Heavy defeat is a blow to Town’s title hopes

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NEWTON AYCLIFFE 5

MORPETH TOWN 0

Morpeth Town’s title challenge suffered a massive blow on Saturday afternoon after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Newton Aycliffe in the EBAC Northern League Division One.

A hat-trick from Aycliffe striker John Campbell was accompanied by solo strikes from Mattie Moffat and Dennis Knight as the Highwaymen fell to just their fourth league defeat of the season.

A much changed side saw eight of the 11 who started the FA Vase semi final second leg against Bowers & Pitsea last month rested, and the hosts took advantage earl forcing two fine saves from ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

Morpeth struggled to create in the opening period, Dale Pearson with the best chance for the visitors, James Winter on hand to deny the young striker.

A five minute spell just before the break gave Morpeth a mountain to climb. Moffat opened the scoring in the 38th minute as he beat his man to a cross in the six yard box, guiding the ball past Dryden.

The second followed two minute later as a slip by Michael Hall allowed Knight to break free and fire across goal into the bottom left hand corner.

Worse was to come on 42 minutes when Moffat glanced a long ball into the path of Campbell who broke the offside trap before beating Dryden.

Morpeth started brighter in the second half with Taylor and Graydon (twice) being denied by the keeper.

As the game entered the final stages, two kicking errors from Dryden allowed Campbell to complete his hat-trick.

This was a game to forget for the Highwaymen, who have 16 games remaining.