Disappointing end

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St Oswald’s, Newcastle 3 Morpeth Baptist Church 0 North East Christian Fellowship League, Division One

MORPETH were defeated in their final league encounter of the season when they travelled to Paddy Freeman Field, Newcastle, for the match against St Oswald’s.

On the hardest surface they had faced since way back in August, the game started as a series of headers as both teams struggled to get the ball out of the air and onto the deck.

Both teams created early chances but with the hosts being the taller of the two teams and therefore winning the majority of the high ball battles, they were gaining far more of the early possession.

The visitors won a corner and tested the home side’s goalkeeper, but this only gave St Oswalds a great chance for a quick counter attack.

It came from the keeper’s long clearance and a flick on header and an unstoppable finish to take the home side ahead after 30 minutes through the clinical Parker.

The Baptists recovered well and started to play short passing football in the middle of the park. They went on to hit the woodwork twice through Garbutt and Bellamy before the break.

The second-half saw Morpeth gain more of the possession as man-of-the-match Lavender covered huge areas of the park in both defence and attack.

Dewhirst and Brown held the defence together well and Appleby pulled out another superb save to keep the away side in the fixture.

But Morpeth switched off in the last ten minutes and quick feet and good passing saw Parker get his second of the game with yet another incredible strike.

The travelling side had no option but too commit men forward in this their final fixture and came close on several occasion through the head of Johnson. Morpeth were again to be caught on the counter in the last minute for Smyth to slot home to secure the three points for St Oswalds.

The Baptists finish the season sixth in the league.

Coach Matty Curry said: “It’s been a great first season, two of our strikers got into double figures and the team has got stronger as the season has progressed.

“We will definitely be aiming for a top three spot next season and who knows, maybe even a cup run.”