One Church FC Middlesbrough 3 Morpeth Baptist Church 5 North East Christian Fellowship League Division One
PLAYING on a tremendous surface under floodlights on a cool night, both teams were up for the challenge.
In their previous encounter, Morpeth emerged 5-0 winners so this was a must-win game.
One Church had a full squad to select from and they started well with an early attacking move and a great save from the Morpeth keeper Appleby, denying an early lead.
However, it was the away side who took the early lead as Chambers played a great ball into Lavender’s feet for him to convert and get his ninth goal in as many appearances.
One Church quickly came back level through a corner that was flapped at by Appleby for the waiting striker to touch home from a yard.
Morpeth didn’t let the soft goal go to their heads and kept their passing football going, maintaining good possession in the opposition’s half.
Morpeth won several corners and Garbutt took a quick, short corner to Elliott, who was waiting on the edge of the box unmarked. He struck it first time into the top right corner for the visitors once again to take the lead.
Morpeth began to dominate and man-of-the-match Johnson, who bossed the midfield, scored the next.
He was challenged hard but kept running to pass a further three defenders and slot home for great individual effort.
Morpeth’s first-half performance wasn’t finished there as Carmichael, on the right-wing, whipped in a looping ball for the arriving Chambers to smash home on his less-favoured left foot.
In second half, the home team started the better side but had to rely on counter-attacking football to create any real chances but their determination paid off and a long ball over the top forced a one-on-one with the emerging away keeper, a well-executed lob gave the home side a massive lift.
Morpeth weren’t done scoring and it was the ever-impressive Johnson who would score again with a series of passes and neat finish from inside the box.
Morpeth were soon again caught on the counter. Appleby managed a good save but the Boro number nine slotted home the rebound. It was a great game played in an excellent spirit.
This win leaves the Baptists only one point from fourth spot, with only three games left.
Fourth place would be a huge success for their debut season.
Team: D Appleby, A Elliott, T Brown, P Brooks (D Cooper), P Fletcher, M Richardson, D Johnson, R Garbutt, M Chambers, B Lavender, A Carmichael.