Magnificent seven strikes

Morpeth III 7 Newcastle 2 North East Hockey League, Development North

MORPETH men’s third team resumed their season after the Christmas break in stellar fashion.

An early goal for newcomer Andy Gallivan set the tone for the match and, although Newcastle gave a respectable performance, Morpeth were clearly the dominant side.

They began the first half well with some competent passing and a good high press, a neat reverse-stick effort from Gallivan meant they found themselves 1-0 up within about five minutes. Morpeth again pressed Newcastle hard with the away side being unable to get the ball out of their own 25.

This pressure soon led to another goal, this time by Robin Page and, although Newcastle were able to get a goal back in a short corner, Morpeth were leading 2-1 at half-time and never looked like going behind.

The floodgates opened for Morpeth in the second half, with a handful of goals for Gallivan, some one-on-ones, others beating half of the defence before tucking the ball away, some with the assistance of Page, who linked up well with Gallivan and whose crosses cut the Newcastle defence in half.

The refreshed Morpeth side never looked like faltering. There was a commendable work rate across the entire Morpeth side, particularly in the efforts of Tomlinson, Anderson and Macdonald in the midfield.

Incisive balls from Robin Hudson throughout the match found their part in many a Morpeth attack.

Macdonald also added to his season’s tally with a perfect deflection on a short corner beating the man on the line and cementing Morpeth’s victory.

A stalwart Morpeth defence comprised of Murray, Beddis, Holden, Taylor and Durance, who had held firm throughout the match and denied many an attempted counter-attack by Newcastle, could unfortunately not keep out another Newcastle goal, an excellent effort on the reverse into the top corner by Newcastle’s captain, but by that point the match was all but decided with the final score being 7-2 to Morpeth.

Morpeth III can take many positives from this game, particularly the speed and precision of passing that transitioned defence into attack, the fantastic work-rate of all players and a neat short-corner piece that allowed Macdonald a cool, collected finish in front of goal. The new year may prove good for the side should this form continue.