Brighthouse Town 2-3 Morpeth Town
The Highwaymen took a big step on their quest to Evo-Stik Premier Division with a well deserved victory at fellow title hopefuls Brighouse Town.
Iulian Petrache, Sean Taylor and Ben Sayer grabbed the goals for Morpeth with Aaron Martin and James Hurtley scoring for the hosts.
The Highwaymen started the game on the front foot and Wayne Phillips dragged his effort wide of the post.
Morpeth took the lead from a free kick, Carson was fouled on the right flank and the assist king Ben Sayer whipped in a low ball to the near post. Petrache got in front of his man and flicked the ball into the far corner.
It took until the 29th minute for the hosts to register an effort. Chris Reid was penalised on the edge of the box and whilst the free kick was poor, it came back to Normanton who struck a fierce effort that tested Dimi Tsapalos in the Morpeth goal.
The course of the second half could have changed when Martin volleyed into the side netting in the 47th minute.
That miss was to prove costly when the lead was doubled in the next minute. Phillips flicked the ball forward and Sean Taylor raced down the left wing; he cut inside the box before curling a shot beyond the diving Porter.
The points could have been sealed through Taylor when he majestically brought the ball down and tried to lift the ball over Porter but the ‘keeper stood tall.
Thomas Robinson who arrived as a second half substitution was the next to try his luck and his free kick was on target but Tsapalos was equal too it as he gathered a bouncing ball.
Brighouse halved the deficit and it was no surprise that it was Aaron Martin who grabbed the goal in a very scrappy affair. A high ball from the right was caught by a gust of wind and as Tsapalos came to gather the ball, Martin forced it over the line.
The turning point of the game, arrived moments later as Liam Henderson was shown a straight red card for his role in a scuffle on the halfway line that involved both benches and the majority of the players. Zeph Thomas was cautioned in the aftermath.
The next goal was to be crucial and fortunately for those of a Morpeth persuasion it was the Highwaymen who grabbed it. Carson beat three players but his final touch was too heavy for Jack Foalle and forced Porter to clear the ball. It was a poor pass and went straight to Sayer who clipped the ball over the retreating Porter.
Brighouse came back to try and force their way into the game and James Hurtley scored in the 89th minute with an absolute thunderbolt that gave Brighouse hope but it was too little too late as Morpeth took the win.