5 In A Row As Morpeth Beat Stockton
Impressive second half performance takes Morpeth to fifth consecutive victory
The first Saturday in February saw Morpeth 1st XI face Stockton 2nds. Morpeth were hoping to carry on their winning run and close the gap on third place.
Morpeth started the game at a very high tempo, attacking at pace and not allowing the Stockton defence to settle. The home side were enjoying plenty possession and got the ball into some dangerous areas, but were unable to find the early break through they were looking for. The Longhirst based outfit did come very close to opening their account, when a short corner struck by Ian Foster was deflected onto the post by Ross Valentine but was cleared away to safety by the opposition. Stockton’s main threat came on the counter attack as they looked to hammer the ball up the pitch to their front men. However the defensive line of Evan Mulligan, Stuart Fairbrother, Adrian Dye and Phil Holmes dealt with any threats and snuffed out any danger. The first half saw a number of chances created, however it remained goalless; Morpeth perhaps feeling they should have been ahead.
After the half time chat, Morpeth came out and played in identical fashion. Pressuring the Stockton midfield and defence and winning the ball back in the final third on a number of occasions. Midway through the half, the home side thought they had found the break through. However the umpire judged the free hit from which the goal had been scored from had been taken too quickly, to deny midfield maestro David Breakey his 2nd goal of the season. This gave Morpeth even more incentive to get forward and score again, as they were determined to win the game. Then moments later, the deadlock was finally broken. Midfielder Tom Carmichael found himself in space at the top of the D with the ball, and managed to sweep into the bottom corner to put Morpeth 1-0 ahead. Stockton heads seemed to drop after Morpeth went ahead and this allowed the home side to get in and win a string a short corners, from one of which they managed to get a second goal. Again Foster with the initial strike, which was saved and rebounded out to Bruce McPate, who calmly flicked the ball into the net. The boys in green and gold then put the game beyond doubt, when some slick passing saw Foster play a one two with Ritchie Brown, before shrugging off the Stockton defender and put the ball past the keeper. Morpeth however did concede right at the end of the game. Stockton scoring a well placed flick from only their second short corner of the game. However the final whistle went immediately after and Morpeth came out 3-1 winners.
Another good performance from Morpeth 1s, who have now won five in a row and will look to challenge for a top 3 finish.
Man of the Match: Tom Carmichael
Scorers: Tom Carmichael, Bruce McPate, Ian Foster
Starting Line Up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Phil Holmes, Stuart Fairbrother, Evan Mulligan, Tom Carmichael, David Breakey, Bruce McPate, Ian Kendall, Ritchie Brown (C), Ian Foster
Subs: Ross Valentine, Tony Cook, Gareth Mellor