TWO first half goals proved costly for Hexham as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat away to Felling Magpies.

However, the Green and Whites remained three points and one place above their opponents in the Northern Alliance Division One, with a game in hand.

But statistics aside, this was a day which simply didn’t go Hexham’s way, despite some impressive individual performances and team moves.

As they have done in recent weeks, Hexham set out to attack, with Peter McRoberts proving a threat down the left hand side.

They conceded on 10 minutes, however, when the referee played on following a firm challenge on Hexham full back Tom Hacking, and Felling Magpies took the lead from a left-wing cross.

“It was one of those decisions which could have gone either way,” said manager Martin Lowes. “We thought it was a foul but that’s football.”

Hexham were punished later in the first half, when a pass infield was intercepted.

Lowes explained: “We gave the ball away in a dangerous area, and within two or three passes the ball was in the net. It was a good move and it shows how punishing this league can be. Once you go behind in the Northern Alliance, it is difficult to get back into games.”

Hexham were offered a route back shortly before half time. Peter McRoberts was caught in the box after a good run, and a penalty was awarded.

Kurtis Harvey’s spot kick was saved by the keeper, and the rebound fell to the feet of Harvey, but he fired over the crossbar.

Lewis Loughhead his the bar from a free kick, while Dylan Mabunu, and Owen Murtough were also a threat for Hexham, who welcomed Robbie Pattison back as a second half substitute, following a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

“I have to hold my hands up,” admitted Lowes. “In recent games we have done well when we have attacked teams, but maybe on this occasion I got the formation wrong.”

Hexham face a tough trip to 10th placed Wallsend Boys Club on Saturday.

Lowes said there were many positives for his side to build on.