatrick into the line-up in the only changes from last week.

On a bumpy pitch with the wind blowing, Cramlington were quickly under pressure and the first chance fell to Craig Johnson, when a neat lay-off from Craig Cook saw the winger fire in a drive that forced Nairn into a good save at his near post.

As the game was mainly played in the middle of the pitch, it was another 15 minutes before either side fashioned a chance.

And it fell to the visitors when Morgan found himself unmarked from a Simon Wilson free kick, but the big defender could not take advantage and headed over.

Delaval continued to struggle against the well-organised visitors and it took 38 minutes for them to fashion a chance.

Steve Anderson’s effort from outside the area turned round the post by Nairn for a corner.

Delaval took the lead when Johnson’s corner was cleared back to the wide man and he returned it into the box where Michael Robinson dived in to head the home side in front.

Two minutes before half-time Cramlington should have been awarded a penalty when it appeared that McRoberts was fouled in the box.

Unbelievably, the second half was even worse than the first with both sides struggling.

With the home defence looking solid, with Neil Johnstone outstanding at centre half, it never seemed likely that the visitors would draw level, but Delaval were not able to create anything going forward.

The introduction of substitutes Paul Hodge and Luke Newton with 25 minutes remaining saw the match improve.

Immediately Hodge was found by Grey and the substitute’s ball into the box just evaded the on-rushing Howes.

With ten minutes remaining, Cramlington almost drew level when Card fired in a low shot from 20 yards and Mundy did exceptionally well to turn the effort away for a corner.

The game opened up in the last few minutes with Grey and Anderson both having long-range efforts for the home side.

Delaval made the game safe in the 86th minute. A through ball to Steven Howes, who looked suspiciously offside, saw him cut back inside and he lifted a ball to Johnson who slotted home from eight yards.

The result extended Delaval’s unbeaten run to nine games and leaves them in good spirits heading into the Kicks Leisure Northern Alliance Challenge Cup final against Blyth Town tonight (Thursday), kick-off 7.30pm at Ashington CFC’s Woodhorn Lane.