A DREADFUL start cost an under-strength Northallerton Town at the Nissan Sports Complex last Saturday as early goals from Chris Winn and Paul Kane saw them slip to a second defeat in four days.
Winn, who scored over 40 goals last season for Ryhope CW, was on hand to tap the hosts ahead inside two minutes, and when Kane then made it 2-0 six minutes later, Mulcaster’s side faced an uphill task. Town did produce some nice moments in the first half but when Winn added his second just before the break, it was all over.
Paul Mulcaster, who celebrates a year back in charge next week, was forced into changes in defence. With Grant Hickman still unavailable and James Howlett injured, Mark Hemingway was moved to centre half with Ritchie Dacombe coming in at left back.
Town could not have got off to a worse start. Just two minutes had elapsed when Washington skipper Michael Coughlan drilled in a low cross and Winn was on hand to tap home from close range.
Things soon got even worse for Mulcaster’s side when just six minutes later the Mechanics doubled their advantage.
Winn broke clear from halfway and rounded Town goalkeeper Ryan Hodgson but Craig Perry got back to make a fine goal-line clearance. However, the ball fell to Kane who showed great composure to slot in into the far corner of the net from a tight angle.
Kokes’ cross from the right found Burton at the far post but Atkinson pushed out his close range effort before recovering quickly to deny Butterworth’s follow-up.
However, Town’s comeback hopes were over three minutes before the break. Perry misjudged a long ball in the wind and Winn was left oneon- one with Hodgson. The Washington striker never looked like missing as he confidently clipped the ball over the Town goalkeeper to make it 3-0 at half time.
With the wind in their favour in the second half, Town needed an early goal if they were to have any chance of salvaging something from the match, and they thought they had done so seven minutes after the restart.
Parkin’s corner from the right found the head of Dale Elgie, and when his effort was scrambled clear, Butterworth was on hand to force the ball over the line from close range.
Referee Mark McKitterick, however, had already blown for a foul on Atkinson and Town’s chance had gone.
Town face promotion-chasing West Allotment Celtic tomorrow at the Calvert Stadium, 3pm, and admission is £5 adults and £1 for children.