Victory takes Morpeth into top half of table

Crook Town 1 Morpeth Town 3 Ebac Northern League, Division One

Morpeth moved into the top half of the table on Saturday with an excellent away performance.

On a sticky playing surface that passed an early morning pitch inspection, the Highway Men dominated proceedings in the early exchanges, although they found it hard to break down an organised home defence.

But their attacking pressure paid off on the half hour when Sean Taylor’s throughball found Michael Chilton eight yards out. He spun on a sixpence and smashed the ball home.

Roared on by a large vociferous away following, Morpeth strove to increase their lead, but they could not take advantage when they worked their way into good positions and it was still only 1-0 to the visitors as the second half progressed.

With 20 minutes to go, the Highway Men’s defence were caught out by Alexander, who drew a foul in the penalty area. The same player calmly dispatched the spot kick to equalise.

Morpeth’s response was immediate, as they won a penalty when Jordan Fry was upended in the box. Unfortunately, Taylor’s penalty kick was well saved.

However, they continued to press forward and with ten minutes remaining, Steven Anderson cut the ball back to Chilton, who restored Morpeth’s lead from close range.

In the final minute, Taylor outpaced the home defence on the right and his cross was volleyed home by Anderson to give the away side a 3-1 victory.

Morpeth Town line-up: Dryden, Henderson, Novak, Sayers (Bell), Hall, Hiftle, Taylor, Grayson (Forster), Taggart (Anderson), Chilton, Fry. Techflow Group Qatar man-of-the-match: David Hiftle.

Forthcoming matches for the Highway Men – Wednesday, February 4: Penrith (A) in the Brooks Mileson League Cup. Kick-off is 7.45pm; Saturday, February 7: Consett (A) in a Northern League Division One fixture. Kick-off is 3pm.