Morpeth Town pull clear of the relegation zone after away win at Belper

Andrew Johnson scored Morpeth Town's first goal against Belper. Picture: Michael BriggsAndrew Johnson scored Morpeth Town's first goal against Belper. Picture: Michael Briggs
Andrew Johnson scored Morpeth Town's first goal against Belper. Picture: Michael Briggs
Morpeth Town earned a superb victory on the road in a high-pressure game as they beat Belper Town 2-1 to pull clear of the Pitching In NPL Premier Division relegation zone.

Andrew Johnson’s 26th minute goal cancelled out Jerome Greaves’ 21st minute opener before Jack Foalle’s second-half strike pushed the Highwaymen six points clear of the bottom four.

The visitors, playing their final away game of the league campaign, started brightly, with Sam Fishburn flashing a low cross across the box, just out of reach of Johnson, before Foalle’s rising drive was pushed over by Belper keeper Tom Jackson.

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From the resulting corner kick, captain Jeff Henderson powered a header over the bar.

As Belper rode the storm, they found a foothold with a 19th minute Joseph Nyahwema effort that flew inches wide before an unlikely opening goal for the Nailers from Jerome Greaves.

It was simplicity itself as an inviting ball in from the right was glanced into the far corner by the big striker.

The Highwaymen would restore parity five minutes later after a long throw from Connor Pye was allowed to bounce a few times at the near post before being flicked across goal by Fishburn, with Johnson the grateful recipient.

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Brodie Litchfield curled a 36th minute effort wide of the far post before Fishburn was denied a goal to cap an industrious run in behind the defence as the game went into the interval all square.

Morpeth scored their second moments after the restart.

Foalle was played in behind the defence by Matty Cornish and deftly finished to give Morpeth a deserved lead.

As an entertaining contest ebbed and flowed, the visitors were awarded a penalty after Cornish’s effort from the edge of the box was handled by Curtis Burrows on the penalty spot, however substitute Liam Noble’s spot-kick was saved.

Two minutes later substitute Ben Ramsey was denied by a defensive block in the six-yard box.

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Belper were still a threat going forward and had a 79th minute headed sight of goal through Greaves, but it was straight at Dan Lowson.

Foalle thought he had scored again in stoppage time when he lobbed Jackson, but the referee blew for a push in the build-up.

Town host Warrington Rylands in the final home game of the season on Saturday (April 22).