Report: Morpeth 2 – 0 Colls

The Colls began a bumper bank holiday weekend schedule with a 2-0 defeat at Morpeth Town, a tough long distance away test in which the Black & Whites were ultimately unable to create any real momentum. The game began with what was the worst possible start for the Colls, gifting our hosts a goal within the opening sixty seconds. Having been allowed a free header from a corner, Micky Turner nodded home with ease, setting an early tone for the game. Following a challenging start to the first half in which the Highwaymen created multiple early chances, the Colls finally settled by the half-way mark and began to press for opportunities, though ultimately without converting the pressure into any shots on target. Eventually, both teams played out the rest of the half to a stalemate, with minimal further incidents to report. Manager Brad Cooke sought an alternative attacking impetus for the second half, introducing Jack Lenehan's creative flair into midfield on the 50 minute mark, alongside the half-time introduction of skipper Daniel Lafferty. Morpeth's Mickey Turner continued to be a thorn in the side of the Collieries and created the next chance of note, testing Luke Hutchinson into producing a tricky low save on the hour mark. At this point, new signing Matty Gillam was introduced for his Black & Whites debut, replacing Dylan Glass. The match was put beyond the Collieries reach ten minutes later. Moments after the referee rejected penalty appeals at the opposite end, Morpeth were awarded a free-kick towards the half-way line. With the resulting kick, the hosts played a set-piece routine some would consider to be more focussed on drawing a foul than creating a goal-scoring opportunity. Sadly, the Black & Whites fell into what was an open trap, with Lafferty conceding a penalty following a tussle with Liam Henderson. Ryan Donaldson stepped up for the Highwaymen and ultimately converted, doubling the hosts lead and sealing the result. The Colls began to press again following the goal, though continually to no avail, with a notable chance minutes later when Marcus Cusani volleyed narrowly wide following a cross from Gaz Peet. Though Colls continued to create balls into the box and pressure in the Morpeth half, clear cut chances were few and far between at both ends of the pitch. Deep into stoppage time, the opportunity was opened for a consolation goal following a foul yards inside the penalty box. After initially awarding a free-kick outside of the area for the foul by Chris Reid, the linesman's intervention upgraded the decision to a penalty for the Black & Whites, a justified decision. Elliot Rokka was the man to step-up to the spot. Whilst he did record what was the Colls first shot on target in the dying embers of the affair, Highwaymen 'Stopper Dan Lowson saved the penalty comfortably, before Rokka fired a rebound shot high & wide. The game was concluded minutes later, with Morpeth Town walking away justified 2-0 victors following a cagey and combative affair at Craik Park. Next up, the Collieries welcome Lancaster City to the Skuna Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday at 3pm, following a Bank Holiday Sunday T20 cricket clash with Atherton Town, raising funds and awareness for Holly's Bloom's Journey. As always, your support at both events will be much appreciated. Collieries: Hutchinson, Smith, Peet ©, Doyle, Defreitas-Hansen, Battersby, Kershaw, Sephton, Glass, Rokka, Cusani Substitutes: Lafferty (45), Lenehan (50), Gillam (60) Unused Substitutes: Taberner, Amado Bolton Arena Man of the Match: Ethan Kershaw

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