Morpeth Town’s FA Cup run ends at Altrincham

Morpeth Town forward Michael Chilton.
Morpeth Town forward Michael Chilton.

Morpeth Town exited the FA Cup after a 3-0 defeat to National League North side Altrincham at the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Damian Reeves, Sean Miller and an injury time third from substitute Simon Richman saw the Cheshire side through against the FA Vase holders.

Town finished the game with ten men after Michael Chilton was stretchered off late on after they had used all three substitutes.

The last time the Highwaymen reached the third qualifying round was 17 years ago.

On Saturday, after Sam Patterson went close for the hosts, Morpeth showed their attacking prowess as Chilton played the ball on to the overlapping Paul Robinson, who fired it into the side netting.

Liam Henderson struck a fierce shot into the arms of Andrew Dawber but then the hosts came to life and started to turn the screw.

Greg Wilkinson went close with a volley before Karl Dryden was called into action. The keeper had Miller’s driving effort covered before Reeves, who was making his 300th appearance for the Robins, headed inches wide.

Altrincham were on top and they took the lead four minutes before the break.

Jake Moult crossed brilliantly for Reeves, who, falling backwards, headed back across goal and the ball went in off the post.

Morpeth started the better after the break, Robinson flicked Ben Sayers’ free kick at goal before substitute Steven Anderson had a glorious effort to level the game. Sean Taylor curled in a brilliant cross, Dawber approached, but missed and Anderson headed inches wide.

After some fine football around the edge of the Altincham penalty area, Taylor shot but Dawber pushed the ball over the bar.

However, after going close through Miller, the Robins found their second goal of the afternoon. Phil Marsh had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds before crossing for Miller, who tapped in from close range.

Chilton suffered a serious injury on 82 minutes, and Morpeth felt they should have been awarded a penalty, but nothing was awarded and they had to play the rest of the game with ten men as the forward was stretchered off.

The Robins made the extra man count as they found a third deep into additional time.

Dryden did well to push Marsh’s effort onto the post, but Richman followed in and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

Morpeth fought valiantly from start to finish and the scoreline did not reflect the pattern of the game.

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Mullen, Novak, Sayer (Grieve, 80), Swailes, Reid, Taylor, Fry, Henderson (Anderson, 46), Chilton, Robinson (Carr, 74). Subs not used: Provett, Hall, Fondato, Forster.

Attendance: 658.