Derby joy for the River

River Coquet...4 North End Trap FC...1

Morpeth Sunday League, Division Two

LIAM Ramsay starred as River Coquet bounced back after last week’s unfortunate, and unlucky, defeat at Blackthorn Rovers to prove that they can play quick, attacking football against local rivals, the Trap.

Straight from the kick-off, River pressed forward, particularly down the left side, with the Trap being exposed on several occasions.

On the right, Micky Stewart showed why the Trap are constantly trying to sign him as he read the early game well at full-back and was able to encourage forward runs which the Trap found difficult to cope with.

The Coquet midfield quickly took command. The Taylor brothers, Gary and Andy, quickly snuffed out any threat and on numerous occasions set up attacking moves. This was coupled with endless running from the forward line of Ramsay and Roper, ably backed up by new-boy Routledge, who was unlucky with a 15th minute header.

The Trap keeper was on top form, though, and despite River’s advances, he managed to stem the flow in the first half, with some fine saves, most notably a double save when River should have done better.

A repeat of last week’s defeat for River was on the cards, when, despite first-half pressure, the Trap went 0-1 up. A long throw saw a goalmouth scramble, with River being exposed at the back-post.

The Trap had more half-chances when they perhaps should have scored but found a formidable obstacle in the shape of man-mountain River keeper Straker. River had a valid appeal for a penalty brushed aside after a push on the influential Summers, but again kept their nerve to carry on with the fast-flowing football.

An injury to River’s centre-half Lance Burton was a concern, but with the midfield working hard, notably Sean Anderson, the defence held strong with centre-half substitute Dan Dewson performing admirably after his break in the States, assisted by the very reliable Summers.

As Coquet continued their dominance, Andy Taylor, who worked his socks off and lost two inches in height through his tireless running, was replaced by Dixon whose physical presence and fresh legs allowed River to push on as in the first half.

Indeed, Dixon nearly scored the goal of the game with an overhead flick. River continued the high work rate, and their pressure was duly rewarded with goals.

Liam Ramsay scored the perfect hat-trick with a left foot, right foot and headed goals, and Roper was a welcome addition to the scoresheet.

On the rare occasion the Trap threatened, Thompson, Summers and Stewart were on hand to snuff it out.

The 4-1 win was just reward for River’s pace and energy. New manager Leslie Ramsay was obviously delighted and congratulated his team on a well-deserved derby victory.

River: Straker, Thompson, Burton (Dewson), Summers, Stewart, Anderson, Taylor G, Taylor A (C) (Dixon), Routledge (Robson), Roper, Ramsay. Match sponsor: The Schooner, Amble. Ball sponsor: Bengal Spice Tandoori, Amble Robinson Murphy Personal Solicitors. Man-of-the-match: Jordan Roper.

River are on the cup trail again on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the George Cave Fair Play Cup at Division One’s Red Row, kick-off at the earlier time of 10am due to Sunderland’s visit to Newcastle in the North East derby.