A SECOND half strike from Reece Richardson fired Hexham to the top of Northern Alliance Division One.

The 22-year-old made a big impact after he was introduced as a 70th minute substitute in the 2-1 victory at FC United of Newcastle on Saturday.

His 35-yard strike followed a Kurtis Harvey penalty, as Hexham turned a 1-0 deficit into a vital three points.

Hexham played up the slope in the opening period at the Langdale Centre, and chances were at a premium in a keenly contested match.

Hexham gradually played their way back into the game after the break, and manager Martin Lowes said Richardson’s first goal for the club was a memorable one.

“It was a good strike,” he said. “It bounced in front of the goalkeeper which made it difficult for him.”

The win was Hexham’s second successive 2-1 victory, after they earned three points at home to Forest Hall last Wednesday night.

The pacy Forest Hall side took the lead at Wentworth after 20 minutes, and their lively attackers also forced home keeper Tom Craney into action. Nevertheless, Hexham equalised when Callum Duncan headed home a Peter McRoberts corner.

Then a floated diagonal ball from Lewis Loughhead found the head of Robbie Pattison just inside the penalty area, and his glancing header nestled in the far corner.

“Forest Hall were a very quick, very mobile side, and they were always dangerous on the break,” said Lowes.

“But we kept our shape and discipline, and showed that we are more than capable of creating chances and scoring goals.”