Leaders Morpeth back on win trail with victory over Gresley

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Gresley 0-3 Morpeth Town

On a tough and heavy pitch, the Highwaymen bounced back to winning ways with a thoroughly convincing and professional performance against Gresley.

All the goals came in the first half with David Carson, Michael Turner and Liam Henderson sealing the points.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors after only two minutes when Sean Taylor found space in the box and he tested the Gresley goalkeeper Oliver Fairbrother at his near post.

The hosts did respond and it was their lone forward Jordan Dodd who had the opportunity when he was found 16yrds out but his effort was tame and easily blocked by the Morpeth defence.

Chris Reid came within inches of opening the scoring when a corner was swung into the box. The versatile left back hooked the ball back into the danger area but was unlucky to see his lob come back off the inside of the post and into the arms of Fairbrother.

The breakthrough came on 20 minutes when Liam Henderson had his standing foot taken away from him inside the area despite the protestations of the home side. David Carson stepped up and made no mistake from 12yrds despite the ‘keeper guessing the right way.

The goal seemed to sap the confidence from the managerless hosts who seemed to self implode.

After 23 minutes, Ben Sayer who was instrumental in the Morpeth midfield got to goal line before driving the ball across goal. Fairbrother managed to parry the ball but only to Liam Henderson and the forward lashed his effort over the bar.

David Carson was keen to add to his tally when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area before turning and curling an effort that narrowly crept wide of the far post with Fairbrother watching the ball.

Sayer broke forward and got into the box, his effort was palmed away and behind for a corner. When the ball was played in, Michael Turned leapt highest and headed home his second goal of the season.

The points were ultimately sewn up in the 38th minute. Sean Taylor got down the right and his lofted ball into the box was met by the head of Liam Henderson and he was able to nod home from on almost the goal line.

The second half lacked the intensity of the first half with Morpeth completing a very professional performance.

As the game approached the hour mark, the Highwaymen had three clear to extend their lead.

David Carson saw an effort blocked from just inside the 18yrd box, the ball fell to Liam Henderson who drew an excellent stop from Fairbrother. The ball bobbled around the box before eventually going behind for a corner.

Henderson should have doubled his personal tally in the 65th minute when he got one against one with the ‘keeper but Fairbrother stood tall and made a sprawling save to deny Henderson.

Dan Lowson who had been a virtual spectator in the second half had to be alert on 72 minutes. An innocuous ball forward was pumped up the pitch by Gresley, however, at the crucial moment, Lowson slipped coming for the ball was still able to make a fingertip save.

In stoppage time, Jack Foalle who had been a replacement for Liam Henderson, was denied by the leg of Fairbrother as the Highwaymen looked to grab the fourth goal.

On Saturday, the Highwaymen are back in action at Craik Park when they entertain Loughborough Dynamo looking to gain revenge following their defeat at Loughborough earlier in the season.