Town deadlock

Morpeth Town 0 Horden CW 0 Ebac Northern League Division Two

MORPETH created a number of chances but could not find a way through and had to settle for a draw in their opening league fixture on Saturday.

Due to injuries sustained in last week’s FA Cup tie, Manager Nick Gray was forced to make several changes to the Town squad for the league clash with Horden CW.

Johnson and Walmsley entered the back four and Darwent made his Morpeth debut in midfield.

Composed and in control at the back, the visiting forwards rarely threatened their opponents’ goal all game.

On another day, the Morpeth forwards could have had a hatful, but dogged defending and an inspired display of goalkeeping saw them draw a blank.

McAlpine was twice denied by the sprawling legs of Blenkinsop in the first half and Howes, Lunn and Chilton both went close.

After the break the match continued in a similar vein as the Highwaymen laid siege to the opposition goal.

After making space for himself, Howes fired narrowly over.

Blenkinsop twice clawed the ball away to deny Lunn and Chilton as Morpeth pressure failed to bear fruit.

Frustrated at conceding a free kick, Hall was shown a red card for dissent with 20 minutes remaining, but despite being a man down Morpeth continued to pour forward with the fresh legs of Young, Keenan and Dormant posing a constant threat.

Marauding down the right, Walmsley almost snatched a winner at the death when his cross-shot from the edge of the box flashed just wide of the far post.

Morpeth team: Wells, Johnston, Walmsley, Tumilty, Hall, Dunn, Darwent (Young 60), Howes (Keenan 60), Lunn, Chilton, McAlpine (Dormand 60).

Cancer Research UK man-of-the-match: Marc Walmsley.

To support player Marc Walmsley in his fund-raising efforts for Cancer Research UK through taking part in the Great North Run, visit www.justgiving.com/Marc-Walmsley

Morpeth continue their campaign at Northallerton Town on Saturday.

They travel to Alnwick Town for a derby match on Monday, kick-off is 11am.

l A charity match will take place on Sunday at Craik Park in aid of Support Our Soldiers (SOS).

An SOS XI will take on a Royal Mail XI, kick-off is 11am.

Entry is free and there will be a raffle, buffet and quiz. The bar will also be open.

All proceeds will be used to send morale boosting care parcels to Armed Forces personnel on the frontline in Afghanistan.

For more information, email morpeth@supportoursoldiers.co.uk