Defeat for Morpeth on Whitby road trip

Whitby Town 2Morpeth Town 1Morpeth suffered defeat on Bank Holiday Monday at Whitby Town as a brace from Jacob Hazel secured the points for the Seasiders with Connor Oliver netting his first for the Highwaymen, writes Sam Donovan.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 9:41 am
Morpeth Town FC.

Hazel put the hosts ahead on six minutes firing home from range before Ryan Donaldson struck the bar from a penalty in the first half. Hazel grabbed his second with a little under five minutes remaining before Connor Oliver scored in added time.

Liam Noble was the key figure in the opening stages for Morpeth and he had two early chances.

But it was Whitby who took the lead with their first opportunity. Daniel Rowe won possession high up the pitch and the ball was fed to Jacob Hazel who fired a low strike into the bottom corner from 25yds.

The Seasiders looked to double their lead on 12 minutes with Josh MacDonald shooting from a tight angle.

Shane Bland was forced into action after 16 minutes as he had to dive low to his right to deny a Carl Finnigan header.

Whitby countered and Giles had a deflected shot which was gathered at the second attempt by Lowson.

Morpeth once again came forward and Adam Gell had to be alert to turn away Noble’s free kick. From the free kick, Carl Finnigan was wrestled to the floor by Hazel and the referee pointed to the spot, but Donaldson’s penalty rebounded off the underside of the bar and Finnigan headed over.

Whitby threatened again with two efforts and five minutes before the interval the home struck the inside of the post through Liam Cooke.

In first half stoppage time, Daniel Rowe headed straight at Lowson from a corner as the home side failed to extend their lead.

The second half began with Morpeth in the ascendancy and they had the ball in the back of the net after only 90 seconds when Finnigan smashed the ball into the bottom corner but he was flagged offside.

The Highwaymen continued their dominance in the half after a sustained spell of possession with Wayne Phillips crashing a shot off the post and bouncing away to safety.

Just after the hour mark, tempers flared as Rowe and Finnigan coming together just in front of the away dugout. Rowe struck out and caught Finnigan in the face but the officials deemed it only a yellow card for the hosts’ captain.

This seemed to galvanise the home side and they gradually came back into the game. On 73 minutes, Hazel got away from a couple of challenges and teed up Giles who saw it strike blocked by the legs of Micky Turner.

The home side got their second goal on 86 minutes, a long ball from Lewis Ritson over the top freed Hazel and the striker muscled his way through the defence before the lashing the ball past Lowson.

Morpeth managed to grab a consolation goal in the last minute of stoppage time as Connor Oliver squeezed the ball inside the far post from a tight angle.

Morpeth turn their attention to the FA Cup on Saturday when they face league rivals Hyde United at Craik Park with a traditional 3pm kick off.