Two's Up For Mens Thirds
This may have been an imperfect performance from the Northumberland based
outfit but it proved to be one that was certainly 'good enough'.
started the game on top in terms of possession, pressing the home side
backwards with strong hold-up play from Andy Gallivan. This allowed the
Morpeth side to dominate the early exchanges. The pressure was converted
into both long & short corners but not goals. There could easily have been a collective concern rising that the away team were not going to benefit from this opening dominance. Such fears were allayed, however, when a shot from Gallivan was deflected in by Renwick.
A second was to follow shortly with Macdonald reverse-sticking home a cross from the right. It was at this point that the Teeside team appeared to want to put in an appearance.
Some good counter-attacking down the right resulted in their first short corner.
This was well defended but the warning was not heeded and a subsequent
failure to clear the lines resulted in Marton netting from close range. The play now became more even but it was Morpeth, again via Macdonald, who managed to score next after a penalty corner had been only half cleared to regain a two goal advantage.
The scoring was not over for the half, though, and Furness grabbed a second as the result of a fast-flowing move that could not be repelled. A one goal lead at the break appeared to be scant reward for the visiting team.
Morpeth looked to regain control of the midfield conceded for a ten minute period prior to the break. The theory was initially not well enough put into practice and the home side managed to restore parity. The game seemed to be drifting away from 'Peth but Alex 'G-Mac' MacKay started to pull the strings in the middle of the pitch and normal service was resumed. 'Cuddly Chris' Mather's overlapping runs from a right back position became ever more persuasive and he was rewarded with a well taken finish.
This triggered the most important period of the match with Marton's defensive efforts becoming ever more robust. No cards were produced, however, and Morpeth made it 5 - 3 when Burren's footwork proved too much for the home defenders. The result was still not certain as Furness pulled one back from a penalty flick with Macdonald just failing to bail out the Morpeth defence, his last minute lunge to stop a certain goal taking out the player as well as the ball.
The final nail in the Tees team's coffin was banged in by Cook as a Renwick mis-hit shot was redirected into the centre of the goal with the 'keeper out of position.
The result was well merited but could have been made easier by a better
disciplined display. Two wins in a row, however, would seem to suggest that the Thirds have much to look forward to in this formative section of the season.