Stobswood spot on for cup victory

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Morpeth Shambles 1-1 Stobswood

(Stobswood won on penalties)

Stobswood eventually used home advantage to win the Ken Gray Memorial Cup in the Morpeth Sunday League at the weekend.

The league has had difficulties arranging finals due to the recent poor weather, and this game was no exception.

It was originally intended to play the game at Ashington, but two days beforehand the pitch was declared unfit and so it was decided to play, at short notice, at Stobswood Welfare.

The game kicked off with Stobswood having the help of a fairly strong wind, which was blowing straight down the pitch, and this enabled them to put a bit of pressure on the Shambles defence. However, Shambles were well-marshalled, with the experienced Ashley McAlpine directing operations, and their young keeper Liam Parkin making two good saves when one-on-one. Shambles also put together a couple of good passing moves and one resulted in a fine save by Karl Dryden in the Stobswood goal.

Half time arrived and it was 0-0, but with 70 minutes gone, Shambles were awarded a free kick midway in the Stobswood half, near the right touchline. Ashley McAlpine stepped up and delivered a great ball into the box, and this was met by Ross Donnelly with a delicate header, which steered the ball into the far corner.

Shambles were well on top at this stage and because the game had been very competitive and tight, it seemed that they would go on to win.

Stobswood were not prepared to go down without a fight and with just a couple of minutes remaining they were rewarded with an equaliser when a rocket of a throw from Liam Dryden was missed by everyone, including the goalkeeper, and trickled into the net.

There was no further scoring in the 30 minutes of extra time and so the game was decided with a penalty shoot-out, which was eventually won by Stobswood by a 4-3 margin.