An inspired second half saw Morpeth dismantle Wisbech Town as they raced through the gears to ensure all three points in a 5-2 win at a sun-drenched Craik Park in Evo-Stik East.
Layton Maddison opened the scoring for the visitors in the 18th minute with a drive from the edge of the box before a Nicholas Jackson own goal equalised for the home side. Five minutes into the second period and Thomas Potter, netting his first in Morpeth colours, gave the hosts a precious advantage which they built upon through Iulian Petrache’s close-range header and a Stephen Forster tap-in. Liam Henderson came off the bench to add a fifth before Danny Setchell’s rocket of a strike reduced the arrears.
Morpeth started purposefully and, but for a bout of pinball in the box, could have taken the lead. However, in the ninth minute and on the stretch, Petrache couldn’t guide his header on target. A moment later and Sean Taylor went close, his trademark run at the full-back before cutting inside resulting in a shot off target.
But despite a solid enough start, Morpeth trailed on 18 minutes through Maddison’s well taken half-volley, the winger unleashing an unstoppable drive past Dan Lowson, who could only get a hand on it.
Town attempted to muster a response with Taylor chesting down then volleying a low drive which was gathered by Dan Swan at the near post. It was a half-chance but still one for Morpeth to get level. Going closer still in the 34th minute through Jeff Henderson’s far post header which flew just past the woodwork, Morpeth were intent on finding a leveller, knowing the next goal would be crucial in this game.
It could have arrived for Wisbech on 39 minutes, but after Jeff Henderson’s lax pass, Michael Frew could only float a 30-yard chip wide of the target. Seconds later and it really should have been another for Wisbech when Alex Beck picked the pocket of Jeff Henderson before steaming through on goal. However, Lowson was out quickly and put the striker off before he looped a shot over the top.
The Highwaymen, though, would not be denied a leveller on the stroke of half-time as sheer persistence paid off for the hosts, with a fizzing cross being deflected in by Jackson.
The second half started with Morpeth on the front foot and they found a precious second goal to turn the game on its head on 50 minutes. Potter expertly curled an unstoppable drive which had keeper Swan clutching at thin air to give the Highwaymen the lead for the first time in the game.
In truth, seconds later, it should have been a two-goal cushion as the hosts rampaged forward, only a decent stop from Swan denying Forster from the edge of the box after he had charged forward from right-back.
The hosts were undoing Wisbech at will by this point, with Liam Henderson, just off the bench, looping a back-post header over before David Carson smashed a near post drive into the side-netting in the 56th minute.
The visitors simply couldn’t handle Morpeth’s desire and directness as the hosts added a third – Petrache stooping to head home from close range – and a fourth – Forster tapping in from a couple of yards out – to take control of the contest.
Substitute Liam Henderson then added a fifth for the dominant hosts, lobbing the stranded keeper with a perfectly weighted chip.
There was still time for Setchell to thump a ferocious free-kick in off the post from distance but The Highwaymen were still comfortably clear of their opponents as they eased to a superb home league victory.
Morpeth are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Ashton Athletic in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round (3pm). For details of club travel to and from the game, see our Twitter and Facebook for details.