Lions run leaders close

Morpeth Lions U12s 3 Wallsend Community U12s 4

THE Lions were faced with a difficult game on Sunday against high-flying Wallsend who were sitting comfortably on top of the table with games in hand.

The game was played in perfect conditions in front of another large crowd.

Morpeth started well and did not appear to be overawed by their opponents as they pressurised Wallsend into making a number of early mistakes.

It wouldn’t be long before the Lions’ persistence was to pay off as Hill and Smith combined well in midfield to release Nicholson, whose fierce drive was well parried by the Wallsend keeper but the loose ball was bundled into the net by the Wallsend defender as he tried to clear off the line.

Both teams then had chances but as the half wore on Wallsend eventually got themselves level after a stunning close-range effort was excellently turned away by Magneron in the Lions goal but the rebound was turned into the empty net by the Wallsend forward.

The first half ended with honours even and the second half was to follow a similar pattern with both sides coming close to taking the lead.

The Lions back four of Bowden, Walker, Thompson (J) and Thompson (D) were having to be at their best to snuff out the lively Wallsend attack and they looked as though they would come out on top when Wallsend managed to breach the Morpeth back line with a well-taken breakaway goal.

After such a sterling effort, the Lions heads went down and Wallsend went on to score twice more to make it 4-1.

With just over five minutes left, however, the Lions rallied with Strong releasing Milburn down the left and his cross was flicked on by Nicholson for Thompson (D) to hit the ball first time into the roof of the net.

Morpeth weren’t finished there and Gascoigne released McCarthy down the right and his centre was again well met by Thompson (D) to make it 4-3 to the away side.

Time, however, was not on the Lions side and they were unable to find the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game.

So, while the Lions suffered a narrow defeat to the league leaders, they can take a lot of positives into the corresponding fixture against Wallsend away.