Gray praises his Morpeth side after derby win

Morpeth Town manager Nicky Gray showered high praise on his players following their 2-0 derby victory over Ashington at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

Second half goals from Steven Anderson and Michael Chilton did the trick.

And the boss, unimpressed by the performance the previous week in a 2-1 defeat against local rivals Bedlington Terriers, called on his squad to put things right.

“We were poor in the match with Bedlington,” he said.

“So I asked the players for a response today and was delighted with what I saw.

“Credit to each and every one of the squad today, even the lads who didn’t get off the bench because they were supporting and encouraging their team-mates, and that’s what you need at this level.”

Gray analysed the display and was more at ease after Chilton’s strike ten minutes from time had doubled their lead.

He said: “We were a bit lack lustre in the first half but stepped it up after the break.

“Ashington are a good side but appear to be playing with a lack of confidence at the moment, and because of that you have got to go on the front foot.

“In the second half we got the goal early and then had a couple of good chances to make it two or three.

“You are then wondering if Ashington are going to get a chance and are wary because they are going to be dangerous on set pieces.

“You are always nervy holding a one goal lead, but after we got the second, I thought we looked comfortable and thoroughly deserved our win.”

The Highwaymen are currently seventh in the first division of the Ebac Northern League – a position which Gray would be happy to take come the end of the campaign.

“Last season our target was to stay in the division,” he said.

“But our goal this year is to be in the top half of the table.

“I have seen about 12 teams so far with no one outstanding, and if you set your mind to it; have believe in yourself; set your stall out and have a good team spirit, who knows what you can achieve.

“Team spirit is massively important and I thought my lads showed today that we have one in our camp.

“This year we are going to try and go for everything we are involved in, including the Northumberland Senior Cup, the League Cup and also to see what we can do in the FA Vase.

“We know how quickly things can change in this game, but the club are going in the right direction and that’s the main thing.”