Match Preview: RFC v Gosforth Bohemians - Rothbury Football Club
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MATCH PREVIEW: Rothbury v Gosforth Bohemians


My good mate Guy Morton was a great keeper. The former Ashington stopper was one of Northumberland’s best, back in the day, when he sported a Vanilla Ice style flat top – just ask George Penman.

Rothbury’s new goalie James Morton isn’t a relation, so I’m told, but the next time that I meet up with the lads in Morpeth for a pint I’ll be discussing his superb performance last weekend with ‘The Cat.’ We still love a gossip about the local game – while Nicky McClughin and Ian Slater still play in it, albeit in the over 40s.

Young Morton dived to his left to beat away a top-corner bound well-hit spot kick, soon after acrobatically turned over a fierce 25-yard volley and then, amazingly, flung himself to his right to save a second penalty that had been hit full on the meat. Talk about making an impression.

Tony Brown had sent the Whitburn & Cleadon keeper the wrong way with a penalty himself early on to put the Reds ahead while the hugely promising Lewis Leveny had a couple of good chances in the opening period. He shot tamely with the outside of his left boot when the Whitburn number 1 was lost in no-man’s-land and it was cleared, then when Brown played him in he went to chip the advancing keeper, who read it and stood up. It was all-square at the break as Lee Orr had fired one across Morton low into the corner and Kyle Smith pursed his lips as a cross-shot at the other end clipped the angle.

Although Morton made another good save Orr followed up to tuck away the rebound but it looked like Rothbury might nick a point when Liam Henderson fired inside the near post with striker Paul Dunn urging him to ‘blast it.’ However, a late Dale Connor close range effort gave the visitors the three points in a game that skipper Tom Macpherson took charge of following a change at the helm.

The club took the decision to take a new direction with respects to team management and everyone at Armstrong Park were keen to thank Danny Olson and Rob Marshall for all their efforts and wish them well in any new ventures. Olson brought a wealth of experience and first-class coaching to the team, especially through two really tough and disrupted seasons, and Macpherson faced a baptism of fire against first-class opponents.

“I thought Whitburn were excellent if I’m honest, they played some great stuff and we really struggled to get close to them. But we showed great character and commitment to stay in the game and could have pinched a 3-3 draw if Kyle had finished the chance at the end,” said Tom, who almost created a last-gasp equaliser with brilliant spinning cross that Smith just couldn’t put away under pressure at the back stick.

Ironically, it was the Seasiders of Guy’s home town of Newbiggin that visited Armstrong Park in mid-week and James Morton wasn’t available to play due to work commitments. However, the even younger William Hindmarsh (16-years-old) came in and ‘didn’t put a foot wrong’ in the 2-1 win as Jake Stevenson hit a double, one in each half, to win it.

“The lads were brilliant, honestly I couldn’t ask anything else from them. I told them before the game of Newbiggin’s qualities and to be fair to the lads they executed the plan perfectly. Kyle and Jake covered every blade of grass and have us a real platform to play our football. Defensively we were solid and always dangerous in attack – I think we should play on Wednesday every week,” joked Tom.

Morton may return to take the green jersey on Saturday as the Reds host Gosforth Bohemians for a third straight home game, kicking off at 2.30pm, and Macpherson is looking forward to the challenge.

“We have set ourselves a platform now to build upon so hopefully we can take momentum into Saturday. We know Gosforth play football in the right way so we have to match them on and off the ball, consistency is the key now,” he said.

I see on social media that Guy has bought himself a pair of new gloves this week, and he’ll not be using them for gardening – yet – so we may have some more games of his own to talk about in the Electrical Wizard as well as discussing the young guns.

So if you get the chance to get down and see the young Morton in action on Saturday, you should take it. Because if he continues to impress the way that he has done so far, then it’ll not be long before the bigger clubs come down to take a look themselves – and if someone like Guy gets his eye on him and recommends, people will take note and listen.

Words: Jon Tait