Terriers keep their first clean sheet in 22 games

Bedlington Terriers take on West Auckland Town.
Bedlington Terriers take on West Auckland Town.

Bedlington Terriers kept their first clean-sheet in 22 games as they held title-chasing West Auckland Town to a 0-0 draw at Welfare Park.

The first half that was dominated by the visitors with Steven Richardson and Craig Ruddy both having great chances while Alex Francis went closest to breaking the deadlock when his shot hit the crossbar.

An open second half saw chances for both sides, and the Terriers should have taken the lead through Lee Scott, but he failed to hit the target on two occasions.

West found debutant Bedlington keeper Luc Glasper in fine form as the youngster denied the visitors all afternoon.

Then a heroic goal line clearance moments before the final whistle by Keelan Nellis topped off a superb defensive display from Bedlington.

The Terriers went into the game off the back of two heavy defeats against Newton Aycliffe and Sunderland RCA.

West dominated the opening 20 minutes, with chances to break the deadlock falling to former Terriers man Richardson and his strike-partner Moffat.

Moffat, who is Auckland’s top scorer this season, played through a wide-open Jake Fowler, but he failed to hit the target.

The game opened up thereafter with Bedlington pushing higher up the pitch after they had withstood the opening spell of pressure with a superb defensive display.

Although there were 15 places between the sides before kick-off, the middle stages of the first half were contested evenly, with both sides lacking the cutting edge in the final third.

Half-time was looming and with three minutes to play Francis’ shot hit the underside of the bar and came out to Ruddy whose shot was parried behind for a corner, from which Richardson drew a save out of Glasper.

The urgency from both sides was clear to see from the start of the second period.

Ten minutes in Keelan Nellis played a long ball to Scott but the striker took too long to get his shot away and the defender managed to get back and make a goal-saving tackle.

The visitors were still causing a real threat to the Bedlington back four. Francis neatly skipped past challenges from Marc Walmsley and Steven Little but his shot was tipped behind by Glasper.

Another brilliant chance came Scott’s way, this time skipper Liam Davison was the provider, but just like his first he squandered the opportunity due to an unfortunate bobble at the crucial moment.

Moments later Andrew Keenan lofted his pass over the West’s back four, but Stephen Young’s first glimpse of a chance was mis-kicked wide.

Although the home side were showing courage and determination against the league leaders, they were almost caught out 15 minutes before the end.

Moffat saw a lucky ricochet off a Bedlington defender fall into his path but he struck his shot straight at Glasper.

In the final ten minutes both sides could have got the important breakthrough.

Lewis Galpin was teed up on the edge of the Terriers penalty area by Francis, who brought the ball down on his chest, but his shot was dragged wide.

Keelan Nellis was called into action once again, the first time Glasper was beaten all afternoon, when Moffat shot from 20-yards out but the defender headed the effort off the line.

At the start of additional time ,Francis’ looping cross to the edge of the box was met fiercely by Tait, but his effort through a group of players was off target.

The Terriers managed to hold on for their first clean-sheet since mid-October and they go into Saturday’s game at Consett with belief that they can get something out of the game.

Bedlington: Glasper, Morton, Walmsley, Davison, Little, K Nellis, Keenan (Thompson 79), Watson, Scott, Young, J Nellis. Subs not used: McGorrigan, Dunn, Donohoe, Sayer.

Man of the match: Jordan Nellis.