After a lengthy Christmas break due to cancelled games, Morpeth arrived at Longhirst against a strong Whitley Bay & Tynemouth side that were rumoured to be bolstered by players returning from Injury. Morpeth nevertheless looked to use this game as a test against their promotion credentials with the hope of raising their game against stronger opponents and extend their unbeaten run.
With a free pitch beforehand, Morpeth had in excess of the statutory warm up time to shake of any post-Christmas cobwebs and were bolstered by Keith Land who returned from his skiing holiday early to play in the fixture and was as keen as ever to resume whacking his opponents. The game started fairly even with both teams enjoying decent spells of possession but neither team conceding. The deadlock was broken mid-way through the first half when Morpeth had pushed forward looking for the opener but was caught on the break down their left hand side where the Tynemouth forwards finished off a swift move with a goal at the back post past a helpless Read.
This didn’t deter Morpeth from attacking however and they pressed for an equaliser, winning a few short corners in the process but all were saved from the Tynemouth goalkeeper and shortly after Tynemouth won their first short corner of the match. Morpeth defended the initial shot from the right slip from Tynemouth but their players latched onto the rebound to score their second of the match and Tynemouth would go into half time 2 goals up.
Morpeth came out after the break full of energy and intent to get back into the game and pressed Tynemouth hoping to win the ball high up the pitch. The plan appeared to work as Morpeth were creating chances more regularly and not before long had a 2 on 1 with the Tynemouth goalkeeper where returning player Cal Hinshaw was able to pounce onto a rebound to fire the ball into the Tynemouth goal. Morpeth kept up this pressure and scored an equaliser through William Mooney.
The equaliser didn’t last too long as Tynemouth kicked themselves back into action and some sloppy defending allowed one of their forwards to have a free shot in the D against Read who was unable to close his legs in time to stop the shot from going in. Again, Morpeth were not going to go down without a fight and kept pushing for their second equaliser and soon found their selves with another short corner. Tony stepped up and fired the goal through the keeper’s legs to put the game level at 3-3.
With limited time left, both teams were pushing for a winner, however it would be Tynemouth to score next through a short corner won from persisting fouling from the Morpeth defence, where they played it short, then across the goal to their runner on the back post to slot in to make it 4-3. Morpeth again pushed for their 3rd equaliser but were eventually defeated by time and in turn Tynemouth to their first defeat of the season. Morpeth will look to return to winning ways in the following week away to Stockton to maintain their push back up to North Division 2.