Morpeth Town 4-2 Dunston UTS
Late goals from Damen Mullen and Mateusz Halambiec edged Morpeth Town past Dunston UTS at Craik Park on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead through Oliver Leedham, but two goals in three minutes from Michael Chilton turned the game around before the interval.
Dunston hit the post twice before Scott Heslop levelled the game, and he hit the crossbar under a minute after finding the net.
Mullen put the hosts ahead with nine minutes to go before Halambiec added a fourth heading into injury time.
Morpeth were turning their attention back to the Northern League after that historic FA Cup victory over Blyth Spartans just a week earlier.
And it was indeed the Highwaymen who started the brighter in the game when Chilton was inches away from getting a decisive touch on Luke Carr’s drilled cross.
However, after the quick start, the visitors fought their way back into the game and they broke the deadlock with their first chance on 19 minutes.
Dunston were allowed time to play their game and Adam Froggatt fed the ball into Leedham, who broke into the area, and after making room for himself he fired into the goal.
Dunston could have doubled their lead when Steven Bowey headed over Ryan Drane’s cross, but two minutes later the hosts found an equaliser against the run of play.
Carr found the run of James Novak into the area, and the defender’s cross to the back post was headed powerfully into the back of the net by Chilton.
And within the blink of an eye, the game was turned on its head and Morpeth found themselves ahead just minutes later. Jordan Fry found the run of Chilton, who got to the ball ahead of the oncoming ‘keeper and lobbed the ball over and into the net.
The goal was a carbon copy of the one the striker scored a week prior against Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup, and the hosts went into the break with the lead.
UTS will have felt hard-done-by, and even more so when they hit the frame of the goal twice around the hour mark. Heslop turned and struck at goal and Dryden pushed the ball onto the post before Bowey helped Drane’s effort onto the post three minutes later.
But the visitors did get a deserved equaliser on 66 minutes, Leedham floated a beautiful cross into the area, and Heslop hung in the air and headed past a helpless ‘keeper. The goal seemed to bring Morpeth back to life, and after a couple of chances went begging, they went ahead for the second time in the game on 81 minutes. Some superb work from substitute Liam Henderson allowed the striker to play the ball across to an unmarked Mullen, who found the bottom corner with ease.
The midfielder went close once more before Morpeth found a decisive fourth just moments after Matthew Fisher almost found the top-corner with an overhead kick.
Mullen turned provider this time as his pin-point cross sailed over the outstretched arms of Stefan Holden and Halambiec headed into an empty net.
• Morpeth will take on Altrincham on Saturday in the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup. Admission is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
For details about the supporters’ bus going to the away game, call John Richardson on 07738 447544.