Injury-ravaged Town cruelly denied point

Hebburn Town 2 Morpeth Town 1 Northern League, Division Two

WITH Nick Gray’s squad depleted by injuries and work commitments, Howes and Patrick returned to the starting line-up for the first time in two months.

Recent signing Parsons made his debut in the heart of defence and Burn was named on the bench.

In the opening exchanges on a perfect playing surface, both defences were on top, with neither side being able to work an opening in front of goal.

In the first meaningful attack of the game, Morpeth broke the deadlock.

A fine 40-yard crossfield ball by Patrick picked out Lunn on the left-wing. Twisting and turning past two defenders, he drifted into the penalty box and fired an unstoppable shot through the legs of Hebburn defender Jewels into the bottom corner of the net (0-1).

This goal ignited the game and it developed into an end-to-end contest as Morpeth tried to increase their lead and Hebburn to get back on terms.

Fine defending by Wilson Hiftle and Walmsley, back up by the ever dependable Mundy in goal saw Morpeth go into the break 1-0 up.

As the second-half started the wind picked up and with the elements in their favour Hebburn laid siege to the Morpeth goal and Mundy made several important saves.

On 60 minutes, Hebburn eventually equalised. McBride ran on to a long through-ball and unleashed a fierce shot into the top right-hand corner of the net to make it 1-1.

From the re-start, Morpeth hit back immediately. Patrick released the over-lapping Wilson on the right and his powerful, angled drive flew narrowly over the bar.

Hebburn then came back at Morpeth and on 65 minutes McBride rounded Mundy and rolled the ball towards goal. However, Hiftle was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

With the wind making control of the ball difficult, chances in front of goal were at a premium, with Morpeth finding it difficult to get out of their own half and the majority of Hebburn’s forward passes drifted out of play.

When McBride did make some space for himself on the edge of the box, he was denied by the impressive Mundy, who dived full length to divert the ball over the bar for a corner.

With clock counting down and the game entering stoppage time, Morpeth were cruelly denied a point.

Hebburn put another wind-assisted ball into the Morpeth box. Under pressure from two forwards, Mundy managed to divert the ball wide of goal, but, somewhat fortuitously, it fell to Walker, whose first-time shot found the net from eight yards to give Hebburn all three points (2-1).

Morpeth: Mundy, Wilson, Walmsley, Henderson, Hiftle, Parsons, Lunn, (Burn), Patrick, Dormand, (Andrews), Howes, McAlpine, Gray. P Gillan & Sons man-of-the-match: Tom Wilson.

The next match at Craik Park, Morpeth Town v West Allotment Celtic, is on Friday – kick-off 7.30pm.