Clinical Celtic put Terriers to the sword

BEDLINGTON Terriers fell to their fourth straight defeat at the hands of Celtic Nation on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors had just six goal scoring opportunities all day but converted four of them through the feet of Stephen Skinner, Dean Douglas and Michael Reed.

Bedlington equalised at 1-1 through a Paul Brayson penalty and picked up a consolation on 72 minutes through Anthony Shandran.

Terriers controlled the early part of the game, creating the first chance.

Mark Convery crossed in the ball from the right onto the chest of Mark Doninger on the penalty spot, who brought it down for Brayson to take aim, but his tame volley was easily saved by Ryan Smith in goal.

The tide turned on eight minutes when Richard Pell was adjudged to have pulled down Nathan Porritt.

Stephen Skinner and Jeffrey Smith stood over the free kick 27 yards out, in line with the left edge of the penalty area. Skinner eventually took the kick right footed and curled his effort into the bottom right hand corner of Jonothan Ball’s net.

Bedlington continued to dominate possession from this point, and looked to get back on level terms quickly.

Another Convery cross was met by a defender in the penalty area and his clearance fell to Doninger on the half volley 20 yards out, but he could only steer his left footed effort wide.

The home side got their chance to level the scores on 17 minutes.

Phil Bannister was brought down by a defender in the penalty area, which the referee initially did not react to, with the referee’s assistant raising his flag and signalling for a penalty.

Brayson stepped up and stroked the ball home.

Immediately from the kick-off, Celtic nearly restored their lead. Michael Reed broke in behind the Terriers defence, but Ball slid at his feet, clutching the ball away from the attacker.

Bedlington should have taken the lead five minutes later from a series of chances from a corner.

Convery put the ball into the area, finding Steven Baptist at the back post. Baptist’s header was blocked with the ball falling to Bannister, but he saw his effort also blocked. Finally the ball fell to Chris Carr, whose right footed strike hit off a Celtic player who was on the line.

Brayson had a golden chance for a second on 31 minutes as Doninger found the striker beating the offside trap. Brayson was just about to hit his effort when Mark Butler got back in the nick of time, and toe-poked the ball back to the keeper.

Celtic Nation regained the lead one minute later through Dean Douglas.

The ball was played forward by the Celtic midfield towards Pell. The defender fell over and the ball rolled past him to an on-rushing Douglas and the wing man took a touch before hitting a powerful strike into the corner of the net.

Celtic then produced a goal of real quality on 41 minutes.

After some excellent interplay by the midfield, Porritt picked up the ball 30 yards out. He chipped a pinpoint accurate ball onto the foot of Reed, who hit home at the far post. A truly wonderful move.

After half-time, Bedlington continued to waste chance after chance.

Baptist ran down the left wing, beating three Nation defenders for strength and pace.

The winger curled in a left footed cross to Bannister on the edge of the six-yard box, but when it seemed easier to score, he hit the keeper in the midriff and Ryan Smith held on.

It became 4-1 to the visitors on the hour mark through more lacklustre defending.

Left back Jeff Smith broke, picking out Douglas running towards the left of the penalty area. The winger hit a first time strike past Ball.

At this stage Celtic had created just the five chances, but converted four, a clinical performance.

Bedlington struggled to muster much from then on, controlling possession but rarely threatening in the final third.

The introduction of Martin Brittain and Shandran seemed to spark some life into the home side.

Four minutes after their introduction they combined to give the home side hope.

Brittain received the ball down the right before rolling the ball into Shandran in the penalty area. The striker hit a right footed effort powerfully into the bottom left hand corner, reducing the deficit to two.

From this point on, Celtic began to frustrate the home side, controlling possession and running out the clock.

Douglas almost completed his hat-trick with another powerful strike, this time Ball parried the shot behind.

Terriers face Newcastle United Reserves in the Northumberland Senior Cup on Wednesday.