Newbiggin Hall U12s 3 Morpeth Lions U12s 5
AFTER an extended winter break, the Lions were eventually back in action on Sunday with a difficult away trip to Newbiggin Hall.
Due to an early kick-off, the match was initially in doubt but, after a pitch inspection, the referee allowed the game to take place, much to everyone’s relief.
Having not had a game since their home win against Whickham back in early December, no one would have been surprised if the Lions had been a little ring-rusty, but much to their credit, they continued where they had left off before Christmas.
Brown crossed well after an early break down the right-wing. It was met by Nicholson, whose shot on the turn was well saved by the home team’s keeper, with the rebound being rifled into the roof of the net by D Thompson.
The lads soon found themselves 2-0 up when a long clearance out of defence by Campbell was flicked on by Hill for McCarthy, who raced clear to slot coolly past the onrushing keeper.
The Lions were forced into a reshuffle when J Thompson had to come off with a recurrence of a long-term knee injury with Brown slotting back into his more orthodox right-back position and Strong taking his place on the right.
The reshuffle seemed to unsettle the Lions and, as half-time approached, Newbiggin eventually found a way past the impressive Magneron in the Morpeth goal to make it 2-1.
This set-back stung the Lions back into life with Milburn breaking out from defence on a surging run with his pin-point cross being met perfectly by Smith, who volleyed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.
As the second half got under way, the Lions knew that the next goal would be very important in terms of how the game would eventually finish.
But the away crowd were to be delivered another excellent goal as Young and Robson combined to find Gascoigne, whose pass down the line was picked up by Nicholson.
He drove into the opposition’s half, avoiding a couple of lunging tackles.
The run took him into the box and, from an acute angle, he slotted the ball between the legs of the Newbiggin keeper to make it 4-1.
Newbiggin were not going to lie down, however, and pulled another goal back, but as they pressed forward, the Lions caught them on the break when Walker broke from midfield only to be hauled back just outside the box.
Bowden’s sweetly-struck free-kick around the wall and into the roof of the net extended the Lions’ lead to 5-2 and although Newbiggin scored a third just before the final whistle, the Lions held on comfortably to secure an impressive win on their travels.