Deeside Ramblers I 2 Morpeth Ladies I 0 North Hockey Women’s League, Division One
MORPETH Ladies’ first team had a long trek to Chester to face their bogey team in the last match before the Christmas break.
Although the number of players travelling was still low, at least on this occasion they had the full complement of 11.
The home side started the match at pace – moving the Morpeth defence almost at will with some clever running into the channels. However, the visitors weathered this initial storm and started to apply some pressure of their own as they got to grips with the unusually slow pitch.
Indeed, Morpeth created the first clear-cut chance with Bissett being put through on goal. Unfortunately, the keeper was more than up to the challenge and managed to parry her crisp shot to safety for a long corner.
The game became a bit of a chess match with the two teams looking for a bit of inspiration to break the deadlock. Cockburn went close with a couple of shots from short corners but both attempts went narrowly wide.
In the end, the opening goal came from quite a muddled scramble. Hindmarch managed to steer the attack to apparent safety wide of the circle. However, when the cross came in, Bryson appeared to take a shove in the back and the ball hit her foot.
In the medley, the ball rolled past Watkins to find a Deeside forward two yards out from goal. She showed good composure in knocking the ball square to an unmarked team-mate who had the simple task of knocking the ball home into the unguarded net.
Frustrated with the manner of the goal, Morpeth streamed forward in search of a deserved equaliser but although they made several chances, the home defence always managed to clear their lines.
Half-time brought a welcome opportunity to regroup and tinker with the formation.
But early in the second half, Morpeth realised it really wasn’t going to be their day when a wicked deflection off one of their own defenders left Rose stranded out of position and the bull trundled over the line.
Nonetheless, having travelled over three hours to make this fixture, the away side weren’t going to go down without a fight.
They continued to battle. Unfortunately, Deeside persisted with the tactics of constantly stick tackling and encroaching within five metres of free hits. These were penalised and for a spell the home side was reduced to ten players, but it meant that those in green and gold couldn’t get into their normal fluency and rhythm.
Indeed, if Hindmarch hadn’t been on hand with a couple of goal line clearances, the deficit could have been even greater.
Despite this defeat, at the halfway point in the season Morpeth find themselves in a comfortable mid-table position having played the least number of games due to the loss of several home matches to the poor weather.
Team: Janice Rose, Karen Hindmarch, Lyn Watkins, Teleri Hamilton, Alison Elliott, Sally Bryson, Nikki Bowler (Captain), Emma Bell, Leoli Telford-Cooke, Lyndsey Pollock, Anne Bissett. Player-of-the-match: Lyndsey Pollock.