Baptists share the spoils in thriller

Stockton Churches Hebron 4 Morpeth Baptist Church 4 North East Christian Fellowship, Premier Division

MORPETH Baptist Church (MBC) were involved in a see-saw thriller at Stockton.

It started a very open game with both sides having early chances and the away side took the lead when, after strong tackling in the midfield, the ball fell to Tanney on the edge of the box and he struck a wonder goal in the top left corner.

Morpeth maintained the majority of the possession and pressure with the benefit of the wind and slope and managed to increase their lead before the break when a cross from Elliott found Chambers, who fired home with his left foot.

The home team made changes on the left wing and immediately their attacking pressure was improved, resulting in two quick goals.

The MBC defence was dispossessed, resulting in Stockton’s first goal and it was soon followed within a minute by their second after a quick counter attack.

Stockton piled on the pressure and were leading 4-2 after 55 minutes as a result of two long-range efforts.

But Morpeth battled hard and kept disciplined in defence under the stewardship of man-of-the-match Bird.

Midfielder Johnson broke the back line and slotted home what would have been the visitors’ third but a late whistle from the referee for offside denied him.

MBC weren’t finished though and kept attacking in numbers.

Elliott managed to poke home the third goal from within the six-yard box from Lavender’s short corner to give the away side a glimmer of hope of gaining a point in the dying minutes.

With the game going into injury-time, Morpeth put 10 men forward and gained a dubious penalty as a shot from Garbutt appeared to hit the defender’s hand.

With seconds left, Johnson coolly placed the ball left of the goalkeeper to give the travelling team a vital point in the closely-fought contest.

Baptists: D Appleby, A Elliott, S Bird, B Dewhirst, AP Fletcher, M Richardson (C Snowball), R Garbutt, B Lavender, D Johnson, M Chambers (H Davies), L Tanney. Unused sub: M Curry.