Ryhope CW failed to build on the momentum of a 5-2 midweek victory  at West Auckland, losing 1-0 against Team Northumbria despite dominating much of the game.

It was Robbie Spence’s 51st minute strike that separated the two teams and ensured Team Northumbria left Recreation Park with all three points.

A few changes were made to the Ryhope side that beat West Auckland midweek, veteran goalkeeper Barry Poskett coming in to replace the injured Jonny Ball while Lewie Turnbull returned from injury to replace Corey Nicholson at right back.

Colliery Welfare had the ball in the back of the net within 10 minutes when a Joey Melvin cross came off the bar and back out to Kyle Davis to head in, but much to Ryhope’s frustration the goal was disallowed as Melvin had been adjudged to have taken the ball out of play before putting the cross in.

In the 13th minute Josh Home-Jackson beat a couple of Team Northumbria defenders on the edge of the box, he broke into the area and released a shot which was saved by Stefan Holden. Home-Jackson was under pressure when he released the shot and was injured in the process, Matty Weirs coming on to replace him.

Ryhope had yet another opportunity in the 26th minute, Lewis Turnbull looked to set Joey Melvin free with a ball down the right beyond the defence, Stefan Holden had to rush out and meet the forward but could only clear as far as the halfway line which fell to winger James Ellis who released a spectacular long range volley at the open goal and not far over the bar.

Team Northumbria had a good spell around the half hour mark, Andrea Ardelean breaking into the box and shooting just wide in the 27th minute.

Full-back Aidan Heywood also threatened for Team Northumbria with a long range effort that flew narrowly over Poskett’s bar.

But Ryhope certainly had the better opportunities of the first-half, a couple more coming before the whistle when both Ellis and Melvin failed to convert a David Gordon cross.

Team Northumbria had a good spell at the start of the second-half, the best opportunity of the game so far falling to Andrea Ardelean who found space at the back post for a free header only a few yards out, Poskett managing to get down low to make a great save.

The winning goal then followed, in the 51st minute Robbie Spence got hold of the ball just outside the box, the midfielder released a shot which deflected off Ryhope’s Chris Trewick and caught Poskett out.

Welfare got back on the front foot and switched to three at the back to look for the equaliser, but Team Northumbria got bodies back and Ryhope struggled to create clear cut opportunities despite having a lot of possession in good areas up the pitch.

Weirs and Davis both saw good shots get blocked while Colliery Welfare failed to make an abundance of corners pay off towards the end of the match.

Ryhope manager Gary Pearson reflected on the missed opportunities post-match.

“Goals win games, possession doesn’t, it was another game of missed chances…”

Pearson added: “We had enough chances to win two games in the first half, we changed formation when we went a goal down and we created four chances in probably two or three minutes that we didn’t put away and it has come back to bite us.”

Pearson was also left to rue some of the decision making in attacking areas saying “if they make the right decision then the chances become more clear cut, we probably had five clear cut chances that weren’t taken and nine or ten half chances that come down to decision making.”

Ryhope currently sit 11th in mixed form, but will hope to make a run of home league games count with another tie at Recreation Park on Tuesday night against a Penrith side who have recently changed manager.