BEDLINGTON Terriers began their Northern League programme with a comfortable home win over South Shields on Saturday.
Twice the visitors came from behind to level the scores after goals from Tommy English and Stephen Richardson.
But the Terriers eased to the opening day three points with further strikes from Anthony Shandran, pictured, and skipper Steven Bowey.
The home side went ahead when English superbly curled a free kick from the edge of the area into the top corner following a foul on Richardson.
But South Shields hit back straight away as the Terriers’ leading goalscorer from last season Alex Benjamin headed home Paul Talbot’s cross at the far post.
Richardson restored Bedlington’s lead after finding himself through on goal after goalkeeper Kevin Morton’s long ball was flicked on by Shandran, leaving the striker to calmly stroke the ball past the advancing keeper.
But once again Shields responded, this time capitalising on a poor defensive clearance shortly after half-time, with Yanis Galas finding space on the edge of the area before netting a fantastic effort.
Bedlington then found their feet with both Shandran and Bowey on target to ensure all three points.
All of the Bedlington strikers on display looked sharp, but it was the work on the wings from both English and Dean Douglas that really stretched the Shields defence.
The pace of both players created space for the Terriers and led to long spells of dominance.
Shields rarely tested the Bedlington defence but did take their chances well.
Bedlington manager Keith Perry was delighted with the outcome.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to take all three points in the opening game of the season. You can’t ask for anymore,” he said.
“We needed to show what we’re made of, and we need to build on this for the rest of the season.
“We’ve won and we looked strong out there, and I expect much of the same throughout the season.
“Naturally I am disappointed that we conceded two goals, but we know what we need to work on.”
Keeper Morton echoed his manager’s sentiments.
He said: “I thought we were fantastic today. Up front we showed how strong we are.
“We let two goals in, but I think today shows what a different, and better team we are from last season.
“We would have probably crumbled under the pressure last season.
“Today, we didn’t. We conceded, then we got our heads together and looked to attack and win the game.”