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North Shields 1 Morpeth Town 3: Shields bow out of Northumberland Senior Cup

Callum Smith’s first half strike was not enough as North Shields fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Morpeth Town; ending their Senior Cup campaign.

Jeff Henderson gave the Highwaymen the early lead with an unstoppable towering header.

However, Smith’s fine finish gave the Robins a deserved equalizer, following Connor Campbell’s excellent pass.

Morpeth re-took the lead early in the second period when Joe Walton finished well after the visitors broke on goal.

And Liam Noble sealed Morpeth’s place in the Senior Cup Final when his curled freekick bent into the bottom corner.

Shields came close to making a perfect start when Campbell’s header zipped narrowly over the crossbar in the second minute.

The hosts were pinning their higher division opponents back and in the ninth minute, Kyle Patton dragged his shot inches wide of the post.

Home dominance was not rewarded when, in the 12th minute, Liam Henderson towered above his marker to power his header home, giving Morpeth the lead against the run of play.

Only the heroics of Morpeth ‘keeper Dan Lowson was keeping the Highwaymen in the lead, with the shot-stopper tipping Wayne Buchanan’s header over the crossbar.

But the visitors were beginning to turn the screw and in the 25th minute, Walton raced clear of his marker before Chris McDonald’s impressive recovery forced the striker to fire into the side netting.

With both teams trading blows, it was the visitors who came closest to adding to their score when a loose ball fell to the feat of Sam Hodgson in the 38th minute, but the midfielder blazed his shot well over the bar.

Seconds before half time, the Robins hit back when Campbell won possession in the centre of the park, before feeding the ball through the Smith.

Under pressure, the former Dunston attacker fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net, sending the Robins into the break level.

However, five minutes after the restart, Morpeth re-took the lead when Walton finished off a flowing move, which saw the Highwaymen break from one side of the pitch to the other, when he fired into the bottom corner.

The visitors almost added a third moments later when Jack Foalle’s shot needed to be cleared off the line, following Walton’s deflected effort which went behind for a corner.

Foalle, who struck the winner in last seasons’ Senior Cup Final, was starting to have an effect on the game and in the 64th minute, he should have done better when he fired over from within the penalty area.

But as the Robins pressed up the pitch in search of that all important leveller, Morpeth put the game to bed when Noble, who joined the Highwaymen from Hartlepool United, fired his low freekick straight into the bottom corner in the 89th minute.

This proved to be the last real action of the game as the brave Robins were unable to make it to the Final for the second year running.

North Shields Starting XI: Greg Purvis, Nick Cassidy, Chris McDonald, Gary Ormston, Paul New, Wayne Buchanan, Cam Cunningham (Paul Van-Zandvliet 66), Adam Forster (c) (Paul Robinson 80), Connor Campbell (Gareth Bainbridge 80), Callum Smith, Kyle Patton

Yellow Cards: Adam Forster (58), Wayne Buchanan (89)

Unused Substitutes: Rhys Williams, Bradley Skirpan

Morpeth Town Starting XI: Dan Lowson, Callum Williams, Michael Turner, Liam Noble, Ryan Hutchinson, Jeff Henderson (c) (Carl Finnigan 72), Joe Walton, Sam Hodgson (Ben Sayer 60), Liam Henderson, Stephen Turnbull, Jack Foalle (Ben Ramsey 71)

Yellow Cards: Jeff Henderson (23), Michael Turner (79)

Unused Substitutes: Chris Reid, Shabz Mohammed