Baptists bounce back with first victory

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Morpeth Baptist Church 3 St Charles RC Church, Gosforth 0 North East Christian Fellowship Premier Division

MBC secured their first home league win of the season on Saturday after a fine team performance and some excellent individual contributions.

On a clear, sunny morning the first half was a fairly even affair.

The home team showed some fine passages of play, passing the ball around and creating chances.

Headers from Johnson and Elliott, after good-quality corner deliveries, went just wide.

And it was from corners that the away team were most threatening.

After a couple of goal-line clearances, St Charles thought they had taken the lead when another scrambled effort was cleared from what looked like at least a foot over the line.

The referee and his assistant, though, were unsighted and no goal was signalled. It, therefore, remained goalless at half-time.

MBC maintained their fine play into the second period. Man-of-the-match Garbutt, and Johnson, in the midfield were controlling the game.

Tanney and B Lavender sought to create opportunities from the wing.

On 55 minutes, MBC took a deserved lead.

Bird fired a long free-kick from deep in his own half. The ball deflected off a defender’s head into the path of centre-forward T Lavender, who coolly finished, placing a powerful shot beyond the keeper.

The home team’s make-shift centre-back pairing of Haxell and Bird, well supported by full-backs Fletcher and Elliott, were restricting St Charles to just a few half-chances.

Appleby, in the home goal, dealt well with any shots that did come in.

Twenty minutes from the end, Fletcher found B Lavender on the left wing with a neat pass.

From his cross to the back post, Chambers battled well for the ball, which fell to his centre-forward partner T Lavender to fire in from close range.

MBC, having given away good leads in previous games, sought to see out the remainder of the match.

With the away team piling players forward, the defence stood firm. Again, Appleby saved well from a late shot.

Subs Irwin and Richardson came on to provide fresh legs for the home team and, in the 90th minute, after good battling work from the other sub Quincey, the ball ran free to Johnson who secured the win with an unstoppable shot into the centre of the goal.

Team: D Appleby, A Elliott, S Bird, A Haxell, P Fletcher, L Tanney (M Richardson), R Garbutt (C Irwin), D Johnson, B Lavender, M Chambers, T Lavender (T Quincey).