Bedlington Terriers edged out by title-chasing Newton Aycliffe
Liam Hudson broke his nine-game goal drought but it was not enough as Bedlington Terriers were edged out 3-2 by Newton Aycliffe at Moore Lane Park on Saturday.
After a brilliant display midweek when a Jonathan Wright hat-trick saw them win at basement side Norton and Stockton Ancients, Bedlington were looking to build on the performance, but it was the home side that started on the front foot.
John Campbell and Matty Moffat both had chances in the opening exchanges, but it was the former who capitalised on his second opportunity to put the hosts ahead.
A half-hearted attempt to head clear in midfield allowed the ball to be played through to Campbell, who managed to curl past Ryan Beal into the bottom corner.
Bedlington’s first chance fell on 18 minutes. Tony Stephenson tried to prod the ball over the oncoming keeper be he produced a fantastic save and Liam Hudson’s follow-up was crucially blocked.
And it was Aycliffe who stretched their advantage as they doubled their lead shortly after.
A deep free kick was floated into the box and Moffat leapt above everyone, including the keeper, and flicked on superbly into an empty net.
Terriers were second best in the first half, but Marcus Brown came close to reducing the deficit four minutes before the break, but his scissor-kick found the arms of Winter.
Whatever was said at half-time worked a treat as the visitors came out the blocks quickly.
Andrew Ferrell struck from the edge of the area and it came off the defender’s arm, which was up in the air, but the strong penalty appeals were waved away.
The player-manager then tried his luck from range again, this time after turning his man he fired at goal, but a defender got an important block as the ball skimmed past the post.
Paul Garthwaite missed a brilliant chance after being found by Campbell in space, but that miss was followed by another from Moffat, this time from close range.
However, the fighting display from the visitors finally paid dividend as they managed to reduce the deficit on 67 minutes.
Michael Baxter played a perfectly weighted through ball to the feet of Hudson, who, after driving at goal, found the bottom corner to break his nine-game goal drought.
Ryan Drane found himself in space on the edge of the area on 78 minutes, but after the ball was worked to the youngster he curled straight at the keeper.
Jordan Laidler produced, arguably, the miss of the season with six minutes to go before Moffat spared his blushes with a minute of normal time to play.
Some questionable defending allowed the forward to have a run at goal, and after rolling his foot over the ball, forcing the keeper into diving, Moffat tapped into an empty net.
However, the fighting display Terriers had shown in the second half came up trumps again as the deficit was back to one.
Ferrell found Baxter with a beautiful pass, and after the youngster cut back inside he rifled home past Winter in the first minute of injury time.
There was enough time for Laidler to smash an effort against the foot of the post, but Terriers could not quite manage another chance in the game.
Wins for Durham City, Whitley Bay and Jarrow Roofing means the week ahead is a big one for Terriers, with four home games in the space of seven days.
Bedlington Terriers: Beal, Nellis (Capewell 70), Pendlebury, Johnson, Stoneman, Errington, M Stephenson (Drane 68), Ferrell, Brown, Hudson, T Stephenson (Baxter 46). Subs not used: King.