Great performance despite narrow loss

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Morpeth Panthers U13s 1 Berwick Rangers U13s 2

Two superb footballing sides were to put on a display of high-quality as Morpeth gave the unbeaten league leaders a good game.

After 20 minutes, Panthers midfielder James Brady spotted Robert Eadington making a run. He hit the space and Robert was away at a searing pace.

He moved into the penalty area, evaded a tackle and his shot found the back of the net to give Morpeth the lead.

Five minutes before the break, Berwick responded with an attack down the inside right channel. The Panthers defence appeared to have everything covered so the winger tried a lob.

The ball sailed through the air, struck the post and bounced into the net. It was hard to take for the home side but all square at half-time was a fair reflection of the balance of play.

After the break, Berwick threw everything at the Panthers only to find that the defence of Luke Guy, Harry Gray, Ciaran Evans, Jake Lloyd and Owen Priest were ready and met the challenge head on. They communicated well, stayed organised and brought the ball out to start fresh attacks.

Indeed, they were at the heart of moves which then enabled the forward players to have good attempts on goal and the Panthers were only denied by excellent keeping and the woodwork.

Berwick counter attacked and reached the edge of the area. Their centre-forward fell, but held the ball between his legs. The home defenders hesitated and waited for the referee to blow his whistle.

But he didn’t and the ball was flicked to the edge of the area where the winger was unchallenged and hit a rather weak shot which somehow found the inside of the net. After all that quality play, the Panthers had gone behind to a soft goal.

After that, it was the hosts who were dominant. Brady whipped in a free kick and from the ensuing scramble, Oscar Jones pounced fearlessly but his effort which appeared to be going in was somehow cleared off the line at the last second.

The Morpeth lads tried everything but just couldn’t find a way through. Though they were to lose by that single goal, they had won a lot of hearts.

Panthers manager Jamie Johnson told the lads: “It was a great performance. You made only one mistake in the entire game and they punished you. But I couldn’t ask any more of you.”