Morpeth Town open Northern League campaign with win at Stockton

Morpeth Town's Luke Carr.
Morpeth Town's Luke Carr.

Morpeth Town kicked off the new Northern League campaign with a 3-1 win over newly-promoted Stockton Town on Wednesday evening.

Joe Walton opened the scoring for Town midway through the first half with a header from close range.

Luke Carr and Mark Davison then pressed home Morpeth’s advantage in the second half, while Jamie Owens added a consolation five minutes from time.

The Highwaymen now turn their attention to Billingham Synthonia on Saturday.

Nick Gray and Dave Malone’s side had crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend, and travelled to Teesside looking for a reaction.

Wayne Phillips had the first chance on 12 minutes, but his long-range effort was well seen by the Stockton keeper.

Walton had an effort cleared off the line four minutes later, his lob over Liam Jordan was heading into the net before Tom Coulthard scrambled the ball away.

Morpeth were enjoying their fair share of possession and after Sean Taylor fired just over the bar they went ahead on 26 minutes.

Mark Davison nodded the ball across to the back post and Walton come swooping in to head home – his second goal of the new campaign.

Phillips, Davison and Walton all went close to doubling Morpeth’s advantage, with the latter racing through before the keeper closed him down and made a good save.

Stockton’s first chance came a minute before half-time as Kallum Hannah’s delightful effort went just over the bar.

The hosts did not offer much going forward in the first 45 minutes, but Stockton created the first opening of the second half.

Hannah’s looping header had Karl Dryden racing back to goal, but the Town keeper managed to push the ball over the bar.

Substitute Owens almost made an instant impact as he struck over the bar, but Morpeth responded immediately to go two up.

Carr, who re-joined Morpeth in the summer, picked the ball up around 30-yards from goal and he carried the ball forward before striking into the bottom corner.

The Highwaymen were on top and made their possession count as they scored their third 10 minutes later.

Walton rolled the ball into the path of Davison, who took the ball past his marker before firing across goal and into the bottom corner.

The visitors warranted their 3-0 lead, however, Stockton managed to find a consolation late in the game.

A long ball over the top bounced on the edge of the area, went over the top of the advancing Dryden, and Owens had the easiest of finishes – tapping into an empty net.

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Turner, Phillips, Coppen, Reid (Carr, 46), Taylor, Carson, Davison (Chilton, 78), Walton, Fry. Subs not used: Pell, Hiftle, Henderson.

Attendance: 285.