Entertaining match between Morpeth Town and Bamber Bridge sees points shared

Will Jenkins recovers possession for Morpeth Town at Bamber Bridge. Picture: Michael BriggsWill Jenkins recovers possession for Morpeth Town at Bamber Bridge. Picture: Michael Briggs
Will Jenkins recovers possession for Morpeth Town at Bamber Bridge. Picture: Michael Briggs
Morpeth Town earned a point on the road at the end of an entertaining 3-3 draw at Bamber Bridge in the Pitching In NPL Premier Division.

The Highwaymen recovered from conceding to Danny Forbes’ fifth minute opener by scoring twice in six minutes to lead 2-1 by the 18th minute, Michael Turner nodding Town level before Macauley Wilson’s bizarre own goal put the visitors in front.

Sam Hodgson put Morpeth 3-1 to the good on 33 minutes before Jack Baxter reduced the deficit on 38 minutes and Harry Scarborough levelled matters on 63 minutes.

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Town opted for the same starting XI that comfortably brushed Gainsborough Trinity aside 2-0 last weekend, while Bamber Bridge were enjoying having Louis Holt up top after an injury-plagued start to the season.

After settling fairly comfortably into the game, the visitors found themselves trailing on five minutes through Forbes’ strike. The midfielder was in an acre of space following a pull-back from the left to slot past keeper Dan Lowson.

Town responded quickly but couldn’t find a way through, with Danny Barlow denied from close range on nine minutes before, seconds later, Andrew Johnson cut inside but saw his shot spilled to safety by keeper James Pradic.

Then came the deserved equaliser from Turner. Netting his third goal of the season – and we’re only in September – Turner rose highest to head a Liam Noble set piece through the legs of the keeper and restore parity.

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Far from settling for being all-square, Morpeth took the lead on 18 minutes in fortuitous circumstances. Keeper Pradic looked to clear from his feet but instead drilled his clearance into Wilson, who saw the ball loop up off his legs and arc into the back of the net.

Johnson headed over on 24 minutes and Jack Foalle, played in behind, was denied when shooting straight at Pradic as Town enjoyed their best spell of the game. On 29 minutes, Danny Barlow sent in a superb in-swinging delivery but that too was fired off target by Foalle.

Then came the third goal that the Highwaymen’s performance deserved on 33 minutes. Hodgson was the man to deliver it, netting his sixth goal in 10 games, as he benefitted from the goalkeeper failing to clear a low Noble delivery in from the right, allowing him to score from close range.

Baxter reduced the deficit on 38 minutes, scoring from close range, as Morpeth went in at the break with a slender one-goal advantage.

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Town thought they had doubled said advantage three minutes into the second half when Johnson danced around the keeper to score, but his effort was ruled out for a debatable offside.

Will Jenkins failed to capitalise on a dreadful Pradic clearance on 57 minutes before the home side levelled matters on 63 minutes. Scarborough was the man to deliver, as part of his man of the match display, nodding in from close range as Morpeth desperately tried to scramble it clear.

Despite pressing hard for a winning goal – Michael Potts was denied superbly by Lowson from range – the game would end in stalemate.

Morpeth are next in action on Tuesday night (September 26) when welcoming Guiseley to Craik Park.

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