Town off the mark

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Easington Colliery 2 Morpeth Town 2 Northern League, Division Two

MORPETH picked up their first point of the season after a determined second half display.

Kicking off in bright sunshine, Easington quickly surrendered possession to Andrews who moved the ball quickly to Anderson, whose first time shot just cleared the bar.

On 15 minutes, the impressive Ellison had the ball in the Morpeth net, but he had just strayed offside.

The home side were continuing to dominate possession and Ellison laid the ball into the path of centre forward Hamilton who dragged his shot wide of the near post.

On 20 minutes, Hall won the ball in midfield. His throughball found Andrews in space on the left and he drove his shot narrowly over the bar.

But having been injured in a previous challenge, Andrews was soon replaced by recent signing from Walker Central Adam Donaghey.

Easington came close to taking the lead on 30 minutes when Hamilton met Ellison’s deep cross and planted a firm header onto the Morpeth crossbar.

They eventually took the lead five minutes from half time.

Morpeth failed to clear their lines and Ellison dragged the ball inside before rolling the ball into the net from 12 yards.

After their worst half of football, Morpeth started the second half on the attack as they pressed for the equaliser.

McAlpine had replaced Johnson on the wing and the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the Easington box when his cross was handled by Lamb. McAlpine bent the ball into the near-post where Dines rose to meet the ball and place it beyond the reach of Rookes in the Easington goal to score the equaliser.

However, the hosts soon regained the lead. From a corner on the left, Hogg saved from Hamilton but the loose ball was not cleared and Watson was on hand to poke the ball home from 10 yards.

Town put this setback behind them and put Easington under some concerted pressure.

Walmsley won the ball in midfield and slid the ball through to Hall who shot narrowly wide.

From the goal kick, Morpeth regained possession through Dines and his reverse ball played in McAlpine who outpaced the Easington defence and calmly placed his shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-2.

In a frantic last ten minutes the game opened up as both sides pressed for the winner.

The last chance of the game fell to Dines, whose shot was well saved at the far post by Rookes.

Morpeth manager Nick Gray will be pleased that his side found the net twice after they fell to a second successive 1-0 defeat at Horden CW last midweek.

The visitors forced some good saves from home goalkeeper Orton and a Dormand effort was headed off the line.

Horden took the lead late in the second half when Burnicle won a header on halfway that split the Morpeth defence for the first time in the game.

Woodhouse raced clear on the left and from 15 yards rolled the ball past the despairing dive of Hogg to make it 1-0.

Deep into stoppage time, Morpeth’s Hall lashed in a fierce shot that cannoned back off the near post.

With Orton stranded, Anderson hit the rebound first time and just as the ball was about to cross the line Horden centre half Price flung himself at the ball and deflected it over the bar for a corner.

• Morpeth’s first home league game of the season will take place on Monday against neighbours Alnwick Town. Kick-off at Craik Park is 11am.