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Men's 2's - Morpeth 2's (A) - 0-0 (D)

Date: Saturday 30th September 2023, 12:15

MOM: S Wallace

Goals: -

The Stokesley 2nd XI faced a challenging away fixture against Morpeth 2nd XI, a ground where they've historically found the going tough. Keen to avoid a repeat of last year's 6-0 defeat, the team had its work cut out, especially given the absence of seven key players from the starting line-up.

Despite these hurdles, the revamped Stokesley squad showed immense character right from the whistle. They were assertive in the 50-50 battles, largely coming out on top. Although Morpeth threatened early on, the defensive trio of Bell, Walker, and Walker stood firm.

The match wasn't a one-way affair; Stokesley had their moments too. A strong midfield partnership between Wallace and Middlemiss was notably effective, with Wallace's aerial balls causing Morpeth some defensive headaches. A well-orchestrated play down the right flank, involving Morris and Heayns, led to a penalty stroke.

The responsibility fell to Andrew Prunty after Captain Heayns stepped aside. Unfortunately, his powerful stroke ricocheted off the post.

The intensity ramped up in the second half. Hibbert, in goal for Stokesley, made several crucial saves and dealt effectively with a barrage of short corners from Morpeth. At one point, Stokesley thought they had taken the lead following a goalmouth scramble, only for the umpires to disallow the goal due to a foul on the Morpeth goalkeeper.

Adding to the drama, Vice-Captain Wallace sustained a significant injury and had to leave the pitch, further depleting the already stretched Stokesley ranks. Although he returned briefly, it's likely he'll be sidelined for a number of weeks.

All told, the match was a rigorous examination of the young Stokesley side's mettle—one they passed with flying colours. While they may be disappointed not to secure a win, their performance sends a clear message to the league: travelling to Morpeth this season will be no easy feat for any team.

Next game: Marton Furness 2's Home (Saturday 7th October 2023, 10:15 push back)

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