Morpeth Left Frustrated After Chances Go Begging
Valentine Loves Scoring But Goal Not Enough To Earn Morpeth Victory
Morpeth made their way down the A19 to face bottom of the league Stockton. After their Hard fought victory the week before, Morpeth were confident they could carry on their resolute and positive style of hockey with the hope of taking all 3 points.
As the game got underway, it became very apparent that the home side were happy to sit back and let Morpeth control the game. The Longhirst based outfit enjoyed lengthy spells of possession and worked the ball well up the channels to good effect. However they found it difficult to get any success in the final third, with Stockton piling 10 men behind the ball in the hope that chances would be denied by sheer volume. Morpeth reacted to this positively however, and some quick movement and good ball speed gave Morpeth their best chance of the half. The initial shot by Bruce McPate was saved, with the rebound falling to Ross Valentine and his resulting flick hit the post and went off the back. Despite the near miss, Morpeth continued to press but after winning numerous short corners, the half eventually ended goalless with the away side scratching their heads as to how they didn’t have a comfortable lead.
The second half saw Morpeth come out in a positive frame of mind. Early on they transferred the ball to good effect which picked gaps in the Stockton defence. It wasn’t long into the half before Morpeth finally broke the dead lock. A neat pass from David Breakey played in Ross Valentine, who drove the ball round the keeper and lovingly ushered the ball into the net. Morpeth now had their tails up and looked to extend their lead. Unfortunately much like the first half, they were unable to convert their chances and the game remained finely in the balance. Then about 10 minutes from time, Stockton won a short corner, which somehow found its way between keeper Sam Read and Adrian Dye, who’s deflection wasn’t enough to stop the ball from going in. Morpeth were beginning to rue the missed chances, but knew they had to go in search of a winner. Then moments from the end, Morpeth were caught on the break and Stockton drove towards their D. Dye thought he had done enough to stop the attack, tackling the Stockton player as the ball looped up and hit him in the stomach. For some reason play was allowed to carry on, and the attacker played the ball across and it was tapped in past the helpless Morpeth keeper.
The final whistle went and Morpeth were left incredibly frustrated after losing a game they should have won comfortably. They will look at all the goal scoring opportunities that could have been taken, and look to be more successful with their chance conversion in the coming weeks.
Man of the Match: Ross Valentine
Starting Line Up: Sam Read (GK), Adrian Dye, Stuart Fairbrother, Tony Cook, Gareth Mellor, Tom Carmichael, David Breakey, Ritchie Brown (C), James Edmunds, Ian Foster, Ross Valentine
Subs: Bruce McPate, Jack Murgatroyd