Newcastle University 3 v Morpeth I 2
MORPETH’S men’s first team faced another University side growing in strength and confidence as they settled into their season.
The game started at a high tempo and the early attacks from Newcastle were duly dealt with by the experienced defence.
Morpeth scored the first goal within the first 10 minutes after a decisive counter attack found captain Ritchie Brown in the D, who finished clinically after four quick passes split the home defence wide open.
Having conceded a number of cheap penalty corners, Morpeth faced another routine from the University
This time, the initial strike wide of the goal was deflected up and onto the defender guarding the post resulting in a penalty flick.
After his recent penalty flick save, Morpeth keeper Steve Jackson confidently took his place between the posts and the strike rebounded off the post.
Almost from the second-half whistle, Morpeth worked their way into the D and earned a penalty corner. The initial strike was pushed wide by the keeper towards Morpeth forward Ross Valentine, who controlled the ball and found the gap between keeper and post to score the second.
Another penalty corner for Newcastle was flicked hard towards the goal and deflected off the stick of the closing defender taking the ball wide of the committed keeper for their first goal and the start of a change in momentum in the second half.
After some good runs from forward John Dixon, the ball was collected high up the pitch.
One such penetration in the D led to a strike on goal that rebounded off post and keeper to fall harmlessly over the back line.
A pacey attack from Newcastle down their right hand channel forced a low tackle on the reverse side from defender Phil Holmes.
The advancing player slipped on the outstretched stick and the umpire reached straight for a yellow card to leave Morpeth playing with just 10 men against the advancing home side.
Soon after, a speculative hit rebounded off the far post directly to the Newcastle forward who demonstrated greater anticipation than Morpeth centre back, Stuart Fairbrother, rounding the keeper to finish the rather fortunate opportunity.
At two goals each, Newcastle received a final gift after a moment of confusion between umpire and players which resulted in another penalty corner awarded against the Morpeth side.
The Newcastle striker flicked the ball wide of the goal. Defender Fairbrother was stunned as the ball struck his thigh and redirected it just inside the left post.