Morpeth Town 2 Darlington RA 0 STL Northern League, Division Two
THE Highwaymen put in a complete team performance to snatch victory against second-placed Darlington.
On a pitch with more sand than the Copacabana, Morpeth put in a Samba performance.
Building on the midweek 2-0 victory over Horden CW, Nick Gray’s exciting young squad showed their promotion credentials.
In a first half in which clear-cut scoring chances were at a premium, Grant and Cartwright dominated possession in midfield and though they constantly probed for an opening, the home side’s front-runners were expertly marshalled by the Darlington RA defence and the half ended 0-0.
Second-placed Darlington were first to show in the second half as Mundy dived to his left to make a fine save from Cheeseman.
This was a rare Darlington attack and, for the rest of the half, Hall, Walmsley, Wilson and Henderson easily contained their forwards.
Morpeth continued to dominate possession and their short passing game was a constant threat to the Darlington defence.
The opening goal came on the hour. Lunn and Dormand linked on the left, playing the ball up to McAlpine, who, twisting and turning, drifted past two defenders before firing the ball across Hutton in the Darlington goal to make it 1-0.
On 70 minutes, Andrews replaced the hard-working Lunn and his impact was immediate.
Grant’s through-ball split the Darlington defence and Andrews drew Hutton and expertly flicked the ball round him to make it 2-0 on 75 minutes.
In the ascendancy, Morpeth played out the game to take another three points. If they can maintain this form over the next couple of weeks when promotion contenders North Shields and Esh Winning visit Craik Park, a return to Division One is a possibility.
Team: Mundy, Henderson, Walmsley, Grant, Hall, Wilson, Young, Cartwright, Dormand, Lunn, (Andrews). P Gillan & Sons man-of-the-match: Ashley McAlpine.
Next game at Craik Park is Morpeth Town v North Shields on Wednesday, February 29, kick-off 7.30pm.