Hild Bede 1 Morpeth 2
MORPETH Hockey Club’s men’s first team travelled to Hild Bede with revenge on their mind, knowing that it was going to be a close encounter and the points could well go either way.
The visitors started off really brightly, passing the ball around well, keeping possession and showing the patience that has been lacking earlier in the season.
Hild Bede’s danger was their pace on the turnover and Morpeth were sometimes finding themselves vulnerable by being caught flat-footed in defence. However, a few changes were made and stability was soon improved.
The breakthrough finally came when a Hild Bede play was disturbed in the middle of the park. Carmichael smashed through a couple of loose tackles and linked up with Dixon and Brown.
The ball found Danecki, who controlled it in a tight situation on to his reverse side and hit a strong shot into the goal.
Hild Bede had their fair share of chances and Morpeth keeper Steve Jackson made some fantastic saves to keep the away side in the game.
The end-to-end nature of the match changed in the second half and Morpeth were playing with their backs to the wall for long periods, but the defence remained impenetrable and, accompanied by a solid midfield and more good saves from Jackson, the away side stayed ahead.
And with minutes remaining, Morpeth found a pot of gold when a Hild Bede short-corner was fumbled and the quick-thinking McLean released the ball to Brown on the left-flank. Danecki broke from the resulting pass and Dixon then applied the final pass to find Valentine to score his second goal in as many games.
Hild Bede got a deserved consolation goal in the dying seconds, but it was too little, too late as the game finished 2-1 to Morpeth.
A fantastic performance from the entire squad means that with three games remaining Morpeth move up to seventh in the league, topping the bottom half, but there is just one point separating the next four teams in what will be a tight finish to the dreaded relegation battle.
DESPITE creating some decent opportunities, Morpeth men’s third team lost 1-0 at home to Stokesley II. Some good goalkeeping prevented Jamie Macdonald from scoring for Morpeth and, in the second half, he had a great chance, but a miscommunication meant that he laid the ball off instead of going for glory himself.