Easington Colliery made it back-to-back wins with a 4-3 win over Alnwick Town on Saturday afternoon.
Michael Bulmer fired hosts Easington into the lead only for Tony Brown to pull Alnwick level from the penalty spot. Samuel Perez – brother of Newcastle United man Ayoze – fired Alnwick into a second half lead before David Paul leveled the scores.
Bryan Norton’s deflected effort put the Green Army ahead again but Perez’s second made it all square. However, Chris Freeman fired home what proved to be a winner as Easington climbed to sixth in Northern League Division Two.
Ryan Douglas was sent off late for Alnwick who were unlucky not to take anything from their trip.
Easington manager Paul Frame made two changes from last week’s victory over Durham City, with Michael Bulmer coming in for his debut to replace Jack Pounder while Jake Fenton gave way for Chris Pearson.
Easington started brightly and in the seventh minute, a clever flick from Bulmer looked to play Paul in but he could only drag wide while off-balance.
The tempo was set and Page sliced wide for the hosts before they broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Brennan Ball beat the offside trap despite the furious flagging of the assistant referee to charge down on goal. Ball decided to cut it back in the penalty area to find Bulmer who fired home on his first start for the club.
It was just the start the Colliers wanted but the visitors could have been level on the quarter of an hour mark when Perez headed a pinpoint Ross Gair cross over the bar.
In the 20th minute, a clever dummy from Bulmer saw the ball find Aaron Croft but he could only blaze over the crossbar.
Just before the half-hour mark, Alnwick had a great chance to pull level when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for an apparent push. Brown took responsibility and despite a touch, Anderson was unable to keep it out and the scores were level.
Easington kept plugging away for the remainder of the first half to no real avail and the two sides went into the break level.
The home side started the second half brightly and only two minutes in, Liam Adamson’s cross-cum-shot could have caused trouble for Luc Glasper but he was able to save.
Aidan Goodey was forced off with a hamstring injury early in the second half but it wouldn’t stop the Colliers from looking for a second and when clever work from Bulmer laid the ball off to Paul, the former Seaham Red Star man thought he had scored but his effort bounced narrowly wide.
Logan Powell could and possibly should have put the visitors ahead just after the hour mark when he beat the offside trap but his side-footed effort found the wrong side of the post.
And, another great chance soon came at the other end. Adamson burst forward and played the ball into Paul. He rounded the keeper before eventually pulling the ball back to Page but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
After an extended spell of pressure from the Green Army, Alnwick broke and a quick counter saw them take the lead. Perez was played in and slotted coolly under Anderson to put Alnwick ahead.
However, Alnwick’s lead didn’t last long as substitute Norton sent a perfectly timed ball across to Paul and he slotted home to make it all square.
Paul had another chance soon after but Danny Lowes blocked his effort on the line.
A third was to follow for Easington though as Norton was played in and fired home via a deflection to put the Green Army ahead for a second time.
Norton’s goal started a crazy five-minute spell where three goals were scored. With Easington now thinking the game was theirs, Alnwick once again pulled level through route one football. A long goal-kick was flicked on to play Perez in and he once again finished with confidence.
There was still to be a winner though and it came through another substitute in Freeman. The ball was free on the edge of the penalty area and the former Horden CW man pounced onto it before taking a touch and firing into the bottom corner sparking scenes of joy amongst the home support.
Both sides hit the bar in the closing stages, Alnwick’s Powell forcing a fine fingertip save from Anderson to tip it onto the bar. Paul was the man who hit the woodwork for Easington; his 25-yard free-kick clipping the metal with Glasper beaten.
Ryan Douglas was given his marching orders in injury time for a second yellow card for the visitors but it had little influence as Easington managed to hang on for a big three points.
Full-time: Easington Colliery 4-3 Alnwick Town
Easington Colliery: Anderson, Ball, Jones (Freeman, 73′), Pearson (c), Goodey (Nesbitt, 49′), Croft, Page, Kenney, Bulmer (Norton, 59′), Paul, Adamson
Unused subs: Donaldson, Lincoln
Alnwick Town: Glasper, Riddell (Jake Lowes, 86′), Graham, Douglas, Danny Lowes, Wilson (Simpson, 86’), Gair (c), Brown, Hay, Perez, Powell
Unused subs: Jackson, Henderson, Dundas