Consett 3-5 Morpeth Town
Morpeth Town claimed victory following a goal-laden war of attrition against Consett at Belle View Stadium.
After falling behind to Michael Sweet’s 35th minute goal, Morpeth turned the game on its head thanks to David Carson’s 38th minute goal and Mark Davison’s close-range strike three minutes later. The visitors then extended that lead with a goal from Joe Walton on 60 minutes. Sweet then reduced the arrears in the 64th minute before Chris Reid restored the two-goal cushion on 67 minutes which was again cut to one courtesy of Michael Mackay’s 73rd minute effort. But Henderson had the final say in stoppage time to register the eighth goal of the game.
Morpeth had an alternative central midfield pairing with Wayne Phillips slotting in alongside captain for the night Ben Sayer.
The game was played out in freezing conditions with snow falling at regular intervals on the 3G turf at Belle View Stadium. It was a matter of who adapted to the conditions quickest on the night.
After little goalmouth action, it was Consett who had the most obvious chances in the opening 30 minutes. Danny Craggs dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box on nine minutes before Nathan Lawrence scuffed his 22nd minute volley from 18 yards, eventually dribbling through to keeper Karl Dryden. Four minutes later and the same player then toe-ended a shot which was smothered by the Morpeth stopper following good initial play to create the chance by Lawrence.
Then the home side made the breakthrough. Sweet was quickest to pounce in the box, beating Dryden to a floated ball into the area before nodding into an empty net.
That 35th minute effort stung the away side into action and they levelled matters three minutes later. Winger Carson did wonderfully well to jink in off the left flank before firing past keeper Ross Coombe in the Consett goal.
A level score turned into an advantage for Morpeth as they turned the game around in the space of three minutes. Davison found the target after Curtis Coppen’s effort resulted in a scramble in the six-yard box.
Town were sensing a third after the interval and it so nearly arrived following a powerful run from Davison. The striker strode into the heart of the Consett defence in the 50th minute but was denied by the feet of Coombe in the home goal.
The keeper was busy again nine minutes later to deny Reid after the latter raced on to a long ball over the top. With time, perhaps too much time, the defender could only hit the goalkeeper.
Then came a crucial third goal for The Highwaymen on the hour mark. A corner in from the left deceived everyone, allowing Walton to lash home a goal at the back post, his first since returning to the starting line-up after injury at Washington nearly two months ago.
Goals were in plentiful supply at the Belle View Stadium and it was Sweet’s turn to find the back of the net, the striker beating the offside trap before rounding Dryden and scoring.
Although they were threatening going forward, Consett looked vulnerable at the back. Their back-line conceded for the fourth time, with a fourth different Morpeth name on the score-sheet. This time Reid stormed down the left side of the box before slamming a shot across goal and into the far corner.
Sub Mackay cut the Town lead to one goal once again on 73 minutes, finding space six yards out to lash a strike past the exposed Dryden.
But Henderson ensured the three points would return to Craik Park when he chased down a deflected clearance before smashing a shot past Coombe in stoppage time to register his 17th goal of the campaign.
Morpeth are next in action on Saturday when they travel to face Whitley Bay (3pm). Keep up to date on any fixture changes, pitch inspections or postponements on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.