Survival hopes given a boost

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Morpeth 3 Richmond 2 North East Hockey League, Division One

THIS was another hugely important game for Morpeth’s fight for survival.

Having valiantly picked up three points the previous day, a further three points on Sunday did wonders for their league status.

Visitors Richmond took the initiative. The pace in their forwards caught the tiring legs of the Morpeth defence on the break and converted a slick move to go 1-0 up.

This was the slap in the face Morpeth needed and the men in green soon began to put together some great moves to trouble the Richmond keeper.

Morpeth’s intentions were announced loud and clear when a short-corner move was deflected by the keeper into the path of captain Will McLean to reverse strike the ball in at the near post with the trademark tumble.

It was 1-1 at half-time and Morpeth knew they were far from performing at their best. It was testament to their resilience and determination to win their remaining games and stay in Division One, that Morpeth did not stop and shortly found themselves 2-1 to the better.

Again, it was a Morpeth defender who found the net, the second goal of the weekend for Stuart Fairbrother. Surging into the D, Fairbrother picked the return end of a one-two pass to slot the ball low and between the keeper’s legs.

But Morpeth were again caught napping, allowing the pace of Richmond to string together a few quick passes and before the home team realised what had happened, the ball was against the back board for 2-2.

There were only a matter of minutes remaining. A long ball was launched from the back allowing Danecki to pick up the ball in space just outside the Richmond D.

Skilfully rounding his marker, Danecki wound up to shoot and the deflected result found James Sander, who took it around the keeper and flicked the ball home with the last touch of the game.

Scorers: Will McLean, Stuart Fairbrother, James Sander. Man-of-the-match: Phil Holmes.