Lawyers find Terriers guilty as they let their lead slip

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BEDLINGTON Terriers failed to follow up a fine 3-0 midweek win over Bishop Auckland when they twice squandered a lead at Tow Law Town to eventually fall to a 3-2 defeat at the Ironworks Road Ground.

The game started positively for the Terriers, with Anthony Shandran particularly lively, forcing Lawyers’ keeper Steven Robinson into an early save.

However, the hosts also demonstrated their attacking intent with ex-Terrier Derek Waters shooting wide from the edge of the Bedlington area.

Latest signing Andrew Dugdale found his way into the referee’s notebook before even the quarter hour mark had been reached for a late challenge.

In what was a largely even encounter, the deadlock was finally broken after 23 minutes when the visitors took the lead.

Steven Stewart’s cross from the right saw Michael Robson miss with his attempted clearance and when the ball set up nicely for Alex Benjamin he made no mistake from eight yards out.

Tow Law almost provided an instant response when a goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner.

Back came the Terriers with a powerful Convery shot from 20 yards deflected for a corner. From the resulting kick, Dugdale at the near post headed straight at the keeper.

John Hewitson soon became the first home player to be booked after needlessly kicking the ball away in dissent.

The Lawyers drew level on the half hour, and a disappointing goal to concede it was as a John Hewitson corner from the right saw skipper Stephen Tobin rise unchallenged to power his header into the corner, leaving keeper Paul Newton with no chance.

The scores remained level going into the interval, although Chris Kileen became the second host player to be cautioned after a heavy foul on Steven Stewart.

The Lawyers almost stole the lead in the first minute after the restart when a corner from the right saw an effort at the near post hit just wide.

The hosts were to rue this wasted opportunity when the Terriers regained the lead five minutes later.

After sustained pressure on the Tow Law area, a corner was parried by the keeper and after Carr had his follow up blocked on the line by Hewitson the ball finally came to Shandran 15 yards left of centre from goal, and he hit a beautiful curling effort which flew into the top corner.

Andrew Thompson became the third home player to be booked on the hour mark after a foul on Benjamin.

However, Tow Law soon restored parity in the scoreline when a shot from 20 yards by Kileen took two deflections which completely wrong footed Newton as it hit the back of the net.

Bedlington made their first change of the game, replacing Dugdale with Anthony Chapman.

Unfortunately, the Lawyers promptly went on to take the lead for the first time in the match with 16 minutes remaining.

A speculative lobbed effort fully 35 to 40 yards from goal by Greg Halliday, caught out Newton, who despite only being a few yards of his line, was unable to retreat in time to stop the ball dipping just under the bar.

The Terriers almost produced an instant response when Chapman put Shandran through on goal.

Although he set himself up to shoot 15 yards from goal, the ball bobbled as he hit it and it flew over the bar.

In the final few minutes, the Terriers made a second change, with Richard Flynn replacing Benjamin and Chris Carr being pushed up front.

It was a move that almost produced immediate dividends as Carr burst down the right and into the Lawyers area, only for the keeper to punch away his cross-shot at the near post.

That was as close as the Terriers got to rescuing something from the game, the only thing they picked up before the end was a caution for Richard Flynn.

A disappointing outcome, given the Terriers were more or less in cruise control at 2-1 up.

The momentum shifted with the second equaliser, and they can only be left to rue what could have been.

The Terriers are back in action this Saturday with the visit of Sunderland RCA, a team who were in reasonable form until losing 2-0 at the weekend away to West Allotment Celtic.