Morpeth Town 2–1 Bowers & Pitsea (Morpeth win 4-3 on aggregate)

From Craik Park

FA Vase semi-final second leg


IT was heartbreak for Bowers & Pitsea as they conceded an injury-time goal against Morpeth Town to crash out of the FA Vase at the semi-final stage.

Luke Carr turned home as the match ticked into injury-time to win the match for the northeast side, who had led thanks to an early goal from Sean Taylor.

Lewis Manor had levelled against the run of play but, with Ross Adams sent off 15 minutes from the end, Bowers were unable to take the game into extra-time as Carr netted from close range.

Morpeth raced out of the blocks in the first leg and the same was true of the second leg.

Taylor, the man that opened the scoring in the first tie, was by far the brightest spark in the opening exchanges and he created the first opportunity at Craik Park.

Martyn Guest kept his drive out on 60 seconds but was helpless two minutes later. A first time corner was pulled back to the edge of the box and Taylor sent a fine curling effort past Guest from the edge of the area.

It appeared the hosts had learned not to take their foot off the gas as they had in the first match, as they continued to press for the second.

Michael Chilton’s came close but headed inches over the crossbar after a deep cross found him unmarked at the far post.

Bowers were hanging on, with Manor increasingly isolated up front while home goalkeeper Karl Dryden remained untested in the home goal.

Carr struck over from an angle but then, five minutes before the break and totally against the run of play, Bowers levelled.

A long-range free-kick was played into the box and, after a scrambled clearance, the ball fell to Manor and he made no mistake.

Level at 3-3 on aggregate at half-time, Bowers needed a faster start after the break and that was what Rob Small got.

Indeed, the visitors fashioned the first chance of the half after a scramble in the box was cleared as far as James Stevens on the edge. His strike was on target but Dryden tipped it aside.

But there was nothing between the two, as the match edged closer and closer to the final 15 minutes.

Morpeth were the team on the up and they were handed a further boost when Adams was given his marching orders. Having been booked earlier in the piece, the midfielder made one tackle too many and was sent off.

Michael Hall shot over for the hosts as the clock ticked down but then came Bowers’ chance. Substitute Tom Hine skipped through, beat the keeper but could only find the outside of the post from a tight angle.

From then on it was all Morpeth, and the goal came with the last meaningful action of the tie, as Keith Graydon whipped a cross in and Carr tucked home to break Bowers hearts.


Bowers & Pitsea: Guest, Pethers, Durrant (Hine), Wilson, Waters, Adams, Stevens (Salmon), Russell, Manor, Sendall, Hilton

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Novak, Sayer, Swailes, Hall, Taylor, Graydon, Carr, Chilton (Pearson), Fry