Baptists lose out in league six-pointer

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St Oswald’s Church Newcastle 2 Morpeth Baptist Church 1 North East Christian Fellowship Premier Division

IN a match that pundits would have described as ‘a crucial six-pointer’, the dejected looks on the faces of the Morpeth Baptist Church players at the final whistle told their own story.

This cruel defeat against a fellow struggler in the league drops Morpeth Baptist Church into one of the two relegation places and sees St Oswald’s leapfrog them in the table.

It was a scrappy first half as Morpeth came up against a big and strong St Oswald’s team.

There were few chances at either end. The away keeper Cooper was forced into action on a number of occasions and soon after a second great point-blank save, in the 37th minute, the deadlock was broken.

It was Morpeth, though, who took the lead.

From a free-kick near the halfway line, Bird provided yet another quality ball to the back-post, where Johnson rose highest to head back into the centre of the box. Lavender ghosted in and put a bullet header beyond the goalkeeper and into the net.

Early in the second half, the teams were back on level terms.

And it came from a similar source as the opener when a free-kick from deep was fired into the box.

After what looked like a foul on the Morpeth goalkeeper, the ball was bundled in.

There were a few chances at either end after that. The home team hit the crossbar twice from headers. Chambers put the ball in the net for the away team but a late whistle from the referee for a foul by his strike partner Curry earlier in the move meant the goal was chalked off.

Then, in a cruel twist and with just a couple of minutes remaining, a debatable corner was given to the home team.

From the left the St Oswald’s winger swung the ball in and celebrated as it went directly into the top corner of the goal. Morpeth Baptist Church tried to respond with some urgency but a lack of composure and some last-ditch defending meant no further chances were created.

Defeat isn’t terminal but it makes the run-in even harder and the team will feel they will need to get something from their next game at home to Jesmond Parish Church.

Team: D Cooper, M Richardson, T Brown, B Dewhirst, H Davies (A Haxell), S Bird, R Garbutt (C Snowball), D Johnson, T Lavender, C Curry, M Chambers (L Tanney).