Tough Day At The Office For Morpeth
Missing key players prove costly for Morpeth
On a very wet and windy afternoon, Morpeth 1st XI played host to Durham University 3rd XI. With several key players missing, Morpeth knew that this would be a tough game but were still confident of getting a result.
The first half saw Morpeth largely trying to gain some momentum whilst attempting to keep the skillful University side at bay. When the home side had the ball, they were able to find space and get into the final third but couldn't create any clear cut opportunities. As a result the Uni side were able to break up the pitch at pace, and with Morpeth struggling to clear their lines and protect their feet, gave away a succession of short corners. It wasn't long before team Durham took the lead through one of their well rehearsed short corner routines. Then moments later under very unfortunate circumstances, a shot from one of the Durham forwards was deflected by Ritchie Brown, and it looped over goal keeper Sam Read’s head into the back of the net. As the half went on Morpeth tried to contain the opposition, but once again they picked holes in the Morpeth defence and were able to add another two goals to leave the Peth 4-0 down at half time.
In the second half Morpeth knew that they could accredit themselves with 35 minutes of good hockey and get some confidence. Despite the score, team Morpeth came out looking revitalised and took the game to Durham. The away side seemed startled as Morpeth knocked the ball around them and looked much stronger as a unit going forward. Edmunds Brown and Mellor in the midfield looked a lot more cohesive and as a result were able to provide the forwards with opportunities. Unfortunately with Morpeth going in search of goals, once again they were exposed and Durham manage to score from two more short corners; Morpeth feeling aggrieved from the build up that lead to those decisions. Then as Morpeth soldiered on, their hard work was finally rewarded with a goal. A quick free hit was taken by Brown who found Ian Foster in the D, who in turn slid the ball through the keeper’s legs to deny Durham their clean sheet. The goal gave the home side a big lift as they looked for more. It was not to be however, and the university side managed to score once more moments before the end, to leave the hosts defeated 7-1.
Although they suffered a heavy defeat, Morpeth have plenty positives to take from the game, particularly in their attitudes and determination throughout what was a very tough game. They will be looking to bounce back emphatically next week, as they welcome back the key players and go in search of 3 points at Durham City.
Man of the Match: Adrian Dye
Starting Line Up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Callum Hinshaw, Evan Mulligan, Tony Cook, Gareth Mellor, Adam Craggs, Ritchie Brown (C), Jack Murgatroyd, James Edmunds, Ian Foster
Sub: Craig Consitt