High fives for Morpeth

Tom Carmichael on the ball for Morpeth. Picture by Keith Robertson.
Tom Carmichael on the ball for Morpeth. Picture by Keith Robertson.

Morpeth 5 Durham City 1 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

Morpeth looked to return to winning ways after a narrow defeat to Durham Uni III the week before.

Durham City travelled to fortress Longhirst to face a strong Morpeth side of 14.

Morpeth started the game lackadaisically with undue pressure coming their way in the opening five minutes.

Durham came close but a strong save from goalkeeper Read kept Morpeth afloat.

A quick 16 taken from Fairbrother found Hudson in space and he devilishly beat his man, drove into the D and, with a superb reverse hit, buried the ball into the bottom corner (1-0).

The Peth should have looked to kill the game off quickly but couldn’t get into a rhythm and struggled to be clinical around goal, with chances hitting everything but the back of the goal.

Hudson then struck again to make it 2-0, with the Peth going in at half-time believing that they could vastly improve on their performance and really boost their goal difference.

With double forward subs, Morpeth began to flex their muscles, exploiting a tired Durham side and causing real threats on fast breaks.

Skipper Brown expertly put away a routine short-corner, aiming low left out of the keeper’s way (3-0).

Morpeth continued to push hard for more goals, sometimes leaving them exposed defensively, but superb challenges from Dye stopped Durham in their tracks.

Patient build-up and fantastic movement from the midfield found Morpeth in Durham’s D again. The ball was pulled back to Breakey, an unlikely candidate who slapped the ball out of the keeper’s way into the back of the net (4-0).

The sideline went mad, cheers of elation erupted as Breakey sealed his first goal of the season.

Morpeth slowed down play after this, but some players were still eager to show that they had fuel left in the tank.

After a Durham play broke down, Peth quickly worked the ball upfield, Hinshaw breaking with the play from right-half. Mellor found the ball and placed it onto Hinshaw’s stick and he drove into the D, slid the ball underneath the keeper for Brown to slide elegantly in and guide the ball home.

At 5-0 Morpeth should have held on to keep a clean sheet, but a deflected effort from one of the Durham strikers somehow found its way into the Peth’s goal to leave a small bitter note to what was a great afternoon of hockey.

Starting line-up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Stuart Fairbrother, Callum Hinshaw, Frank Cooper, Tom Carmichael, David Breakey, Gareth Mellor, Luke Hudson, Ritchie Brown, Ian Foster. Subs: Ian Kendall, John Dixon, Bruce McPate. Man-of-the-match: Callum Hinshaw. Scorers: Luke Hudson (two), Ritchie Brown (two), David Breakey.