BEDLINGTON Terriers sat atop the EBAC Northern League division one table after the opening round of fixtures on Saturday night as they thumped Durham City 6-2 at Welfare Park.
A brace from Paul Brayson, plus strikes from Anthony Shandran, Kris Gate and substitutes Lawrence McKenna and Phil Bannister saw the home side record the emphatic win.
An early own goal by Andrew Leason saw Durham in with a chance, but by the time Elliot Cutts tapped-in City’s second the game was already over as a contest.
It looked like it could be a long day for the home side when former Evo-Stik league side Durham City took the lead after just two minutes.
A long ball from the back beat the Bedlington defence and saw right winger John Home-Jackson break free of left back Stuart Elliott.
Home-Jackson took aim from 12 yards out but his shot received a massive deflection off defender Leason, which wrong-footed Kevin Morton in the Terriers goal to give the Citizens a 1-0 lead.
Home-Jackson had chances to make it 2-0 but was denied by Morton as he pulled off two fantastic saves to keep the home side in the game.
Bedlington equalised on 18 minutes through forward Shandran.
Brayson received the ball down the right hand side before crossing into the penalty area where Shandran was waiting to hit a powerful strike into the corner of the net.
On 26 minutes Durham had a goal disallowed as Gradziak was in an offside position.
Minutes later Bedlington took the lead through striker Brayson.
Andy Ferrell’s corner drifted over everyone in the penalty area. Gate chased down the over hit cross before sliding the ball to Brayson in the penalty area and he turned his man on the left hand edge of the six-yard box before lashing a powerful effort through the City goalkeeper.
Brayson picked up a second before the half ended.
Some neat interplay between Shandran, Gate and Mark Convery saw the ball end up at the feet of Brayson in the penalty area and he took a touch before firing into the bottom corner, making it 3-1 at the half.
The second half was controlled, for the most part, by the home side, but it was not until the 70th minute before Bedlington added to their lead.
Brayson broke the offside trap once more and was left one-on-one with keeper Lewis Graham.
Graham appeared to bring down Brayson as the striker rounded him, but the referee waved play on and the clearance landed at the feet of Gate who ran towards the Durham goal, this time he won the one-on-one opportunity and it was 4-1.
It was 5-1 on 72 minutes as substitute McKenna hit as vicious half volley past Graham in the Durham goal from 15 yards out after another Ferrell corner.
Cutts pulled one back after tapping home a Durham City strike that had cannoned off the crossbar.
There was still time for Bannister to force home a sixth Terriers goal from a Steven Baptist cross on 85 minutes, but the game was already over as a contest, leaving Bedlington Terriers on top of the EBAC Northern League on Saturday evening before the round of midweek fixtures.