Morpeth Baptist Church 0 Jesmond Parish Church 3
MORPETH Baptist Church (MBC) fell to a home defeat in their penultimate home match of the season after a battling, but ultimately frustrating, performance.
The home team, with a number of key players not available, were immediately put under pressure with Jesmond Parish Church (JPC) winning a couple of early corners. A powerful header from within the six-yard box gave stand-in keeper Irwin no chance.
MBC were struggling to retain possession and relieve the pressure on their defence. Richardson was forced to leave the action after pulling a hamstring early in the match.
Substitute Snowball then took a blow to the ankle in his first tackle which he struggled to shake off.
Irwin made a fine save diving to his right to deny the lively JPC number nine. He was powerless though to stop another header from close in as JPC scored on the break to take a two-goal lead into half-time.
MBC started the second half with a determined purpose. They gave the JPC defenders and midfielders less time on the ball. Where they could, they tried to get the ball down and pass it around, though the bumpy pitch didn’t always make that easy.
The home team seemed to be in control, with the next goal likely to be crucial in determining the outcome of the match. Unfortunately, when it came, it was the away team who scored it.
After a good punch from keeper Irwin, MBC couldn’t clear their lines and the ball came back into the box.
The JPC striker hit a goalbound shot and defender Brooks instinctively threw out an arm to deflect the ball past the post. The penalty decision was an easy one for the referee. With Garbutt and the keeper on the line, Brooks’ punishment was a yellow card. The JPC centre-forward fired the penalty low to the keeper’s right, just out of reach of the despairing dive of Irwin. Soon afterwards, though, the goalkeeper made a good save at his back post, blocking a shot with his leg.
With no substitutes left to use and a number of players, notably Elliott, Brown and Chambers, struggling on despite injuries or knocks, it was always going to be difficult for MBC for the remaining 20 minutes. They came close to securing a consolation goal.
Lavender fired a free-kick from just outside the area over the crossbar, having won it himself after a good run through the centre. Then, in the last chance of the match, Chambers chipped a good ball across the penalty area but again Lavender was not able to get his shot on target.
MBC will need to regroup for their next match when they will look to win their final home game of the season.
Team: C Irwin, A Elliott, B Dewhirst, P Brooks, P Fletcher, A Carmichael, T Brown, R Garbutt, M Richardson (C Snowball) (A Haxell), M Chambers, B Lavender.