Morpeth win through in Challenge Cup
Morpeth Town 3Pickering Town 1Morpeth advanced to the 3rd Round of the Integro League Challenge Cup with a dominant 3-1 victory over a young Pickering Town side.
On manager Nick Gray’s 450th game in charge he named a strong side for this League Cup encounter with the Pikes. The Highwaymen rode into the next round thanks to goals from Liam Henderson, Jack Foalle and a Joe Walton penalty. Pickering had it made it 2-1 through Flynn McNaughton.
The game could be best described as a slow-burner with the first real effort of note not arriving until the 26th minute. Ben Sayer’s corner was met by the head of Jeff Henderson but he was unable to guide his effort on goal. In the moments after, Jack Foalle saw a drive blocked by some committed defending.
Prior to these chances, the Pikes had seen a sight of Dan Lowson’s goal but the effort from Ben Etherington was well wide.
Morpeth had been dominating possession and duly took the lead on 32 minutes and it was Liam Henderson who scored. Joe Walton did well down the right to beat his man to stand a cross to the back post where Henderson headed down past Chapman.
Jack Robson was introduced early in the second half and he almost raised the roof of Craik Park with a thundering effort that crashed back off the bar. Running onto a loose ball, Robson struck the ball venomously that swerved and dipped leaving Chapman helpless and he was relieved to see the ball bounce clear.
Morpeth were beginning to up the ante and Stephen Turnbull was denied by a fingertip save from Chapman as the custodian did well to tip a free kick around the post.
After 62 minutes, Turnbull having seen his freekick tipped wide left the next one to Shabz Mohammed and the youngster went closer but his kick clipped the outside of the post.
Morpeth did finally double their lead with Walton again threading an incisive ball through the Pickering defence. Foalle raced through on goal and despite a narrowing angle smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Whilst many could be thinking that would be the end of the contest, Pickering had other ideas and halved the arrears on 71 minutes. Flynn McNaughton worked space for himself in the area and drove in at the near post to set up a nervy finale.
The game was put to bed on 87 minutes when Robson was brought down in the area by Chapman. Walton stepped up and converted despite the efforts of Chapman who was unlucky to see the ball creep underneath him.
Morpeth are next in action on Saturday when they entertain Radcliffe at Craik Park. Kick off is at 3pm.