Nine-goal thriller as derby day arrives

Morpeth SC FC U17 4 Morpeth SC Madrid U17 5

An epic derby was played out at Morpeth Common in this U17 Pinpoint League Division Three match.

Both sides remembered the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War and the impromptu football match played in No Man’s Land between English and German soldiers.

These sides, although part of the same club, are staunch rivals and with both having won one game each this season, this was already billed as the main event and decider.

FC started the more positive and controlled the early exchanges, testing Miller in goal with a few long-range efforts.

The deadlock was broken when Hodge hit a 25-yard shot into the top corner. Madrid were spurned on by this early set-back and were unlucky not to have levelled following good play between Scott and Dodds.

FC doubled their lead midway through the first half, when a Trusscott cross drifted in at the back post.

Madrid hit back almost immediately with Ried and Woodburn setting up Robertson to score a long-range screamer.

FC pushed forward again from the restart and some excellent defending from Gascoigne and Proudlock prevented Madrid falling further behind.

The respite was short lived and FC made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time with Hodges heading in from a corner.

Madrid’s team talk had the desired effect and they started the second half with purpose. This was rewarded with a well-taken goal from O’Brien, who blasted past Harrison in the FC goal.

The game was now open and Madrid pushed for the equaliser with Harrison tested several times.

It would be FC, however, who would again extend their lead against the run of play.

Following a quick break, Hodge sprinted into the box only to be tackled by Gascoigne, the ball rebounded kindly and he was able to slip Miller in to make it 4-2.

Madrid galvanised themselves and began putting the FC defence under increasing pressure, this saw the deficit reduced to 4-3, with Scott hitting home a Dodds cross.

With seven minutes left on the clock, Madrid were level having seen several opportunities saved. Clapperton linked with Riley and Ballentyne whose cross was headed out to Dodds who beat Harrison with a low shot.

Madrid were in full flow now and could sense the game was theirs for the taking, only last-ditch defending from Parkin and good keeping was preventing the Madrid winner.

In the last minute, following sustained Madrid pressure, the ball fell to Robertson whose low drive beat Harrison at the far post and sent the Madrid contingent into raptures.

A fantastic game ended with the spoils going to Madrid. FC were magnanimous in defeat and both sides warmly congratulated each other on a game well played.