St John’s have the edge

Morpeth Baptist Church 0 St John’s Church Snod’s Edge 3 North East Christian Fellowship League, Division One

AFTER some good recent performances, even if the results hadn’t all been positive, MBC crashed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to the highest scoring team in the division.

Having lost 5-0 in the reverse fixture MBC were determined to improve on that performance and result.

It was a scrappy and competitive first half on a bumpy pitch that was not particularly conducive to passing football. St John’s, in particular their centre-forward and quick wingers, kept the MBC defence and midfield occupied in the early stages.

It was the home team who had the best chance of the half though when Elliott, playing in an unfamiliar centre forward position, ran through but screwed his shot wide of the target with only the keeper to beat.

Soon after St John’s were awarded a disputed free-kick on the edge of the area as the centre-forward went down under a challenge from Dewhirst.

The free-kick was wasted, though, as it was blasted high and wide.

Soon after, the away team were given the chance to take the lead as the top-scoring centre-forward McCulloch took on the two MBC central defenders and his leg was caught as he ran into the box.

He stepped up to convert the penalty with the last kick of the first half.

The second half saw a similar pattern. Not enough passing football was seen from the home team and St John’s sought to use their speed on the break.

It was from a cross from the left that they extended their lead as the prolific centre-forward McCulloch finished well at the back post.

The game wasn’t over though and MBC created some chances, without ever really testing the keeper.

Chambers found some space in the box and fired in a shot which beat the keeper, but rebounded back off the post.

Elliott responded quickest and fired in a shot that bounced off the cross-bar and to safety. A goal then could have changed the match.

As it was, the result was settled soon after when some indecision in the Morpeth defence from a St John’s corner saw the ball spinning agonisingly into the back of the net.

MBC brought on their subs, including a 10-minute cameo from coach Curry, but could not create any further chances and the match petered out into a disappointing defeat for the home team.

Team: D Appleby, A Haxell (P Brooks), T Brown, B Dewhirst, P Fletcher, A Carmichael (P Walls), D Johnson, R Garbutt, C Snowball (M Curry), M Chambers, A Elliott. Subs (not used): C Irwin.