Imperfect showing but good enough to win

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Malton Furness III 4 Morpeth III 6 Intermediate League Two

THIS may have been an imperfect performance from the Northumberland-based men’s hockey outfit, but it proved to be one that was certainly good enough, writes Martyn Bott.

They started the game on top in terms of possession, pressing the home side backwards with strong hold-up play from Andy Gallivan.

This allowed the Morpeth side to dominate the early exchanges. The pressure was converted into both long and short corners but not goals.

There could easily have been a collective concern rising that the away team were not going to benefit from this opening dominance. Such fears were allayed, however, when a shot from Gallivan was deflected in by Renwick.

A second was to follow shortly with Macdonald reverse-sticking home a cross from the right.

Some good counter-attacking down the right resulted in the Teesside side’s first short corner.

This was well defended, but the warning was not heeded and a subsequentfailure to clear the lines resulted in Marton netting from close range.

The play now became more even but it was Morpeth, again via Macdonald, who managed to score next after a penalty corner had been only half-cleared, to regain a two-goal advantage.

The scoring was not over for the half, though, and Furness grabbed a second as the result of a fast-flowing move that could not be repelled.

After the break, ‘Cuddly Chris’ Mather’s overlapping runs from a right-back position became ever more persuasive and he was rewarded with a well-taken finish.

Morpeth made it 5-3 when Burren’s footwork proved too much for the home defenders.

But the result was still not certain as Furness pulled one back from a penalty flick with Macdonald just failing to bail out the Morpeth defence.

The final nail in the Tees team’s coffin was banged in by Cook as a Renwick mis-hit shot was redirected into the centre of the goal with the keeper out of position.