HEXHAM continued to play their attractive brand of football but still remain on the hunt for their first win of 2020.

They were embroiled in a close-fought encounter with Cramlington United in Division One of the Northern Alliance, but the visitors took their chances to deny Hexham from jumping into the top half of the table.

The home side played the better football for large spells of the 90 minutes, but they found themselves trailing after 20 minutes.

A tricky United striker collected the ball out wide and cut inside to send an unstoppable shot past Kurtis Harvey, the striker deputising between the sticks in the absence of usual goalkeepers Tom Craney and Nathan Byerley.

For all the possession they enjoyed, Hexham couldn’t really create any clear cut chances, and nearly went further behind on the stroke of half time, only for a visiting player to sky his shot over the crossbar.

The deciding goal came on the hour mark when Hexham were caught napping at a throw in, another player cutting in from wide and firing past the helpless Harvey.

Manager Martin Lowes turned to the bench and used all five substitutions, and they all contributed in continuing to take the game to Cramlington.

However, it wasn’t to be for the Tynedale side as they dropped to 10th spot in the table.

Lowes said: “I would be disappointed if the lads hadn’t played well, but they are and I’ve told them that we’re just not getting the rub of the green at the moment.”

On Saturday, they travel to fourth placed Red Row Welfare.