Morpeth Lack Cutting Edge
Frustrating Day For Men's 1s After Below Par Performance
In their penultimate game of the season, Morpeth made the short journey down the A19 to face local rivals North Shields. The opposition had recently gained promotion, but Morpeth knew that there was still plenty to play for and they would have to be on their game if they were to take the three points and bragging rights back to fortress Longhirst.
The game started at a fairly sluggish pace, both teams struggling to maintain possession and the ball was given away on numerous occasions. Morpeth operated in a defensive mode, knowing that if they kept their discipline and starved North Shields of possession, the home side would get frustrated. For the most part the plan worked successfully in the first half, although there were a few close encounters, and had the opposition forwards been more clinical, Morpeth may have found themselves behind. However, Morpeth kept North Shields at bay and began to look more dangerous in attack. They enjoyed spells of possession in the opposition half and created a couple of very good chances. Most notably the young aspiring talent of Luke Hudson, who was un-phased by the opposition and came agonisingly close to giving Morpeth the lead. Showing his ability to find good space, his deflection only just went beyond the post, and then moments later, a skilful touch allowed him to volley a shot that went centimetres past the post with the keeper beaten. With neither team able to break the deadlock, the half ended honours even.
The game began to pick up pace in the second half and goals began to look more likely. Morpeth demonstrated their strength in defence, but struggled to maintain a level of quality that would allow them to get on top. Because of this, it was North Shields who drew first blood after the ball was played across the D and slotted in on the back post. Although behind, Morpeth heads didn’t drop as they knew they were still right in the game. They pressed for an equaliser and their persistence paid off. The goal coming from a short corner; Tony Cook’s flick taking a big deflection off the defender as it looped into the back of the net. However Morpeth were unable to build on this momentum, and once again found themselves under the cosh. The home side edged in front once again in similar fashion, with the ball being played into the D before being chipped into the net. Again Morpeth went in search of an equaliser but sadly it was to no avail as the full time whistle went.
A disappointing result for Morpeth, as had they played at the level they have shown in other games, they surely would have got something from this one. They will not want a good season to fizzle out, and will therefore need to improve to get a win in their final game.
Man of the Match: Phil Holmes
Scorer: Tony Cook
Starting Line Up: Sam Read (GK), Phil Holmes, Stuart Fairbrother, Gareth Mellor, Tony Cook, Tom Carmichael, David Breakey, Bruce McPate, Ian Kendall, Ritchie Brown (C), Luke Hudson
Subs: Evan Mulligan, Ian Foster