Morpeth score three second-half goals at Ashton United but it's too little too late

Sam Hodgson scored the third goal on Tuesday night. Picture: Michael BriggsSam Hodgson scored the third goal on Tuesday night. Picture: Michael Briggs
Sam Hodgson scored the third goal on Tuesday night. Picture: Michael Briggs
Morpeth Town will need to overcome a second defeat in four days as they prepare to welcome FC United to Craik Park on Saturday.

With a big FA Trophy game in store, the Highwaymen roll into the game after a bizarre 4-3 loss at Ashton United on Tuesday night.

The visitors got off to a sluggish start, trailing when Jason Gilchrist netted with a free header from six yards out on 18 minutes.

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Struggling to get into an attacking rhythm, Morpeth were conceding too many set-pieces that were causing problems against a big Ashton side.

These problems persisted throughout the first half, with a second goal, this time from Dan Cowan, being scored on the stroke of half time.

Needing a quick and lively start to the second half, it could not have got any worse for the Highwaymen as they conceded twice more in the space of five minutes.

Almost immediately, Gilchrist got in down the channel too easily to slot across Morpeth keeper Dan Lowson, before repeating the trick down the opposite flank on 50 minutes to leave the Highwaymen staring down the barrel of a huge, morale-sapping loss on the road.

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To their credit, they rallied and reduced the deficit on 66 minutes when Vinnie Steels latched on to a ball into the area to smash home at the far post and notch his first goal for the club since a summer move from Shildon.

That deficit was reduced further four minutes later when Steels turned creator, cutting a ball across the box for Andrew Johnson to score his fifth goal of the campaign.

There was a renewed spring in the step of the visitors and they played the ball, on a deteriorating pitch, at a quicker tempo.

They got themselves back within a single goal, setting up a nervous finish, when Sam Hodgson controlled the ball among a now desperate home defence before side stepping three challenges to slot into the bottom corner.

For all their pressing and probing, the visitors couldn’t find an equalising goal, ending the game with a second defeat in four days after the FA Cup exit at Whitby Town the previous weekend.