North Shields...1 Longhoughton Rangers...4
Northumberland Girls’ U14 League
FOUR goals from Morrison helps Rangers to their sixth straight win as the Longhoughton girls took the points in a scrappy game at North Shields.
Rangers started the brighter of the two teams, with Morrison forcing a save from the Shields goalkeeper after being put through by Parry while Hutton struck the crossbar moments later.
North Shields threatened down the right side, but the Longhoughton defence of Wood, Parry and Davison worked tirelessly to keep the home side’s chances to a minimum.
The opening goal came in the 14th minute when Rangers captain Morrison picked the ball up on the right-hand edge of her own penalty area and ran the length of the pitch before firing home a stunning shot from the edge of the North Shields box.
Despite taking the early lead, Rangers seemed subdued, their play rushed and disjointed, so it was with some relief when they extended their lead in the 20th minute. Lewney picked up the ball and slid through a perfect pass for the speedy Morrison to chase. The forward’s first time strike was saved well by the North Shields goalkeeper, but a lucky rebound off a Shields defender lifted it back over the goalkeepers head and gifted Morrison with the simplest of finishes to make it 2-0.
Rangers could have added a third before the break, Morrison forcing another save from the Shields goalkeeper and Lewney going close, but it remained 2-0 as the referee blew for half time.
North Shields came out strong in the second half and after three minutes pulled a goal back, the North Shields forward slotting the ball low and left past the Rangers goalkeeper.
Longhoughton regained their two goal advantage five minutes later, when Davison fed Morrison on the right and Rangers’ influential captain curled the ball into the top far corner beyond the North Shields goalkeeper, securing her hat-trick.
Lewney and Morrison both went close for Rangers again, before North Shields powerful number 11 broke through on goal, only a last ditch challenge from substitute Lewington denying the Shields striker.
Rangers seemed to come alive now, keeping possession, running from deep and stretching the North Shields defence.
Morrison put through Lewney only for the striker to be denied by the outstanding Shields goalkeeper, moments later and Rangers struck the crossbar again, before Keech found herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to fire high and wide of the target.
Longhoughton finally made the pressure tell in the 50th minute, a poor North Shields goal kick, picked off by Lewney, who spread the ball right for the onrushing Morrison, who rifled home her fourth of the game.
Not the most glamorous of games, with both teams battling for every ball, but Rangers did well to get a result in a scrappy, hard-fought midweek encounter.
Next up, Hexham at home.
Longhoughton Rangers FC: H Burn, E Parry, C Wood, E Davison (S Conning 50), J Morrison, H Parker (R Keech 36), C Hutton, E Smart (B Lewington 36), K Lewney. Player of the match: Morrison.