By Andrew McDonnell (@AndrewSJourno)
Morpeth Town produced a brilliant second-half performance to claim a 3-1 win over Alnwick Town at St. James’ Park.
After an uneventful first 45 minutes, the game sprung to life and centre-half Richard Pell headed the visitors ahead 10 minutes after half-time.
Thompson levelled for the hosts just over a minute later, but a fine header from Michael Chilton and a sublime finish from young John Woodhead eased the Highwaymen to victory.
Morpeth have just under 48 hours until their next pre-season friendly, as they welcome a Sunderland XI to Craik Park on Friday night.
Dave Malone handed a first start to Curtis Coppen and Wayne Phillips, and the visitors created the first opening of the game.
Sean Taylor skipped past his marker and played the ball square across the six-yard area, Chilton scooped the ball goalwards and forced a fine save from Hodgson.
Karl Dryden was forced into making a low save a few minutes later before Luke Carr, who went on a mazing run, drew another brilliant save from Alnwick’s ‘keeper.
Alnwick came close to breaking the deadlock on two occasions as the half was nearing the end, while the visitors had the final chance during a quiet half.
Wayne Phillips, who signed from South Shields in the summer, handed the ball off to Coppen, and the defender drilled a shot just wide of the goal.
After a goalless first half, the game sprung to life and Chilton almost put the visitors ahead just six minutes after the restart.
The forward was inches away from getting to the end of a brilliant low cross from Chris Reid, but Alnwick cleared their lines.
Two minutes later, Morpeth had a double chance, where Stephen Forster’s shot was bravely blocked and Taylor’s curling rebound was saved by Alnwick’s ‘keeper.
The game had its first goal on 55 minutes, when Carr’s in-swinging corner was headed home powerfully by centre-half Pell – his first goal in Morpeth colours.
However, Alnwick had other ideas, and they pulled level within 90 seconds through a fine strike from Thompson.
Both sides went close just after the hour mark, and on 70 minutes, the Highwaymen restored their lead.
Phillips jinked past his marker and dinked the ball into the penalty area, and Chilton glanced the ball across goal and into the top corner.
Carr and Joe Walton both had chances soon after, but the visitors sealed the victory five minutes from time.
Taylor found Woodhead in the area, and the youngster turned and rifled the ball home off the underside of the crossbar.
Morpeth seen out the remaining minutes to pick up their first victory of pre-season, and they now turn their attention to the game with Sunderland on Friday night, 7:00pm kick-off.
Alnwick Town: Hodgson (Brooks), D.Lowes, Douglas, Hogg, J.Lowes (P.Murray), Thompson, Brown (A.Murray), Wilson (Pickard), Young (Powell), Hornsby (Donoghue), Coyle (Hay)
Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster (Hiftle, 78), Turner (Reid, 46), Phillips (Johnson, 60), Pell, Coppen (Carson, 60), Carr, Graydon, Chilton (Woodhead, 75), Taylor, Walton
Goals: 0-1, 55 min, Pell; 1-1, 57 min, Thompson; 1-2, 70 min, Chilton; 1-3, 85 min, Woodhead.
Referee: Tom Chambers
Assistants: Charlie Ford and John Strachan
Photo: @Sportpix999/ Twitter