McKinnon and Henderson goals see Morpeth Town beat Consett

Morpeth Town's Liam Henderson celebrates his second-half strike against Consett. Picture by Chris Chambers - CJC Photo
Morpeth Town's Liam Henderson celebrates his second-half strike against Consett. Picture by Chris Chambers - CJC Photo

Liam Henderson’s second-half strike turned out to be the decider as Morpeth Town edged out 2-1 winners against Consett at Craik Park.

The Highwaymen went into the break with the lead after Ryan McKinnon turned Paul Robinson’s drilled cross into his own net in additional time.

Consett came out a different side and struck the post just before the hour mark through Michael Sweet.

Henderson calmly slotted under the keeper with 10 minutes to go before Sweet scored a consolation for the visitors deep into injury time at the end of Wednesday night’s game.

The Highwaymen went into the game following a disappointing result against Newcastle Benfield on Saturday, and it was a close encounter in the opening exchanges.

Keith Graydon’s free kick, which broke through the four-man wall, was the first attempt of the game, but Shaun MacDonald had it covered.

Henderson forced the keeper into making a fine save two minutes later as his shot across goal was pushed around the post.

Both sides frustrated one another as such, but Michael Chilton probably should have put the hosts ahead on 27 minutes.

A neat passage of play saw James Novak break through into the box, and the defender crossed for Chilton, but the forward glanced his header wide.

Graydon had a further chance when he curled over seven minutes before the break, but the breakthrough came into injury time at the end of the half.

Robinson drove forward and left his marker, the midfielder drilled a cross low and McKinnon slid in at the near post and put into his own net.

Consett came out after the break rejuvenated, having only had one shot on target throughout the first 45 minutes.

Luke Sullivan failed to test Karl Dryden before the Steelmen came within inches of finding an equaliser.

Sweet connected brilliantly with an in-swinging cross, and he hooked the ball onto the foot of the post, and to Morpeth’s relief, the ball was cleared.

The visitors were on top and began to turn the screw, but they continued to fail to hit the target as Sullivan missed a brilliant chance when he headed wide when unmarked.

Chris Reid glanced Sean Taylor’s cross just wide, but the Highwaymen found a much-needed second goal to settle a nervous crowd.

Substitute Steven Anderson drove forward and rolled the ball through to Henderson, who opened his body and slid the ball under the oncoming keeper.

The action wasn’t over, Craggs struck a free kick in a glorious position over the bar six minutes before the end, but Consett did get a goal deep into injury time.

Sweet, who had scored five goals in three games prior to the match, headed home a corner from close range.

However, with seconds remaining, Morpeth kicked off and no sooner had they done that, the referee blew his whistle to confirm the hosts’ first points of the new season.

Morpeth are away to North Shields in the FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday.

Morpeth: Dryden, Mullen, Novak, Fry, Swailes, Reid, Taylor, Graydon (Fondato, 73), Henderson, Chilton (Anderson, 73), Robinson (Forster, 66). Subs not used: Carr, Hall.

Attendance: 252.