Late heartbreak as heroic Robins fall 2-1 to Morpeth Town
Cup final heartbreak for the Robins as a last-gasp Jack Foalle strike helped Morpeth Town to a 2-1 win in the Northumberland Senior Cup Final at St James’ Park.
After losing Gary Day early on to a knee injury, the Highwaymen capitalised just before the break through Liam Henderson’s effort from close range.
However, late into the second half, a Craig Spooner header from a Sean McRoberts cross gave the Robins the equaliser; taking the game into extra time in the process.
Both teams had chances to finish the game off, with David Carson and Adam Forster coming close to adding a second goal.
However, minutes before the game went to penalties, Foalle reacted quickest to a Joe Walton knockdown to fire the ball past Robinson and secure the Highwaymen the victory.
After creating early pressure, Morpeth created the first real chance of note in the 11th minute when David Carson collected a short corner on the edge of the box. However, his effort was wide of the left-hand post.
The Highwaymen were still knocking at the door and in the 14th minute, Liam Henderson’s audacious attempt looped well over the crossbar.
Shields were warming into the game and in the 18th minute, they had strong appeals for a penalty when Jack Donnison was felled in the area. However, the referee waved away the protests and Morpeth cleared the ball to safety.
The Robins came close to opening the scoring in the 22nd minute when Gary Day’s effort from the edge of the area took a deflection before going behind for a corner; one which was cleared.
But the Highwaymen were still threatening and in the 27th minute, some outstanding defending from Kevin Hughes and Josh Nearney denied Chris Reid a certain shot on goal.
Day seemed to be in the mood for the Robins and in the 30th minute, after a quick break on goal, the striker fired his effort from distance over the crossbar.
Minutes later, after falling awkwardly following an aerial challenge, Day seemed to injure his knee and needed to be replaced by Callum Johnston.
After this change, Morpeth seemed to take control and in the 37th minute, a Carson shot flew narrowly wide after Shields gave the ball away carelessly.
And in the 41st minute, the deadlock was finally broken when the keeper misjudged a corner and the ball fell invitingly for Henderson who bundled the ball over the line.
The Robins were rocked and if it weren’t for Robinson in goal, the lead would have been doubled. In the 45th minute, Joe Walton fired the ball at goal from an angle, only for Robinson to dive to his right and make the stop.
Morpeth began the second half the stronger of the two sides and in the 57th minute, a terrific save from Robinson denied Walton’s header at the far post; with the keeper diverting the ball onto the post before the ball was headed over.
In the 72nd minute, North Shields deservedly drew level with their Evo-Stik opponents when a swirling Sean McRoberts cross, following excellent build up play, met the head of former Newcastle United midfielder Craig Spooner who headed the ball into the top corner.
As the game entered the final five minutes, both teams pressed hard in search of a winner. In the 85th minute, Walton once again was the cause of concern for the Robins defence, however, his effort from close range was blocked and then cleared.
Morpeth were the first side to threaten in extra time when in the 102nd minute, Carson bamboozled the Shields defence, but his shot was brilliantly blocked by the legs of Robinson.
As the second period of extra time began, the Robins began confidently and in the 110th minute, Adam Forster’s skipping shot narrowly bobbled the wrong side of the post.
Then, straight away at the other end, an audacious volley from Walton rustled the side netting, with many in the ground thinking it had gone in.
However, in the 111th minute, the Highwaymen took the lead when Foalle hammered an unstoppable shot past the outstretched arm of Robinson, following a knock down from Walton, into the back of the net.
And despite throwing everything they had forward in search of the leveller, the Morpeth defence withstood the pressure, saw the clock out and secured themselves the Senior Cup Trophy.
Final Score: North Shields 1 Morpeth Town 2
North Shields Starting Eleven: Michael Robinson, Jack Donnison, Chris McDonald, David Hall (Gary Ormston 68), Josh Nearney, Kevin Hughes ©, Craig Spooner, Adam Forster, Gary Day (Callum Johnston 35), Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson (Sean McRoberts 61)
Yellow Cards: Craig Spooner 80
Red Cards: N/A
Unused Substitutes: Mark McManus, Greg Purvis
Morpeth Town Starting Eleven: Dan Lowson, Stephen Forster, Michael Turner, Ben Sayer, Jeff Henderson, Chris Reid (Jordan Fry 83), David Carson, Sam Hodgson (Tom Potter 70) Liam Henderson (Jack Foalle 90), Wayne Phillips ©, Joe Walton
Yellow Cards: Chris Reid 80, Michael Turner 109
Unused Substitutes: Keith Graydon, Danny Carson