Baptists snatch point from the jaws of victory

Jesmond Parish Church 5 Morpeth Baptist Church 5

North East Christian Fellowship Premier Division

MORPETH Baptist Church (MBC) secured their first point of the season – but it felt like a defeat after conceding three late goals in a 10-goal thriller.

JPC took the lead within five minutes of the start as the left-winger drifted into the box and headed in a far-post cross.

The visitors were soon on level terms after the referee awarded them a penalty for climbing in the box. Lavender despatched the spot-kick powerfully, straight down the centre.

MBC then took the lead before half-time when a ball across the box by Carmichael was fired into the corner of the net by Bird. Early in the second half, they extended their lead when Chambers took advantage of a mistake by the keeper and calmly rolled the ball into the goal.

JPC responded by pulling a goal back, but the away team regained the initiative, and a two-goal lead, when, from a direct free-kick close to the right touchline, Lavender curled a stunning shot into the top corner.

A further goal followed as an exquisite chip by Bird from the right side of midfield was nodded on by Chambers, and hooked over the keeper by Lavender to seal his hat-trick.

The win seemed secured with only 10 minutes remaining, but as the defence sat deeper and invited more pressure the momentum of the game changed.

The home side made it 3-5 after a good strike from 20 yards and they then scored a fourth after a scramble in the box following a series of corners.

And just two minutes from the end of the match, another long hopeful ball from the JPC defence was latched onto by the breaking midfielder – who beat the challenges of defender and keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the net to salvage a point.