Morpeth Town come from behind to beat title holders Shildon

Morpeth Town players congratulate Paul Robinson, left, on his goal against Shildon. Pictire by Chris Chambers - CJC Photo
Morpeth Town players congratulate Paul Robinson, left, on his goal against Shildon. Pictire by Chris Chambers - CJC Photo

Paul Robinson completed Morpeth Town’s stunning comeback as they ran out 2-1 winners against the reigning Northern League Division One champions Shildon at Craik Park.

Paul Connor deservedly put the visitors ahead on 27 minutes, but Michael Chilton powered home six minutes before half-time.

Robinson struck his 11th goal of the season on 68 minutes, but the closest Shildon came thereafter was when Lewis Wing rattled the post from a free-kick.

The Highwaymen have sent a message of intent to the league having inflicted the Railwaymen’s first defeat of the season in all competitions.

Nick Gray and Dave Malone’s side came into the game unbeaten in their last seven games, but it was the visitors who started the brighter.

Sam Hodgson was denied by Karl Dryden inside the first five minutes, and from the rebound, the ‘keeper was forced into making a further save from Lewis Wing.

Morpeth’s first chance of the game came on 13 minutes when Keith Graydon played the ball into Robinson, who turned and hit his shot just wide.

The Highwaymen started to find their feet and Ben Sayer forced Nicholas Liversedge into making a brilliant one-handed stop on 23 minutes.

However, Shildon took the lead shortly after when Connor reacted the quickest to Dryden spilling Wing’s free-kick in front of him.

There was a hint of offside for the goal, but the forward kept his composure and slotted home via the post.

Graydon went close with a free-kick before the hosts levelled on 39 minutes after a great ten-minute spell in the game.

Luke Carr threaded a pass into Chilton in the area, and the forward turned his man and fired past a helpless ‘keeper.

And the Highwaymen thought they had turned the game on its head two minutes later when the ball appeared to have crossed the line.

Matthew Grieve’s flick on was pushed onto the crossbar and Chilton followed in and headed the ball at goal, but appeals for the goal were waved away.

It was the hosts who came out after the break the way they ended the first-half, and after Wing rifled an effort into the side netting, a few minutes later Morpeth took a deserved lead.

Stephen Forster broke into the box and forced Liversedge into making a good stop, the ‘keeper pushed behind for a corner.

And from the corner, Chris Swailes headed Sayer’s delivery back across goal and Robinson swept in and fired the hosts into the lead.

Morpeth could have asserted their dominance further thereafter, but it was the visitors who pressed in the final 10 minutes for an equaliser.

Wing struck the foot of the post with a free-kick, but that was the closest the visitors came despite Connor having an effort easily saved by Dryden in the fourth minute of additional time.

Morpeth held on for a brilliant three points and now have a big week ahead of them with a trip to Croft Park to play Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup following their midweek game with Penrith.

Morpeth: Dryden, Forster, Novak, Sayer, Swailes, Grieve, Mullen, Graydon, Carr (Turner 90), Chilton (Anderson 74), Robinson (Fry 78). Subs not used: Fondato, Halambiec.

Attendance: 358.