Morpeth manager looks for strong start to season

Morpeth Town FC.Morpeth Town FC.
Morpeth Town FC.
Morpeth Town manager Stephen Turnbull is hoping for a strong start to the NPL Premier Division campaign, following the release of the fixtures.

With excitement building ahead of the new season, Turnbull is eager for his side to hit the ground running, starting with a home clash with Stafford Rangers on opening day.

That is followed by trips to FC United of Manchester, on the Tuesday night, and Stalybridge Celtic, with a Craik Park double-header versus Bamber Bridge and Atherton Collieries following. A Bank Holiday trip to Whitby Town caps a hectic August for the Highwaymen.

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“I’m hoping to get off to a strong start and get momentum going,” Turnbull told the club website.

“We need to use the new pitch and our location up North to make Craik Park a fortress, as it has been for the last couple of years.

“If we are to be successful we have to win our home games. The lads have been excellent in pre-season, apart from the one blip at Consett.

“We will give it everything we’ve got to be successful this season.”

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On Saturday Morpeth played their latest pre-season friendly when they faced National League South side Hemel Hempstead.

Town went down to a 2-0 defeat in a game which was played on Alnwick Town’s St James’ Park, with a goal in each half giving The Tudors the victory.

The first half was an even contest which saw both sides match each other for effort and endeavour, without causing either stopper too many problems.

Morpeth matched Hemel stride for stride, until a moment of quality on the stroke of half-time gave the visitors the lead at the break. James Dobson was the man to set up JJ Lacey to head home, after his inch perfect delivery from the right found his team-mate free in the area.

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In the second half Hemel’s number 7 struck the woodwork with a free-kick prior to a chipped cross hitting the bar as the visitors turned the screw.

Hemel sealed the victory when Alfie Cerulli slotted home across the trialist keeper after a bundled volley fell invitingly into his path in the box.

Next up for the Highwaymen is a trip to Newcastle Blue Star on Saturday, July 31.