Unlucky Thirds beaten

Wilton II 2 Morpeth III 1 NORTH EAST HOCKEY LEAGUE, DIVISION FOUR

FOR the second week running, Morpeth’s third team faced opposition that were flying high in the top three of the division.

But Wilton were completely overawed by the movement of the visitors and it was no surprise that they created the first chance of the game. The ball was worked down the right side and a good cross found Dan James in space, only for the home goalkeeper to make a fine double save.

Skipper Martyn Bott saw his timely deflection saved on the line by a Wilton defender and the away side were playing so far up the pitch that they restricted Wilton to long, hopeful balls, but from one of these they managed a goal that was against the run of play.

It was a much closer game in the second half. The visitors were desperate to get an equalising goal and their anxiety showed in some of their play. Morpeth conceded their first short corner with 10 minutes to go. Unfortunately for them, an unlucky deflection gave Wilton their second goal.

It was now all or nothing and more players were told to commit themselves forward.

This paid dividends for the visitors as young Dan James scored to bring the score to 2-1. Despite strong Morpeth pressure in the final few minutes, Wilton managed to hold on to their lead.

Jesmond II 4 Morpeth IV 5

NORTH EAST HOCKEY LEAGUE, CONFERENCE

MORPETH’S fourth team recorded their first victory of the season in an exciting game against Jesmond with goals from Foster, Craggs (3) and Van Zwanenberg.

The honours were even after a tense first half, with the visitors opening the scoring from a sweetly taken shot by Foster at a penalty corner and Jesmond levelling the scores just before half time.

The second half was altogether different, with end-to-end hockey and goals rattling in.

Morpeth scored twice through the excellent Craggs, making a comeback after injury, but Jesmond fought back to level again in spite of good work by the visiting defence.

This was the test of Morpeth’s character – could they bounce back?

And they did in style with a further goal from Craggs and another from Van Zwanenberg, who finished a neat passing move from a penalty corner from a very tight angle.

Jesmond were not finished and added another breakaway goal, but the away side held on to get a deserved win.

All the Morpeth team played well, but special mention goes to the younger brigade – Macdonald, Booth, Mooney and keeper Smith – who all worked really hard.