A young and emerging Bedlington Terriers team narrowly lost 1-0 at a well organised Dunston outfit on Tuesday evening.
Both sides had been in great form heading into the game with Terriers and Dunston occupying the top two spots respectively in the Ebac Northern League first division before kick-off.
On 15 minutes Dunston would have taken the lead but for an outstanding piece of goalkeeping from Sean McCafferty.
An incisive delivery from the right was met by the head of striker Andrew Bulford but his goal-bound effort was tipped onto the post to keep the scores level.
With just over half an hour gone Bedlington produced their best move of the half.
A long ball forward was expertly controlled by Stephen Young and he set Jordan Nellis away with a clever back-heel. But Nellis was fouled after playing the ball beyond the opposing defender who would have received more than a booking had it not been for his covering full back.
The resulting free kick was then narrowly fired over the bar by midfielder Scott Blandford.
With only five minutes to half-time Dunston took the lead after some sharp passing down the right flank led to the ball being crossed into the Bedlington box, where it was met on the half-volley by Andrew Bulford and his effort was deflected in off the bar via the unfortunate James Harmison, giving Dunston the lead at the break.
The second half was an even albeit relatively scrappy affair with Bedlington often forced to play route one due to the relentless pressing by the opposition.
Dunston could have put some undeserved gloss on the scoreline with seven minutes left as substitute Scott Fenwick hit the post with a great long-range effort.
Terriers pushed in the closing minutes for an equaliser and had long range shots from substitutes Connor Winter and Craig Ellison but they just could not find a way through a resolute defence.
Following the game Bedlington manager Ian Skinner said: “I was pleased with our performance against Dunston.
“The players’ attitude and effort was fantastic in what was a tight and tense game.
“We were a little unfortunate with the deflection which gave Dunston what proved to be the winning goal, although over the 90 minutes I feel a draw would have been a fair result.
“If we can continue that type of performance with a little more quality in the attacking half then we are in for what could be a good season.
“It is, however, vital that we do not let our standards drop and that we look to get back to winning ways quickly, starting with the game on Saturday away to Crook Town.”