West Alllotment Celtic 4 Morpeth Town 4 Ebac Northern League Division Two
PLAYING in front of more than 140 people, The Highway Men and Allotment took part in a pulsating 4-4 draw last Friday night, writes club correspondent David McMeekan.
Unbeaten on their travels in the league this season, Morpeth illustrated why they such formidable opponents away from home by racing into an early two-goal lead.
The first goal came from a set-piece, Stephen Anderson swung the ball in from a corner and defender Paul Dunn rose highest to head past Ryan Beal in the Celtic goal and give the Highway Men the perfect start.
Their grip on the game looked even tighter when Eddie Dines was given the freedom of the Allotment area to take the ball down and slot home a second. The Celtic defence failed to deal with a long ball from the Morpeth defence and Dines had all the time in the world to chest the ball down, put the ball onto his right foot and fire low past Beal.
As is so often the case though, 2-0 can prove a very dangerous lead and Allotment proceeded to mount a courageous comeback before the break led by their striking duo of former Morpeth man David Dormand and Liam Hudson.
The turnaround was complete before half-time as Michael Bell drove down the park on a surging run before teeing up Hudson who found the net from outside the area to give Allotment the lead for the first time.
The lead was short-lived as Morpeth stormed straight down the field to level things up once more.
This time an attack down the right-hand side wasn’t dealt with and the ball eventually made its way to Lee Scott, who fired home (3-3).
The second half started with both sides desperate not to concede again and action came at a premium. This was changed though by Sean Reid around the hour mark. Reid found space on the edge of the ‘D’ and cracked an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the Morpeth goal.
Reid had a chance to add to the Allotment lead but was ultimately denied by a good save from Jak Wells in the Morpeth goal.
Stung into action, Town threw numbers forward in search of a late goal and they were gifted an opportunity by John Pendlebury’s wayward header which was seized upon in midfield by the visitors.
The ball found its way to the feet of Scott who fired home to level and break Allotment hearts.
A week last Wednesday, Morpeth won 2-1 at Darlington RA thanks to a splendid Andrew Keenan volley on 26 minutes and a good finish from Lee Scott on the hour.
• Morpeth Town defender Paul Dunn readily admits that the Craik Park outfit will go into Wednesday’s Northumberland Senior Cup quarter-final tie against former side Ashington as underdogs – but is hoping his team mates will rise to the occasion in the hope of causing an upset, writes Brian Bennett.
Dunn, who spent three injury-plagued seasons with the Colliers, recently celebrated his 30th birthday and would be only too delighted to bag a belated present come the final whistle against the Northern League First Division side.
He said: “To get through to the quarter-final stage and being a second-division side, we knew that whoever we met would present us with a tough nut.
“But for all that, we have got nothing to lose and it will be a good opportunity for us to test ourselves against better opposition.
“Already this term, we’ve claimed the scalps of Marske United, Guisborough and Team Northumbria from Ashington’s division so we are not going to be feared by them.”
Dunn added that he is eagerly looking forward to going into combat against friends who he has known for many years.