By Reuben Young
Captain and Assistant Manager Keith Graydon remained positive, despite Morpeth’s 2-1 defeat to a Sunderland XI side on Friday night.
Graydon believes, in the first-half, the home side were the better side: “I thought we have done very well, the first half we dominated, had a lot of the ball and should have got a couple of goals.”
Despite that, the visitors took the lead through Andrew Nelson after a route-one ball over the top, allowing the striker one-on-one with Morpeth ‘keeper Karl Dryden, who he lobbed.
Striker Liam Henderson, who was making his first appearance of pre-season, scored in reply with a strike on half-time.
Graydon spoke on Henderson’s return: “Obviously he has been away on his honeymoon, he put in a good shift in today, he only came back yesterday and he’s a threat in front of goal, a handful.”
Nineteen year-old Nelson scored again just after the restart with a brilliant finish, that started Sunderland’s dominance of the second half.
“Second-half it was a role reversal, they shifted the ball better, and they were more aggressive on the ball,” Graydon added.
It was the Highwaymen’s third game of pre-season and first loss, with National League North outfit Spennymoor Town up next for the side.
Graydon said: “It was a fantastic run out for us today, best we had, we have got another tough game against Spennymoor (next), they’ve recruited well so it’s going to be another tough test and be a bit more physical.”