Heaton Stannington A 5-0 Morpeth F.C.
Northern Alliance Neville Cowey Cup Group One
Wednesday 28 April 2021
The Stan’s last fixture in the group stage saw themhost 3rd place Morpeth who needed to win to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals while the Stan only needed a draw. On a dry but bitterly cold evening, there were 2 changes from Saturday with Dunne and Anjos replacing Doyle and Jones while Westphal moved back up front. There was a lot of stake as the Stan could qualify for the semis tonight with a draw while Morpeth had to win to definitely have at least a chance of doing so.
It was a relatively even start until the 7th minute when Munir advanced with the ball down the left and into the box where he passed to Bruce who supplied Westphal whose shot was cleared off thevisitor’s line. Morpeth then got their 1st proper attack, but Ripken blocked. It was pretty even although it was the Stan again who had a good chance in 14 minutes when Harper supplied Westphal but his shot was blocked for a corner. From it, Bruce headed over. Both sides were trying to attack and Morpeth had a good chance to score in 18 minutes from a corner at close range but instead shot over. It was back to the Stan and in 21 minutes they were 1-0 up when Poole curved a freekick into the box which was headed into the net by Bruce. 2 minutes later and a Morpeth free kick was put out for a corner which was headed clear and was then cleared again when the ball was put back into the box. Morpeth then put a long range effort just over the bar. During an even spell played mainly in the middle of the park, scorer Bruce had to hobble off. The common theme of the half was that both teams were trying to attack but both defences were working well and the only difference at half time was Bruce’s goal.
Both teams started in a similar vein as the 1st half ended and there was some good defending by Forster. In 50 minutes, Harper supplied Westphalwho casually rounded 2 defenders and shot past the Morpeth keeper to make it 2-0. 2 minutes later and Morpeth gained a corner followed soon after by a long ball to a forward which saw him chip Ripken but the ball went just over the bar. Then at the other end, Harper blasted a shot wide when he had a good chance to score. It was 3-0 though in 56 minutes when Westphal’s short free kick allowed Walker to make a great run with the ball, beat a player and shoot in the box. The keeper blocked the shot but fumbled it allowing the advancing Harper to slot it into the net. In 59 minutes, it was 4-0 when Poole’s shot was blocked but Westphal blasted the rebound into the net. In 66 minutes, a Morpeth shot was blocked for a corner from which Ripken punched the ball clear. Dunne then countered, supplying sub Carr who was blocked. Dunne then tried a long range shot that was put over the bar by the keeper. In 70 minutes there was some handbags that the referee dealt with reasonably well. Morpeth asserted some pressure before the Stan finished things off with a 5th goal after 75 minutes. Harper crossed to Walker who shot across the keeper and sent the ball into the left hand corner of the net. In 78 minutes, Ripken stopped a great Morpeth chance from close range. 2 minutes later, the Stan defended well during another Morpeth attack which eventually saw them shoot over. In 86 minutes, a Da Costa long range effort was sent straight at the keeper and the match finished with a Morpeth corner being cleared.
The Stan deserved to win the match and their group although the match was more competitive than the score line suggests. The difference was that although they created more chances they also finished them, unlike the visitors, making sure that 5 of them went in the back of the net. Winning their group means that the Stan are at home in the one leg semi-final on Saturday against group 2 runners up Newcastle East End Reserves.
Stan: Ripken; Dunne; Forster; Anjos (Jones 81); Harris; Riley; Bruce (Walker 38); Poole (Da Costa 63); Harper; Westphal (Y)(Carr 60); Munir (Uweru).