Bedlington Terriers found themselves on the receiving end of two controversial penalty decisions as they were defeated 2-0 by Shildon at Dean Street.
The Railwaymen took the lead on 27 minutes, Mark Doninger slotted the penalty straight down the middle, but Dean Briggs struck the crossbar four minutes later with his penalty.
Former Bedlington man Doninger scored his second spot-kick of the game just after the hour mark after Michael Rae was deemed to have been fouled inside the area by Marc Dummett.
Sam Walton and David Berry made their debuts for the club, as Bedlington fielded a very youthful squad with nine of the 15 players being 22-years-old and under.
It was the hosts who were on the front foot from the off, Doninger crossed in for Rae, Frazer Nairn parried away and Billy Greulich-Smith fired straight across the area.
Shildon were piling serious pressure on their opponents, just like on the final day of last season, and Kyle Fryatt was causing problems with his pace down the wing.
The youngster put in a seriously good delivery after beating his man and it was Doninger who headed the cross, diving forward, but the effort was off target.
Bedlington’s first foothold in the game came after 20 minutes, they started to push higher up the field, and looked a little more free-flowing in attack.
Briggs found Kallum McGlen with a well-timed through-ball, keeper Jake Johnson rushed to the forward, but he hit his clearance straight off the Bedlington man, causing mass panic at
With all the opportunities that the hosts were creating, they weren’t as clinical as they would have been expecting, and frustration was clear to see as efforts were going wayward.
However, the deadlock was eventually broken just before the half-hour mark, Fryatt darted into the box and went down under Marc Dummett’s challenge.
A penalty was awarded after the officials took quite a while to ponder about the decision, and Doninger made no mistake and slotted the spot-kick straight down the middle.
The hosts were rewarded for their bright start to the game, and could have doubled their lead moments later, but Rae’s curling effort sailed wide of the post.
Briggs’ trickery and nifty footwork drew a foul in the box, and Andy Ferrell’s men had the perfect chance to equalise four minutes later against this season’s title-favourites.
The penalty was smashed against the crossbar by the Gateshead loanee, and Shildon were let off the hook for their mistake.
Liam Hudson came ever so close twice, with the first chance being cleared off the line by Carl Jones and the latter, five minutes before the break, saved by the keeper after hooking the cross towards goal.
There was just enough time left before the whistle blew for Fryatt to strike to foot of the post after delicately flicking on the through ball past Nairn.
Debutant David Berry was forced off two minutes into the second-half with an injury allowing Stephen Buzzeo to make his first appearance of the season.
Ferrell’s side started strongly and had the opposition on the back foot for the first 15 minutes of the second-half, Briggs’ free-kick found Walton at the back-post, but his shot was deflected just wide.
Regardless of the bright start, Shildon were awarded another penalty against the run of play, Billy Greulich-Smith was controversially judged to have been fouled inside the box.
Just like the first penalty, Doninger stepped up and done his job by sending the keeper the wrong way to double his sides lead.
The deficit still didn’t affect the way the Terriers played, they still were hunting for a goal, and Briggs was showing his class on and off the ball.
Nairn was called upon twice in quick succession on 75 minutes, Paul Connor latched upon a deflection and the goalkeeper saved well, and then with his legs moments later from the
Briggs had time to create one final chance two minutes before the end, finding Hudson, who teed up Walton, but the midfielder couldn’t find the target.
Despite the defeat, Ferrell will have plenty of positives to take from the performance going into the Whitley Bay and West Allotment Celtic games.
Bedlington more than held their own throughout the 90 minutes away from home against a side that have started the season like a house on fire, especially with such a young side.
Shildon: Johnson, Groves, Robsion (Brackstone 46), Moore, Jones, Brown, Fryatt, Wing, Rae
(Connor 68), Doninger (Davis 63), Greulich-Smith
Subs Not Used: Hudson, Ellison
Terriers: Nairn, Nellis, Dummett, Berry (Buzzeo 47), Skidmore (Harvey 68), Gourley,
K.McGlen, Briggs, Stephenson (Laviers 82), Hudson, Sam Walton
Subs Not Used: Ferrell
Referee: Scott Taylor
Assistants: Craig Gilbraith and Christopher Newton