Disappointing defeat against student side

Midfield action from Morpeth I v Newcastle University II.
Midfield action from Morpeth I v Newcastle University II.
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Morpeth I 2 Newcastle Uni II 5 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

Morpeth went into the game against Newcastle Uni II looking to maintain their position at the top of the league, but it was a tricky task as they were up against a very fit and well-organised University side.

Morpeth were under pressure for large periods of the first half, and with the luck not going their way, it saw Newcastle win several penalty corners.

However, a string of fine saves from Read kept the scores level.

The Longhirst based outfit coped with the pressure, Dye, Kendall, Cook and Hinshaw remaining defiant.

As a result they were able to take the lead. Against the run of play, Morpeth managed to go into the break 1-0 up as shortly before half-time, a breakaway attack led to Hudson entering the top of the D with Valentine free to his left.

Hudson slipped the ball nicely past the keeper to Valentine who slid in to finish into the open goal with a reverse one-handed shot.

They could have extended their lead moments later when Hudson and Foster created a two versus one, with the keeper, only for the final pass to be slightly off and allow Newcastle the chance to recover.

Morpeth came out in the second half knowing they would have to maintain their discipline and work hard out of possession in order to keep their lead. However, the opposition came flying at them, and within moments of the restart, Newcastle worked the ball into the D and their forward unleashed a powerful back-hand shot into the top-left corner past helpless keeper Read.

This left the home side slightly stunned, and Newcastle capitalised on their opportunity and quickly added another two goals.

At this point Morpeth had it all to do as they looked to get back in to the game.

But again it was the away side who had the rub of the green and added another two goals to make it 5-1.

Morpeth did not give up, however, and they kept looking to create chances. The midfield unit demonstrated their fitness as they maintained the intensity, looking to provide for the forwards.

A strong 15-minute period rewarded them with another goal. Valentine managed to get his second after he turned in a good pass from Breakey at the far post.

A disappointing result for Morpeth, but their attitude and work rate suggested they should have had more from the game. They will look to get back to winning ways against Durham Uni IV.

Man of the match: Ross Valentine. Scorer: Ross Valentine (two).

Starting line-up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Ian Kendall, Callum Hinshaw, Tony Cook, Tom Carmichael, Ritchie Brown (C), David Breakey, Luke Hudson, Ian Foster, John Dixon. Subs: Phil Holmes, Bruce McPate, Ross Valentine.