Nostell MW 2 Garforth 4
Morton magic ends pre-season on a high.....
A Devonte Morton hattrick and an own goal saw The Miners record a confidence-boosting 4-2 victory at Division 1 Nostell. After the scores at the break were level, Rob Hunter's side faced a changed (and arguably weaker) Welfare lineup, but they played some excellent football to put the smile back on supporters' faces after a difficult summer.
Garforth went ahead just two minutes in when Morton headed home Niah Payne's delivery from the right. Town were then forced to defend as Nostell sought an immediate reply. After winning a corner with a deflected strike, Jack Owen forced a good stop from Toby Wells with a low drive through a crowd of players.
Lively wing-back Dan Omosebi came close down the other end on 23 mins when his looping strike from a narrow angle crashed off the top of the crossbar. The hosts then suffered a blow when striker Kai Hancock was forced off with what looked like a knee injury. His team soon had an equaliser though when Danny Critchlow got between two defenders to fire past Wells at the near post. The hosts finished the half the better side; Adam Hayton will have been disappointed not to make it 2-1 when getting on the end of the replacement number 9's cross to shoot straight at Wells. A clever back-heel from the same substitute set up Owen on the edge of the box but his strike was over the bar.
Nostell opted for a changed eleven in the second half, one including former Town full-back Jamie Allsop. Initially, they picked up where they left off. A dangerous run by Alex Haigh resulted in him shooting wide of the target, before Joe Thornton too struck past the far post when played in by Will Kemp (?).
They were made to regret their missed chances however as Town stepped up a gear and started to find space going forward. We went ahead once more on 58 mins. Triallist Mark Ferguson was picked out by Niah Payne to supply Morton to his left who sidefooted across goalkeeper Matthew Brooke into the net. On 65 mins substitute Curtly Martin-Wyatt was unlucky to see his header come back off the bar, but it mattered not as Javan Benjamin was quickest to react and put in a low cross which defender Haydn Ward (?) diverted into his own net. Martin-Wyatt came close again on 68 mins when Brooke palmed away his header from Omosebi's delivery, the ball falling to Danny Middleton who curled just over.
Midfielder Josh Robinson-Wilson made an immediate impact when introduced on 70 mins, making a run down the left and supplying Morton who slid the ball home on the edge of the area for his hattrick (4-1). There were still chances for a fifth; Omosebi forcing a save at the near post with a 30-yard drive before a low strike from sub Sanchez Payne was also denied by Brooke. The final goal however went to Nostell who reduced the arrears five minutes from time from a dubious free-kick out wide, the ball played to Haigh who beat Wells from five yards.
The start of the 2018-19 season proper now awaits The Miners this Saturday when we travel to Bridlington Town (kick-off 3pm).
Town team: Wells, Middleton, Lumsden (S. Payne 51), Beaston (c), Low, Holmes, N. Payne (Robinson-Wilson 70), Benjamin, Morton, Ferguson (Martin-Wyatt 60), Omosebi. Unused: Clark-Adams.