HAVING suffered a midweek defeat in the League Cup quarter-final to Spennymoor, Bedlington Terriers FC were looking to bounce back in their trip to Northon & Stockton Ancients on Saturday.
The Bedlington starting line-up saw defensive changes from the side beaten in midweek with John Brackstone coming in at left back and Ben Christensen returning to the side with Colin Morton and Pete Snowdon dropping to the bench alongside Andrew Dugdale, who was missing midweek.
With the home side sitting in eighth place in the league, only two points behind the Terriers, it was an important game which both sides were looking to take the three points.
The visitors found themselves with the first chance of the game after a strong run from Anthony Shandran.
He fed a through ball to Mark Convery on the right and he cut inside, beating a defender before dinking a ball into the feet of Shandran who had continued his run, but his effort was saved by Provett.
The visitors took the lead after 14 minutes when awarded a free kick on the right hand side after a handball.
The resulting set piece saw a good routine between Convery and Richard Hodgson as recently used against West Allotment, for Convery to deliver a cross into the box for Chris Carr to head home.
The goal delighted the visiting fans and even more so Dave Collop, Bedlington Terrers club secretary who also had 14 minutes in the golden goal.
The Terriers nearly doubled their lead when a backpass to keeper Provett was short and Convery pounced, but while trying to round the keeper the ball bounced up into the grateful Norton player’s arms.
Norton levelled in the 28th minute. A corner from the right was headed clear only for the ball to be collected near the byline and a brilliant cross to the far post saw right back Alderson rise to head the ball into the corner of the net.
Having scored the equaliser, the home side looked stronger, finishing the half by putting pressure on the Terriers defence,, with Stuart Elliott in particular impressing in midfield, breaking up attacks.
But Norton’s Huggins put the home side in front for the first time just two minutes before the interval with a free kick from the left side of the area, keeper Morton getting a hand to it but was unable to keep it out.
Bedlington made a change during the break with Ali Henderson coming on to replace Hodgson.
Just a minute into the second period the away side equalised after a Chris Phillipson effort from outside the penalty area took a deflection off a defender and left Provett stranded.
The home side made their first change after 65 minutes with Furness replacing Nathan Mulligan.
Terriers nearly took the lead shortly after with a free kick from the middle of the park being played into the area.
Goalscorer Carr challenged Provett for the ball and it broke across the box to Shandran who managed to get a foot in before the defender to hook towards the empty net with the keeper stranded, onlly for the effort to rise over the crossbar.
Norton made their second change with former Middlesbrough, Darlington and Belgian third division side ROC De Charleroi-Marchienne player Nathan Porritt coming on to replace Earl.
The home side made their third and final change with Parkin coming on to replace goalscorer Alderson.
Bedlington had a good penalty shout five minutes from time.
A free kick played into the area and Alex Benjamin chased the loose ball down to the byline before taking it way from Dale Mulligan only for the defender to take out the league’s top scorer right in front of the assistant, Benjamin then got back to his feet only to be put back down again by the same player who then had help from Brown to clear the ball.
During the protests, the referee showed Benjamin a yellow card for questioning the decision.
In an even and entertaining contest which saw both sides have spells of domination without troubling either goalkeeper, both sides were satisfied with a point although the visitors will be aggrieved to have not been awarded the late penalty.
The draw keeps Bedlington above their hosts in the league, but having played four games more.
Bedlington host Dunston UTS tonight (Thursday) at Welfare Park before West Auckland Town are the visitors on Saturday looking to avenge their recent defeat at Welfare Park in the League Cup.