Last-gasp goal sees 10-man Morpeth retain their unbeaten home record
A bizarre Pitching In NPL Premier Division contest saw the Highwaymen dominate the first half, missing a series of chances, before Guiseley grasped the initiative in the second half and then took the lead on 78 minutes through Reece Kendall’s driven effort.
Town were reduced to 10 men on 88 minutes when Liam Noble was shown a straight red card, but they kept plugging away and restored parity deep into stoppage time thanks to Sam Hodgson’s late intervention.
Morpeth started impressively, creating four chances in the opening period without taking any of them. Hodgson fired wide on four minutes, Connor Thomson had a shot deflected off target two minutes later before Thomson just failed to convert a dangerous Hodgson delivery seconds later.
Hodgson then saw a near post effort go wide on 14 minutes before being denied by visiting keeper Ollie Battersby on 20 minutes. From the resulting corner, the striker, by now entering a personal duel with the stopper, turned and shot wide.
The visitors’ high defensive line allowed acres of space in behind the back four which the Highwaymen sought to exploit regularly. They did so on 30 minutes, but with Jack Foalle bearing down on goal, his driven effort was well saved by Battersby.
For all Morpeth’s first-half dominance, they couldn’t find a way through and that profligacy would prove costly.
Guiseley made a decisive change at the interval, bringing on Gabriel Johnson for the hard-working but largely ineffective Callum Chippendale.
The change nearly brought immediate dividends when Johnson looped an overhead kick goalwards but over the bar on 49 minutes.
Ollie Brown and Kallan Murphy both pulled shots wide of the post as the visitors grew in confidence, with the tide of the game flowing against Morpeth and only a superb save from Town keeper Dan Lowson denied Johnson on 68 minutes.
It was perhaps no surprise the Lions opened the scoring, Guiseley getting their noses in front through Kendall.
As Morpeth desperately chased the game, tiredness and frustration grew, resulting in Noble’s red card after an altercation by the corner flag.
With seconds left, the pressure finally paid off and Hodgson sent Craik Park into raptures.