Morpeth Town 3 Alnwick Town 3 Northern League, Division Two
IT was a Bank Holiday Monday thriller as Morpeth came very close to victory in their derby match with Alnwick.
The home side started the game on the attack.
McAlpine tricked his way through the Alnwick defence and his powerful shot crashed back into play off the underside of the crossbar.
On 15 minutes, Morpeth took a deserved lead when Dines and Donaghey linked up on the right and forced a corner.
The ball was cleared to McAlpine who was impeded.
From the resulting free-kick, he expertly bent the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
On 19 minutes, Dormand extended the lead by calmly rolling the ball under Brooks in the Alnwick goal.
Morpeth continued to dominate play in midfield and Brooks did well to save a long-range effort from Patrick.
In a rare Alnwick attack, Hogg raced out of his box to clear his lines and the home defence restricted the visitors to the occasional long-range effort.
Johnstone played a long free-kick into the Alnwick box. The ball was headed clear but the impressive McAlpine was first to react and his volley went just wide of the post.
Morpeth started the second half as they had the first – on the attack. Donaghey played a reverse ball into the path of Dines, whose cross was met first time by Dormand and his shot just cleared the bar.
But Alnwick started to come back into the match and when the ball was played through to MacMullen he finished well to make it 2-1.
Morpeth came back strongly and increased their lead on 77 minutes when Patrick and Dines linked up to play in McAlpine at the far post and he calmly placed his shot into the far corner of the net.
Disaster struck though a minute later when Wilson pulled up with a hamstring injury and lost possession. The ball was then played through to Vickers, who reduced the deficit to one.
The loss of Wilson unsettled the Morpeth defence and for the first time in the game Alnwick started to dominate possession.
And an equaliser came two minutes from time when Keenan ran onto a poor backpass and steered the ball past the stranded Hogg in the Morpeth goal.
Though disappointed to concede a two-goal lead, Morpeth are now in a comfortable mid-table position in the league and have increased their unbeaten run to four games.