Morpeth Town 2 Stocksbridge PS 1
By: Dave Rhodes Highlights: HighwaymanTV
Steels will be looking to build on the three points gained at the last outing against Wisbech Town as they travel up the A1 to take on the top of the league outfit Morpeth Town. A Morpeth side that is unbeaten this season and only 2 years ago won the FA Vase at Wembley.
Morpeth took the kick off and were straight onto the attack knocking a long diagonal ball into the Stocksbridge final third. Long diagonal balls became an effective feature of the game accurate and defence splitting. There was only four minutes gone when the home side went ahead, a real blow for Steels so early in the game. To be fair, this Morpeth side had took the eye with clever, sharp passing and quick tempo movement going forward. A right sided corner was cleared to the edge of the area by Steels but drilled back into the crowded box by Morpeths David Carson, the ball speeding through crowded legs for the unsighted Amissah to react too late.
One nil down and the writing was on the wall but Steels rallied well and should take the positives from a good 15 minute spell of possession football against a quality side.
But another lapse at the second ball from a partially cleared Morpeth corner saw Jeff Henderson scuff the ball home on 20 minutes, the ball bouncing hard off the surface and into the roof of the net past a stranded Amissah from 12 yards.
It was on 31 minutes when Litchfield missed a great opportunity to score. A long punt upfield from Amissah wasn’t dealt with down the middle, 22 yards out he tried to chip the home goalkeeper who was in no mans land into the open net, only to see his shot go just over.
Steels were under the cosh but not out of it as they strived to counter effectively with players piling forward. Certainly the intent was there from a hard working Steels side who were not going to be rolled over but Morpeth were good, bright and inventive and gave Amissah plenty to think about as the half came to a close
Half time: Morpeth Town 2- 0 SPS
A sending off for Morpeth just before half time when Sam Hodgson lunged two footed into Charlesworth, a straight red with no complaints from the assailant, had given Steels men hope that a ten man Morpeth would struggle to keep up the same levels of intensity and quality, alas, this wasn’t to be as the home side continued to dominate possession with great interchanging play across the pitch. A pleasure to watch as the confident league leaders were here, there and everywhere, created chance after chance with Steels last gasp defending a key aspect.
To a man the Steels boys should be proud of the effort, the work rate, the team spirit and attitude against a side that to me was perhaps the best side I had seen at this level. They were tenacious, intelligent, comfortable all around the pitch and pacey where it mattered. Steels just couldn’t find a way of unlocking an organised and resilient Morpeth team.
Steels created half chances though and Colemans free kick nearly surprised Pickering the home keeper.
It was the Steels substitutes that made an immediate impact on 85minutes when Williams had fed Mangham 18 yards out, Mangham expertly took the ball into his stride and going past a defender placed the ball coolly past the on rushing Pickering into the corner of the net.
Steels were back in it and deservedly so but just a little too late in the day as Morpeth took the heat out of the game and managed, slow timed the last 5 minutes well giving Steels no opportunities at all to gain any momentum.
If you read this and are into your non league football look out for Morpeths visit to Steels, they really are well worth a watch.
Next up its Pickering Town at Bracken Moor, Look Local Stadium on Saturday with a 3pm kick off.
Due to numerous requests to re instate the song title...Todays report has a well known Beatles song in there...