BEDLINGTON Terriers ended their goal drought on Wednesday night, but their winless run stretched to four games as a Bishop Auckland won for the second time in four days at Welfare Park, beating them 3-1.
Bishops took a two goal lead early in the game thanks to strikes from Sonny Andrews and Arran Wearmouth.
A Stuart Elliott penalty brought the home side back into it, but a 71st minute header from James Harwood ended the game as a contest.
Bedlington started the brighter side after making multiple changes to the starting XI.
Big name players such as top goal scorer Paul Brayson, and midfield maestro Andy Ferrell were left on the bench, giving young Lawrence McKenna and veteran midfielder Colin Morton their first starts of the season.
McKenna created an early chance for himself two minutes in, making space for himself outside the penalty area. 25 yards out, McKenna took aim, but his effort sailed wide.
On ten minutes Bishop Auckland broke away on the counter.
After a lucky deflection off a Bedlington defender, the ball fell onto the left foot of Sonny Andrews, 12 yards out, and he hit a powerful effort into the right hand corner of Kevin Morton’s goal.
Five minutes later Bishop Auckland created another opportunity. A right wing corner from Andrews landed on the head of Danny Parker at the back post, but his header was off target. This was Bedlington’s warning shot as three minutes later Arran Wearmouth doubled the lead from another corner. This time Danny Parker’s header at the back post was saved by Morton. The ball fell in the six yard box, with only Wearmouth reacting, as he poked the ball into an empty net.
Bedlington almost pulled one back immediately from a corner of their own.
Kieron Wrightson’s right wing corner was met by Craig Baxter six yards out, but his effort went tamely wide.
Bedlington should have had a penalty on 28 minutes for a blatant handball by a Bishop’s defender. The referee signalled that the ball had struck the players hand, but inexplicably waved play on. It was clear it was intentional handball, as the defender put his arms together in front of his chest to block the ball.
Bedlington should have pulled to within one on 36 minutes. After another goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to the left foot of Steven Baptist on the penalty spot. His well hit effort was saved brilliantly by Peter Jeffries.
Bedlington fashioned one more chance before the halftime whistle. McKenna latched on to an errant back pass and charged towards goal. He unselfishly played the ball to Kris Gate, who hit a very tame effort at Jeffries, who saved easily.
Bedlington started the second half on top, creating some very good chances. McKenna had the first opportunity of the half when he received the ball 12 yards out. He took a touch before firing well over the bar.
Terriers got a lifeline on 59 minutes, when centre-back Adam Wilkinson was fouled in the penalty area. Stuart Elliott stepped up to take the penalty and found the bottom left hand corner, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Unfortunately, Bedlington could not build on their goal, and it was Bishop Auckland who restored their two goal lead. Another Andrews’ corner from the right landed on the head of James Harwood, who was left unmarked, and he headed in from 6 yards.
Bedlington created a golden chance immediately after. Paul Brayson played a brilliant ball to McKenna breaking behind the defence. McKenna once more missed the target, however, and the game petered out from there.
In the last minute of normal time, Kieron Wrightson smashed a right footed effort of Jeffries right hand post, Bedlington’s best opportunity from open play in the whole game.
Bedlington’s winless run continues, and will have to buck their ideas up as they host Darlington Railway Athletic on Saturday in the FA Vase it what is a vital game for the Terriers.
Bedlington – Kevin Morton, Craig Baxter, Stuart Elliott (Andy Ferrell), Kris Gate (c), Adam Wilkinson, Andrew Leeson, Kieron Wrightson, Colin Morton, Lawrence McKenna, Phil Bannister (Paul Brayson), Steven Baptist