Bedlington Terriers hold Newcastle United XI to a draw

Newcastle United put out a team featuring two players who have made first team appearances in a friendly against Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday night.

Gael Bigirimana and Adam Campbell, with the latter having the better game, were in the United starting XI for a game which ended 3-3.

Even with the big names in Newcastle’s side, it was Bedlington who started the game on the front foot when early chances fell to both their strikers.

After four minutes Dylan Williamson intercepted a poor back pass, but after rounding the keeper his shot was easily collected by Brendan Pearson.

Newcastle then broke up to the other end of the field after Pearson’s clearance and scored after Jamie Holmes’ shot hit the oncoming Scott Blandford and flew into the Bedlington net.

But the lead lasted just 90 seconds as striker Lee Scott was played through on goal by Williamson and he calmly slid the ball under the keeper to level the scores.

Bedlington held their own, creating chances and testing Newcastle’s keeper, especially when Williamson’s shot rebounded off him and up to fellow striker Scott, whose header went just wide of the post.

But just after the half-hour mark Newcastle restored their lead. Holmes neatly hit his shot first time, lobbing the ball over the keeper and into the far corner.

Newcastle almost made it 3-1 when Frenchman Olivier Kemen hit a 30-yard rocket which rattled the crossbar.

A substitution for the home side at half-time saw 18-year-old Danny Sayer make his first senior team appearance for Bedlington.

Both teams took their foot off the gas as the pitch got heavier and the conditions worsened, but both still managed to find a way to create good openings.

The Terriers pulled it back to 2-2 when Kemen half-cleared a corner into the path of Jordan Nellis who, without any hesitation, rifled the ball past the keeper.

Peter Beardsley’s side then conceded another goal just five minutes later as again a through ball opened up the Newcastle defence.

Stephen Young had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he was played through by Nellis, and the striker put the ball through the keeper’s legs to put Bedlington ahead for the first time in the game.

With only ten minutes to play, Bedlington looked like they could hold on for a win. However, Kemen had other ideas and his deep cross was headed home by Jonathyn Quinn.

Late chances for Campbell and Kemen put Bedlington’s keeper under pressure, but the home side managed to hold on for a draw.

Bedlington manager Ian Skinner said: “I think we matched them to be honest.

“On a difficult pitch and under difficult conditions we gave a good account of ourselves.

“I’d like to think this result can send us on a god run of form.

“We are on back-to-back wins in the league now and the omens are looking good going into the derby on Boxing Day.

“It was quite an enjoyable game to watch and it was nice that it was just a friendly.

“We had a game plan for when we didn’t have possession with them being full-time professionals.”

The Terriers’ next game is the anticipated Wansbeck derby against local rivals Ashington at Welfare Park on Boxing Day.

Skinner said that it is a “big game” and one that Bedlington will “look forward to”.

Bedlington: Staples (McCafferty 48 [Glasper 78]), Walker, Dobson, Keenan, Harmison (Sayer 46), K Nellis, Blandford, Walton (Cockburn 65), Scott (Young 65), J Nellis (Harvey 76), Williamson (McGorrigan 76). Sub not Used: Dunn.

Newcastle: Pearson, Olley, Laidler (Williams 69), Kemen, Pollock (Suddick 69), Gillesphey, Holmes (Smith 46), Bigirimana (Gibson 62), Campbell, Quinn, Smith (Ward 62). Subs not used: Woolston, Longstaff.