Good start to 2014 continues for firsts

Ritchie Brown takes on two opponents in Morpeth Hockey Club's men's first-team match against Stockton II. Picture by KEITH ROBERTSON.
Ritchie Brown takes on two opponents in Morpeth Hockey Club's men's first-team match against Stockton II. Picture by KEITH ROBERTSON.

Morpeth I 3 Stockton II 1 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

MORPETH continued their winning run with an excellent performance on Saturday.

The Longhirst-based side started the game at a very high tempo, attacking at pace and not allowing the Stockton defence to settle.

They were enjoying plenty of possession and got the ball into some dangerous areas, but were unable to find the breakthrough. Morpeth’s best chance of the first half came when a short corner struck by Ian Foster was deflected onto the post by Ross Valentine.

The visitors’ main threat came on the counter-attack, but the defensive line of Evan Mulligan, Stuart Fairbrother, Adrian Dye and Phil Holmes snuffed out any danger.

Morpeth were on the front foot after the break and thought they had scored the opening goal midway through the second half, however, the umpire judged the free-hit that the goal had been scored from had been taken too quickly, to deny midfield maestro David Breakey his second goal of the season.

They kept pressing and were rewarded when midfielder Tom Carmichael found himself in space at the top of the D with the ball and he managed to sweep it into the bottom corner.

Stockton heads seemed to drop and this allowed the home side to dominate possession and win a string of short corners and from one of them, the lads in green and gold got their second goal.

Again Foster had the initial strike. It was saved and rebounded out to Bruce McPate, who calmly flicked the ball into the net.

Morpeth then put the game beyond doubt when some slick passing saw Foster play a one-two with Ritchie Brown before shrugging off the Stockton defender and placing the ball past the keeper (3-0).

The hosts did concede right at the end of the game – a well-placed flick from a short corner – but the final whistle went immediately afterwards and Morpeth’s players and supporters could celebrate another victory.

Man-of-the-match: Tom Carmichael.