Firsts’ good start to the season continues

Morpeth's Fairbrother beats the defence. Picture by Keith Robertson.
Morpeth's Fairbrother beats the defence. Picture by Keith Robertson.

Morpeth I 4 Whitley Bay & Tynemouth II 0 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

Morpeth men’s first team made it three wins in a row with an excellent team performance.

The hosts started the match slowly as Whitley Bay & Tynemouth had a good spell of pressure in the opening minutes. Fortunately for Morpeth, their defence was up to speed to prevent the visitors getting an early goal.

The Longhirst-based side soon got into the game with some decent passing moves and they started to create chances.

Morpeth kept the pressure up on their opponents and got the goal they deserved through some great attacking play, which was finished off by forward Ian Foster.

This spurred on the men in green and they sought to extend their advantage. They quickly got what they wished for following good work in the Whitley Bay & Tynemouth D.

A rebounded shot found midfield workhorse Tom Carmichael in front of goal and he hit the ball into the bottom corner out of the reach of the goalkeeper.

With Morpeth continually pushing high with their attacking play, the away side soon found space to mount some attacks of their own and they ending up having a two-on-one situation against the home defence.

Their winger played a splitting pass to the centre forward directly in front of goal, but a surging run back to defence by centre back Tony Cook and an outstretched stick perfectly deflected the ball onto the attacker’s foot to prevent a likely goal.

Back came Morpeth and they got their third goal just before half time with a little bit of luck – the ball hit a Morpeth player on the leg, but it was missed by both umpires.

The hosts used this mistake to their full advantage as the ball was worked to Ian Kendall, who calmly slotted it home.

Morpeth started the second half with the same intensity they ended the first as they looked to put the game beyond the reach of Whitley Bay & Tynemouth.

They soon made it 4-0 when Ian Kendall scored his second of the game.

The visitors did not let their heads drop and they pressed to get on the scoresheet, but fortunately for Morpeth their defensive line held strong with Cook setting the example by stopping anything that came near to his team’s D, while making time to show off by swatting a ball away at chest height just inside the D.

Morpeth were lucky when a Whitley Bay & Tynemouth player deflected the ball into the top corner, only for the goal to be ruled out as it was taken from the wrong place.

With this victory, Morpeth go into their game on Saturday against Jesmond Parish Church full of confidence that they can achieve another win and keep up their 100 per cent record.

Man-of-the-match: Tony Cook.

Before the game started, Morpeth were presented with the Maurice Cradduck Fair Play Award for the 2013/14 season.

The award is voted on by the league umpires and it is a testament to the friendly nature of the club.