League leaders North Shields beaten at title challengers Morpeth
North Shields suffered their second league defeat of the season on Wednesday evening when fellow title challengers Morpeth Town secured a 2-0 win at Craik Park.
First half goals from Liam Henderson and Keith Graydon secured the points for the home side.
The midweek fixture was the fifth meeting between the two sides this year, with each winning two apiece in the previous contests.
The Robins started the brighter and inside the opening minute Denver Morris broke down the flank and sent a cross into the box which Ryan Carr at the back post fired wide.
Morpeth had the ball in the net after six minutes but referee Stephen Dial deemed a foul on goalkeeper Sean McCafferty.
Shields’ Dan Wilson was then fed in by an amazing ball from Lee Mason as he created an opening, but Wilson turned in the area and fired just over the bar.
Morpeth’s first opening came six minutes later as Jordan Fry crossed for Mark Davison but his back-heel attempt went wide.
Morpeth broke the deadlock on 18 minutes after poor defending on the left let Joseph Walton run past Carr and Jordan Summerly before setting up Henderson who hit a first time shot into the top left hand corner beyond McCafferty.
Shields hit back and Morris again caused havoc down the right with a pinpoint cross into the box, but no one was on hand to get a finishing touch.
After a Mason free kick went over the bar, the home side doubled their advantage just past the half-hour mark.
Graydon picked up the ball 30 yards out and fired a shot towards goal and caught McCafferty off guard and he could only palm the ball into the top of his net.
The Robins could have pulled one back nine minutes after the break. Mason created some good build-up play but the chance was well defended by Morpeth.
The hosts went close to a third on 66 minutes when Graydon’s free kick was heading for the top corner, but McCafferty produced a brilliant save to deny the midfielder.
Shields had a lot of the ball in the closing moments, but they were unable to get a single shot on target.
Next up for North Shields is the cross-Tyne derby as they travel to South Shields on Saturday before an away trip to Shildon on Wednesday, November 9.
Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Turner, Sayer, Grieve, Reid, Walton, Graydon, Davison, Henderson (Anderson, 78), Fry. Subs not used: Robinson, Novak, Hall.
North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Summerly, Coppen (Forster, 69), Parker (Bainbridge, 86), Hughes, Morris, Ormston, Wilson, Mason, Carr (Holmes, 61). Subs not used: McKeown, Taylor.