With their fourth consecutive away league game, having played only 3 home games this season, the Colls were on the road again. And this time for their longest ever journey, Morpeth Town on a Tuesday night. The destination was a very pleasant town to the north of Newcastle, the actual stadium located out of town seemingly surrounded by forest. The pitch itself once surrounded by Morpeth Harriers' running track, now marked out to the exact dimensions of Wembley, the surface purported to be the chairman's pride and joy.
Having been buoyed by their well deserved victory at the weekend away at Gainsborough Trinity, Colls were stunned by the first real attempt on goal on 9 minutes. Right back Joe Walton cut inside and hit a rocket from the edge of the box that arrowed straight into the absolute top corner of the net. An absolutely unstoppable effort. Things almost went from bad to worse on 11 minutes as David Foalle jinked through the Colls’ defence and his fine dinked effort drifted narrowly wide.
Colls endeavoured to pull the game level as Danny O’Brien couldn’t get the power behind his shot to trouble the keeper then Tom Bentham saw his shot well blocked by Sam Hodgson tracking back. Their best opening came at the end of the first half as Vinny Bailey ran at the Morpeth defence, playing a 1-2 with Bentham, he saw his shot rise over the bar with Danny O’Brien possibly better placed to take the shot.
As with the first half, the ball was in the Colls’ net 9 minutes into the second half, Jack Foalle who had missed chances earlier in the game weakly shot at Ollie Byrne, however the keeper saw the ball awkwardly squirm between his legs and trickle over the goal line to double the lead. The goal coming as a blow to the oranges who until that point were well in the game.
Just after the hour mark, we saw a rare triple substitution from the management, Ben Hardcastle and Brad Lynch returning to action along with Jordan Cover who had opened his goal account for the season at the weekend. They could only stand and watch as immediately Sean Read carried the ball down the left wing to clip the ball over for Tom Potter to deftly nod the ball home for Morpeth’s third goal to kill the game completely. The final thirty minutes of the game a non-event as the Colls contingent looked forward to a three hour journey home on a school night. Atherton Collieries: Ollie Byrne, Dave Sherlock, Gareth Peet, John Welsh (Jordan Cover 64'), Clive Smith, Niall Battersby, Michael Brewster, Vinny Bailey, Tom Bentham (Ben Hardcastle 64'), Ben Conway (Brad Lynch 64'), Danny O’Brien Attendance: 520
Photo: David Featherstone