Highway Men snatch victory

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Whickham 0 Morpeth Town 1 STL Northern League, Division Two

THE Highway Men travelled to a blustery Glebe Ground, Whickham, on Saturday looking to maintain their push for promotion, writes David McMeekan.

On an unbeaten run of seven games, which has brought maximum points in six matches, Morpeth started full of confidence.

Controlling the ball at the back and dominating possession in midfield, Morpeth limited Whickham’s attacking options limiting them to a couple of long-range efforts that were easily dealt with by Mundy in the Morpeth goal.

Chances in the first half were at a premium as Whickham defended their goal with a combination of tenacity and good fortune as time and again the Highway Men’s attacks were snuffed out.

Ten minutes into the second half, manager Nick Gray introduced Young on the right side of attack. His strong forward runs soon had the home defence on the back foot, but as in the first half home goalkeeper Cresswell, ably backed up by his centre-halfs Wilkinson and Lowrie, easily contained the Morpeth forwards.

Keenan entered the fray on the hour and Morpeth started to stretch the home defence as they laid siege to the Whickham goal. Chances came and went until the decisive moment of the game.

Young drove down the right and with the home defence vainly appealing for a goal-kick, he took the ball to the by-line and clipped a perfect shot to the far post, where the advancing McAlpine met the ball with a powerful header that crashed into the top of the net to give Morpeth the lead.

Morpeth continued to press for a second goal that would make the game safe and Young almost scored when Cresswell dived bravely at his feet to divert his net-bound effort wide for a corner.

This excellent victory over a resilient Whickham moved Morpeth back up to second place in the table only three points behind long-time leaders Team Northumbria. With only four games remaining, promotion back to Division One of the Northern League is now a distinct possibility.

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

P Gillan & Sons Man-of-the-Match Daniel Young

All under-16s will be admitted free for the last two league games of the season and at half-time they will be able to participate in a penalty shoot-out competition.

STL Northern League, Saturday, Morpeth Town v Chester Le Street

STL Northern League Saturday, April 21, Morpeth Town v Thornaby

Morpeth Town AFC is holding a comedy night at Craik Park on Saturday, July 14, with comedy entertainer Mike Cash. Tables of 10 cost £120 or individual tickets £15. To book, contact Jim Dawson on 07851187143 or email jim021260@hotmail.co.uk