Morpeth Ladies I 2 Lancaster Ladies I 1 North Hockey League, Division One
MORPETH held on after a good start to record a welcome victory against a team that beat them home and away last year.
The visitors started positively and for the first 10 minutes dominated possession. But much of their ball retention was on the halfway line rather than in front of goal.
Gradually, the home side started to gauge the situation and began to bring up their plays through some sheer hard graft — with the forwards in particular covering a lot of ground to provide the first line of defence.
Eventually a short corner was won and Bell received the ball, which she shot goalward. The keeper was up to the challenge but could only parry to Bowler.
Amazingly, the Lancaster number one managed to keep the lifting ball out despite saving the ball from a prone position.
Unluckily for her, the second shot rebounded to one in green and gold and Smith was able to hit home for her first goal with her new club.
Morpeth continued to pour forward and O’Mahony’s tireless pressure was rewarded when the ball went to her fellow forward, Hagan, who took full advantage.
She jinked past a couple of defenders on the left and drove across the face of goal. Just when it looked like the opportunity had been scorned, she hit an angular shot on the run which hit the backboard.
The hosts then seemed to lose their way a bit and allowed Lancaster to get a bit of momentum. Rose was increasingly pulled into action and despite making a good save to keep a rising shot from the left-winger out, the rebound fell to their centre forward who squeezed the ball in to make it 2-1.
Morpeth spent the vast majority of the second half on the back foot in their own defensive half.
But they did not buckle and indeed for all their lack of territory gave very few goal-scoring opportunities away.
Cully, playing only in her second match for the club, in particular showed some maturity in sticking to the fundamentals of solid tackling.