Report: Morpeth 3-0 Colls

The Collieries fell flat in their attempts to back up impressive performances against Nantwich and Warrington Rylands. A calamitous 17-minute collapse allowed the Highwaymen to steal what had initially been an evenly matched affair. The Stripes did begin the game in the same vein of intensity that had created chances for fun on Tuesday night, however opportunities were instead few and far between, mostly limited to half-chances, with Morpeth matching the high work-rate whilst defending resolutely. The only major chance of the first half ultimately fell for Arran Pettifer, following the ever-relentless pressing of Scott Bakkor to create a clear 1-verus-1 opportunity for the young Bolton loanee. Though Pettifer's goal-bound effort beat stopper Dan Lowson, the keeper managed just enough contact to slow the ball for a goal-line clearance from Jeff Henderson. The first-half petered out into a stalemate, with both teams likely happy with their defensive efforts, probing play for an opener and overall workrate. To say how the second half then transpired was surprising to those in attendance would be an understatement. Morpeth were gifted a soft-free kick ten minutes after the restart, conceded a foul from a moment of frustration from Marcus Cusani. Michael Turner's header from the cross prompted a save from Nico Defreitas-Hansen, though the ball was spilt to the feet of Fenton John to prod home the opener. The Colls were then opened up with lacklustre defending from a throw for the Morpeth second. Jack Foalle was unmarked for the initial ball, and teed up Andrew Johnson in acres of space to tap home. A Morpeth counter-attack, from what had been a Colls throw by the opposite corner flag, was the final nail in the coffin. An indisputably rogue backwards pass during the attack gifted the ball to Foalle, who again provided for Johnson to waltz through the Colls defence and finish a devastating 17-minute spell for the hosts. The Black & Whites did recover somewhat of a foothold later on in the game, but it was far too little too late. Adam Rooney most notably threatened from a corner minutes after the third goal, but the late push for a consolation goal was ultimately in vain. Next up, the Colls welcome Marske United to the Skuna Stadium in what is lining up to be a huge six-pointer, with the Black & Whites now fighting to climb back up the table after beginning to flirt with the bottom-6 dogfight. Your support is vital and will be much appreciated next Saturday (18th Feb). Kick-off 3pm at the Skuna Stadium! The Colls: Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Adam Rooney, Gaz Peet, Oli Brown (68' Jack Lenehan), Danny Lafferty ©, Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Ethan Kershaw (58' Bailey Thompson), Ben Hardcastle, Scott Bakkor, Arran Pettifer and Marcus Cusani Man of the Match: Scott Bakkor, sponsored by M Riley Plumbing Solutions

Vacancy: Kit Man/Woman

Atherton Collieries are currently looking for someone to fill the position of First Team Kit Man or Woman ahead of the 2024/25 Northern Premier League

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