Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Article excerpt

"COME on Bowers and Pitsea," was the rallying call of manager Nick Gray following Morpeth Town's draw on Saturday.

The Northumbrians are now just one game away from a historymaking FA Carlsberg Vase Final at Wembley, but Gray knows the job is only half done.

"We have it all to play for in the second leg but everyone is looking forward to the tie at Craik Park.

"I said before Saturday's game that we needed to be in with a chance and although disappointed we conceded a two-goal lead, especially after they scored a last-minute equaliser, we are in a good position," declared Gray.

Morpeth produced a scintillating first-half performance and deservedly went in two goals ahead through a Sean Taylor 30-yard lob and Michael Chilton's close-range strike.

But the home side really hit back in the second 45 minutes. Their big centre forward, Lewis Manner, slotted in at the back post and just when it seemed Morpeth would have a one-goal advantage going into the second leg, Alfie Hilton struck a dramatic equaliser.

"We played some very good football in the first half and deservedly got our noses in front.

"We had an effort cleared off the line which had it gone in, would probably have sewn up the result - now it's a one-match play-off," added Gray.

Shildon improved their position at the top of the First Division - even though their game at North Shields was the only one in the league to be postponed.

Two of their top-four rivals - Guisborough Town and Newton Aycliffe both lost.

Two goals by Andrew Johnson earned Bishop Auckland the points at Guisborough, and Newcastle Benfield eased their worries near the bottom of the table by defeating Newton Aycliffe.

Keiran Wrightson and Lewis Scorgie were their match-scorers with Zak Boagey's goal keeping Aycliffe in with a chance until the final whistle.

Marske United stay third and their win added to the woes of bottom-of-the-table Norton and Stockton Ancients. Marcus Laing and Ryu Williamson netted for Norton but Marske managed five goals from Jamie Owens (2), Adam Preston, Nathan Mulligan and Danny Brunskill. …

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