Morpeth Town 0-4 South Shields
Gavin Cogdon struck a brace as Morpeth Town were taught a footballing lesson after suffering a 4-0 defeat to South Shields at Craik Park.
The forward handed the visitors a well-deserved lead on 32 minutes before Robert Briggs added a second seven minutes later.
Cogdon found his second a minute before the break, and Morpeth’s first chance saw Mark Davison head off the bar.
Substitute Wayne Phillips completed the scoring on 70 minutes, and the Highwaymen’s 100% home record come crashing to an end.
It was Morpeth’s first home defeat of the season, whilst for the visitors, it saw their unbeaten run stretched to 17 games.
Nick Gray and Dave Malone’s side came into the game off the back of an emphatic 7-1 win during the week, but it was their opponents who started the better.
Former Gateshead forward Jon Shaw headed over from the first chance of the game before Karl Dryden denied Ben Riding with a brilliant save.
The ‘keeper was on hand once more 10 minutes later to produce, arguably, the save of the season.
Shields broke through and David Foley played the ball across the box to an unmarked Cogdon, whose shot was clawed from the goal line by Dryden.
The Mariners continued to search for the games opener, Foley broke through on goal, but the approaching Dryden saved well and the rebound hit the side-netting.
Shields eventually made the breakthrough on 32 minutes, after some good build-up play, Foley slid the ball across to Cogdon, who tapped home from close range.
The momentum was all with the visitors, and after Cogdon struck inches wide, Briggs doubled the Mariners’ lead. Shields were finding it far too easy, Andrew Stephenson dug out a cross, and Briggs leapt above his marker and headed it into the bottom corner.
Shields’ dominant half was capped off when a third goal was added a minute before half-time. Briggs collected a long ball over the top, drove at goal, and after the forward crossed, Cogdon tapped in from close range once more.
Morpeth’s first and only chance of the half came when debutant Mark Davison glanced a cross onto the top of the crossbar.
A big reaction was needed from the hosts, and they were improved in the second-half, but the visitors seemed a step ahead at times.
Sean Taylor headed over before Ben Sayer curled at goal, with the latter being easily covered by Liam Connell in the Shields goal. However, after Briggs went close with a lob from range, the Mariners wrapped up the points on 70 minutes. Phillips – who had replaced Foley at half-time – cut inside and curled into brilliantly into the top-corner.
Things could have got a lot worse when the Mariners were awarded an indirect free-kick following a backpass. Stephenson rolled the ball to Briggs, but his shot was blocked brilliantly on the line by Damen Mullen.