DESPITE scoring three goals on the road, Haltwhistle Jubilee returned home empty handed on Saturday. 

The Jubes lost 4-3 away to Newcastle University A in Northern Alliance Division Two. 

It was a frustrating day for the Blues and Whites, who looked unfamiliar in their green away kits on the 4G pitch at Longbenton. 

But the free-scoring Jubes remain top of the league with 33 points from 13 matches, and they still have a game in hand over Cramlington Town and AFC Newbiggin, who are joint second on 31 points apiece. 

And the trip to face the University was no formality, with the hosts sitting comfortably inside the top four, and harbouring promotion hopes of their own. 

Haltwhistle conceded the first goal, but their heads didn’t drop, and Greg Irwin netted an equaliser. 

After going behind for a second time on 47 minutes, they were handed fresh hope on 65 minutes when an own goal made it 2-2. 

The second half wasn’t going their way, however, and after two further Uni strikes made it 4-2, Haltwhistle responded courtesy of Jack Barker in the 85th minute. 

Manager Cameron Bell said his side were a long way short of their best. However, there were still positives to be taken, with three goals for the league leaders, and a man of the match performance from Jack Currah. 

The two teams will lock horns again on Saturday, in the quarter-finals of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup.

Bell admitted that considerable improvement was required, but the Jubes will head to the Cochrane Park Sports Ground fresh from their experience on the 4G surface.