A thoroughly entertaining NPL Premier Division clash had both sides in front with Johnson’s brace being split by Joseph Kenton and Thomas Tonks.
The Highwaymen were on a run of two defeats in 21 heading into the clash at Craik Park, but Stafford were on an excellent run of form on the road, topping the league stats for the previous five games with four wins including at Matlock Town, Buxton and Whitby Town.
It meant Johnson’s sixth minute opener was a welcome one for the home side. The forward, scoring his 13th of an impressive season, raced on to a beautifully weighted Joe Walton ball over the top to send a shot across keeper Luke Pilling.JohnJoh
Stafford remained a threat and deserved their equaliser on 29 minutes from Joseph Kenton. Substitute Joe Cuff chased after a clearance from a Morpeth corner on halfway, kept it in, turned his man and released Kenton who expertly found the back of the net.
The visitors started the second half brightly and took the lead on 53 minutes through Thomas Tonks. With an acre of space and no offside flag to be seen, he dinked it over Morpeth stopper Dan Lowson to put Rangers in front.
As Stafford began to sit deeper in the hope of seeing the game out, Morpeth used the extra space to pile on the pressure, regularly getting in behind left-back Joseph Dunne with Jack Foalle’s pace.
Johnson was also seeing joy down the left and he thought he had assisted an equaliser when twisting and turning before crossing for Ryan Donaldson to score from five yards out. But the offside flag would deny them.
However, there would be no denying the equalising goal from Johnson, his sixth in eight games, as he got something on Liam Noble’s 87th minute corner to score in off the near post. The goal was no more than the Highwaymen deserved, with a share of the spoils a fair result at the final whistle.
Morpeth Town are next in action on Tuesday away to Ashton United.