Highway Men gunned down

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Morpeth Town 0 Northallerton Town 1 STL Northern League Division Two

THE Highway Men’s eight-game unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday in a hard-fought encounter with Northallerton Town, writes David McMeekan.

After a cagey opening period with few clear-cut chances, Northallerton took the lead on ten minutes.

Northallerton gained a fortuitous corner which Mundy pushed over the cross-bar under pressure from Winter. Parkin floated the resulting corner to the far post, where Bowman rose unchallenged to head home.

Morpeth enjoyed plenty of possession in midfield but could not penetrate a well-organised Northallerton defence. On the half-hour, a Dormand snap-shot tested Hickman in the Northallerton goal, but that was the closest Morpeth came to an equaliser.

The first chance of the second half fell to Northallerton on the hour, as Butterworth’s goal-bound effort was handled by Hiftle, who received a red card.

Bulmer stuck his penalty confidently into the bottom corner of the net but the referee ordered it to be re-taken for an infringement. The spot-kick was then driven wide of Mundy’s right-hand post.

This let-off revitalised Morpeth, as down to ten men they took the game to Northallerton. For the remainder of the game, chances came and went as Young, Anderson and Lunn went close.

A good shout for a penalty was waved away by the referee when the ball struck Winter’s arm, while he was in the box, with five minutes remaining.

The packed Northallerton defence held out to take all thee points.

With Hebburn going down to a surprise defeat to Chester-le-Street, Morpeth are still third in the league and, with three games left, promotion is still in the Highway Men’s hands.

Team: Mundy, Hiftle, Walmsley, Grant, Morris, Hall, Keenan, (Young), Anderson, Dormand, (Lunn), McAlpine, (Henderson).

P Gillan & Sons Man-of-the-Match: Michael Hall.

Morpeth play Thornaby at home in the Northern League on Saturday, April 21.