Northern League Day fixture: Morpeth Town vs North Shields
It’s been a season to forget for Morpeth Town, rock-bottom of Northern League Division Two with just two wins from their thirty-two games so far. Formed in 1894 as a result of the merger between two of the town’s sides, Morpeth United and Morpeth FC, the club is currently pinning its hopes on forging a similar link-up with Morpeth Sporting of the Northern Football Alliance.
Members of the Northern League since 1994, when they were promoted out of the Alliance themselves, Morpeth won the Division Two title in 1996, reached the Northumberland Senior Cup final the following year and won the Cup in 2007, a win over Blyth Spartans clinching a trophy they’d last shared with Shankhouse in 1886. The Highwaymen are currently managed by Trevor Benjamin, a once familiar face to Premier League supporters when he played at Leicester City.
Morpeth have suffered a number of problems at their Craik Park ground. Situated in the beautiful Morpeth Common it suffers chronic drainage problems and its edge of town location means local football fans tend to stay at home or go elsewhere. Recent ground improvements have seen the construction of a new clubhouse (which Andy Hudson reports “serves a cracking pie and peas dish along with bovril served in a mug”) and new floodlights. A covered stand with a capacity of 100 seats joins a small standing area in providing shelter from the Northumberland weather.
Craik Park is west of Morpeth town centre, just off the B6254 and a little over a mile from Morpeth Station. Coming from the south by car, take the left turn off the A1 onto the A197 shortly before reaching Morpeth, then take the left signposted for Belsay just after the County Offices.
enter Morpeth from the A1 and take a left turn on to the A197. Turn right just before the bridge under the A1 at the Mitford / Morpeth Common sign and the ground and carpark are on the right approximately half a mile further on (look for the sign by the road). The postcode is NE61 2YX.