REPORT | Albion Begin New Year With Hard To Take Defeat At League Leaders
By Jay Taylor
In a game which saw little between the two sides, a second half goal from Jeff Henderson handed Morpeth Town all three points at Craik Park.
For the first game in 2019 Taddy named the same side that were shocked by Pickering Town on Boxing Day with one change to the bench in Aiden Savory dropping out of the squad following the birth of his second child.
On a cheek-bitingly cold afternoon in Northumberland, it was Simon Collins’ Tadcaster side who started the livelier of the two outfits and could have taken the lead inside seven minutes. Joe Lumsden pounced onto a Paddy Miller clearance racing in behind Morpeth’s defence, he spotted goalkeeper Dan Lowson off his line but the striker couldn’t execute the desired technique.
As the first half began to unfold, it was clear to see why both sides are currently occupying spots at the top end of the Evo-Stik East League; very well organised, strong defensively and tricky going forward. As a result of this there were limited chances on display with Taddy continuing to see the majority of possession.
However, the Brewers went perilously close to breaking the deadlock again just short of the half hour mark. Classy central midfielder Pete Davidson started the move off with a lovely ball out to Billy Whitehouse, he then cleverly jinked inside and curled a cross right on the money only for Lowson to get the faintest of touches taking it away from Casey Stewart arriving at the back post.
The league leaders finally woke up from this moment as their first noteworthy chance saw Wayne Phillips divert Joe Walton’s power-blaster well wide of the goal. The 2016 FA Vase winners were growing in confidence in front of their home crowd with David Carson, Ben Sayer and Phillips all trying to engineer an opening goal. Nevertheless Taddy were defending well as Paddy Miller and Harry Coates continued to impressively marshal danger-man number nine Liam Henderson. Former Hull City pro Ellis Barkworth was also defending admirably as he did outstandingly well to head two dangerous free-kicks away to safety, taking an almighty whack on the second occasion.
Eight minutes into the second half and the hosts were in front though, but it wasn’t without controversy. There was nothing dubious with the goal itself, just the free-kick that was awarded as Jack Walters robbed the ball cleanly off of Carson only for referee Jonny Irwin to give a foul. After the Albion protestations were quickly shut down, James Hodges made a brilliant stop to initially deny Liam Henderson but it was his namesake Jeff who popped up to head home the rebound.
Taddy were feeling aggrieved but they simply had to regroup and push the hosts for a way back into the contest. Casey Stewart went close to equalising on 64 minutes when he broke out on a counter at electric pace driving all the way into the penalty area and getting his shot away but Lowson was equal to it pushing it clear.
Taddy’s performance was impressive and professional yet again but goals were still proving hard to come by. Pete Davidson could only fire down Dan Lowson’s throat after a neat one-two with Casey Stewart. A minute later and the travelling Taddy fans thought this was to be the moment as Joe Lumsden superbly wriggled beyond a Town defender but again the shot was comfortable for the goalkeeper.
As darkness descended and time started to run out, the Brewers continued to push increasingly hard for a goal that they will have certainly felt was deserved. Paddy Miller came remarkably close to scoring his second free-kick of the season as he whipped agonisingly over the bar on 74 minutes. Billy Whitehouse was having a quiet afternoon as far as his standards go but he too had a good chance to level 11 minutes from time curling towards the bottom corner with his weaker left foot but Lowson got down well once more.
In the end the Highwaymen managed the game well and showed why they are where they are seeing the win out in front of a packed bumper crowd.
FULL-TIME: Morpeth Town 1-0 Tadcaster Albion
Morpeth: Lowson, Walton, Reid, Sayer, Petrache, J. Henderson, Taylor (Potter 69), Hodgson, L. Henderson, Carson (Foalle 77), Phillips©️(Fry 84)
Unused: Forster, Graydon
Tadcaster: Hodges, Barkworth (Hardy 63), Walters, Roper, Coates, Miller, Whitehouse (Barrett 80), Davidson©️, Lumsden, Howarth (Rose 80), Stewart