Magnificent seven for rampant Highway Men

Morpeth Town 7 Team Northumbria 2 Ebac Northern League Division One

THE Highway Men smashed seven goals past Team Northumbria to extend their unbeaten run to six matches, writes David McMeekan.

Early in the game, Cairns came closest to scoring when, on 10 minutes, he burst through on goal but was denied by the legs of Rookes in the Morpeth goal.

Two minutes later, Richardson opened the scoring for the visitors when his 30-yard cross shot flew into the far corner of the net.

Undeterred, the Highway men were soon into their stride and, after a concerted period of pressure, the overlapping Patterson played the ball inside to Hutchinson, who, from the edge of the box, bent the ball round Griffiths in the Northumbria goal to equalise.

Five minutes later, the Highway Men took the lead. A 45-yard diagonal ball by Taylor split the Northumbria defence.

Anderson chested the ball down and smashed it home.

The lead was to last only a minute. Watling ran onto a long through-ball and was able to slide the ball under Rookes to make the score 2-2.

Dominating play in the second half, the Highway Men pressed forward and re-took the lead on the hour when Hiftle’s deep cross was headed into the corner of the net by Taylor.

Controlling the game in midfield, the Highway Men continued to keep their opponents on the back foot.

On 75 minutes, centre-back Hall burst forward and was brought down in the box. Anderson calmly dispatched the penalty to make the score 4-2.

A minute later, McAlpine collected a pass from Taylor and chipped home to make it 5-2.

The rampant Highway Men were not finished.

Taylor played a slide-rule pass through the middle and Anderson carried the ball fully 40 yards before dribbling round Griffiths to complete his hat-trick.

In the final minute, Anderson turned provider when his cross was turned into the net by Taylor from close range to make the final score 7-2 to the Highway Men.

This was an excellent performance from Nick Gray’s young side. Undefeated in six matches, they will go into Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Jarrow Roofing BCA full of confidence.

Morpeth Town: Rookes, Hiftle, Patterson, Dunn (Henderson), Hall, Jewels, Hutchinson, Fry, Anderson, Fenwick (Keenan), Taylor; techflow Group Qatar man-of-the-match: Sean Taylor.

Last midweek, Morpeth beat Durham City 3-2 in an FA Cup Preliminary Round replay, writes Stuart Dick.

Town had the better of the early going. David Hiftle took the ball down the right on eight minutes, swinging in a cross onto to the head of Steven Anderson, who could only direct his header at the keeper.

Next to have an effort was Patterson, after a throw in from the right found its way through the penalty area onto his left foot, his shot went just over the bar.

The early pressure paid off on 17 minutes after Taylor was brought down on the left wing by Durham right-back Galloway. Hutchinson swung a ball to the back post where Chilton guided a header back across goal and into the bottom left hand corner.

Durham almost replied immediately when Ward broke behind the backline, but he was to be denied by an excellent save by home keeper Rookes.

Just before half time, Durham missed a golden opportunity to level when Galloway found Scott with a pinpoint cross at the back post, only to see Scott guide his diving header just wide.

The Citizens continued to build pressure to start the second half, and got a well dissevered equaliser, and in sublime fashion.

Morpeth struggled to clear their lines, allowing Morris to pick up the ball 25 yards out. The midfielder did not need a second invitation and drilled the ball into the roof of the net, a fantastic strike.

The game then opened up, with both teams having half chances, but struggling to threaten the opposition keeper.

That was until the 72nd minute, when Town’s Fry clipped a throughball between two defenders and into the path of Taylor, who took a touch before poking home passed an on-rushing Winters.

This goal forced a change for the visitors, as they brought on Fenwick for Scott. Within 30 seconds, the substitute pounced on a rebound after Ward was once denied by Rookes, only for the rebound to fall at the feet of Fenwick who fired into an empty net.

The game continued to go from end to end, both teams tiring with the game being stretched.

Deep into injury time, Morpeth won a corner. The ball was whipped under the crossbar where Winters flapped at it, knocking it into the path of Taylor who struck home as the opposition screamed for a foul on the keeper, to no avail.

It finished 3-2 to the Highway Men, who advanced to the First Qualifying Round.