Hosts learn lessons to grab victory over students

Morpeth I 1 Durham Uni IV 0 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

The home side started strongly, commanding possession, but with the visitors setting up with a half-court press, Morpeth initially found it difficult to break into their half.

Patient play from the defence prevailed, and Morpeth started putting pressure on the opposition goalkeeper with some well-worked chances.

The goal came halfway through the first period, with Valentine stealing the ball on the opposing 25-yard line.

He fed it to Phelps who played a perfect pass to Kendall, lurking at the top of the D after a good run. The keeper came charging out and Kendall calmly rounded him to slot home.

In the second half, Morpeth had to stay strong defensively with the University side mounting a few counter-attacks putting pressure on the back four and midfield.

Short-corners were awarded on a couple of occasions, but came to nothing and some good play by Carmichael protecting the top of the D helped to maintain the clean sheet in open play.

Morpeth were far from parking the bus though, and continued to threaten with some skilful play by Hudson, which nearly resulted in Morpeth’s second.

It wasn’t to be and the final whistle blew, but Morpeth seemed very happy with the team performance.

They were able to maintain their discipline throughout and strong running off the ball paid dividends, resulting in the 1-0 final scoreline.

Man-of-the-match: Tom Carmichael. Scorer: Ian Kendall.

Starting line-up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Tony Cook, Phil Holmes, Frank Cooper, Tom Carmichael, Ritchie Brown (C), Luke Hudson, Ross Valentine, Ian Kendall, John Dixon. Subs: Stuart Fairbrother, Darren Phelps, Ian Foster.