Morpeth come unstuck at rivals Marske

Match report
Match report

Morpeth Town’s away game against Whitley Bay in the Northern League was postponed on Tuesday night because of a waterlogged pitch.

This denied the Highwaymen the chance to put a disappointing Good Friday defeat at the hands of Marske United behind them, the league leaders having gone down to a disappointing 4-1 loss.

Danny Earl started the scoring in 13th minute before team-mate Curtis Round doubled the hosts’ lead on 36 minutes.

Craig Gott added a penalty just after half-time before Stephen Elliott responded for the Highwaymen midway through the second half.

However, there was still time for Gary Wood to net a superb fourth goal as Marske added insult to injury.

Despite the score-line, Morpeth started promisingly, seeing plenty of the ball and retaining possession to decent effect without testing the goalkeeper. Their opponents, on the other hand, were looking lively in attack and were causing the visiting defence all sorts of problems, a trend which resulted in the first goal of the game for Earl through luck more than design. The striker was in the right place at the right time to bundle home after a cross into the box from the right had been deflected by a Morpeth man onto his own post.

Town were chasing the game and nearly provided an immediate response through Sean Taylor. The midfielder gathered up a loose ball from eight yards out but his shot was straight at keeper Robert Dean, who was able to push it to safety.

Morpeth were fired up and creating chances at will, including Joe Walton’s 16th minute effort which saw him round keeper Dean before the latter was able to scramble to diffuse the danger. Ben Sayer’s in swinging corner hit the bar before Walton’s rising drive was tipped over by the impressive Dean.

Seconds later, Michael Turner sent a back-post header just wide as Morpeth rallied to good effect. But they couldn’t find a breakthrough and were made to pay when Round raced clear and took it past Morpeth stopper Karl Dryden before slotting into an empty net.

Morpeth came out for the second half knowing the next goal would be crucial; so it proved as it went the way of Marske. Just two minutes in, Reece Kelly was bundled over in the box with Gott slamming home the spot-kick seconds later to leave Town trailing 3-0.

The Highwaymen did get on the score-sheet late in the game – Elliott driving low into the bottom corner in the 77th minute – but it would prove a mere consolation as Wood unleashed a dipping shot which left Dryden with no chance.

There was still time for Walton to miss an open net under pressure, after rounding Dean, before Liam Henderson thumped the woodwork with an effort from the edge of the box.