ASHINGTON CFC and Bedlington Terriers FC served up one of the most exciting derby matches for several seasons last week at Woodhorn Lane.
In the end Steven Stewart’s goal shortly before half-time decided the outcome in favour of the Terriers.
There were numerous chances at either end – home keeper Karl Dryden produced a couple of world class saves during the second half whilst efforts from Ashington’s Darren Lough and Jonny Godsmark rattled the bar.
Dryden excelled as he got his hand onto a Mark Convery effort to tip it onto the post, but from the rebound Stewart pounced to slot the ball into the far corner for what turned out to be the all important strike three minutes from the interval.
However, both managers voiced a difference of opinion in their post match verdict.
Ashington boss Gary Middleton said: “We started well and were much improved from our previous performance at Spennymoor.
“I also thought we were a shade unlucky to go a goal down after having the best of the first 40 minutes.
“We were slow out the blocks for the second half and Bedlington should have gone two or three up.
“But in the last 20 minutes they were hanging on and our downfall was we couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net.
“It was a cracking derby but I thought we deserved a point.”
With reference to his keeper Dryden, Middleton added: “In recent games Karl has pulled off some great saves without getting the recognition and tonight I thought he was terrific.”
Keith Perry, half of the management team at Bedlington alongside Tony Lowery said: “Yes, it was a cracking tie. Both sides gave their all but overall I thought we deserved to win.
“Leading up to the last 20 minutes of the first half I thought we started to get into our stride.
“We kept possession well and got the opening for the goal.
“We dominated for the first 20 minutes of the second half and had Ashington on the rack, but due to a mixture of good opportunities which were squandered and three sublime saves by Dryden, who I thought had an outstanding game, we were still looking to get the second goal.
“When there is only one goal separating the sides the team who are behind come into the game and get a chance.
“Ashington did that and had a few good chances and could have come away with a share of the spoils.
“From our point of view, when we were on top we didn’t kill the game off.
“Looking back after the final whistle, I thought we deserved to take all three points.”
Ashington: Dryden, Taylor, Lough, Shaw, Atkin, Walmsley, Godsmark, O’Dea, Young, Bell, Johnson. Subs not used: Wightman, Mullen, Bainbridge.
Bedlington Terriers: Newton, Phillipson, Brackstone (Christenson 46 mins), Baptist, Carr, Elliott, Chapman, Convery, Benjamin (Hodgson 80 mins), Shandran, Stewart. Subs not used: Snowden, Dugdale, C Morton.