Shandran hat-trick sweeps away Celtic

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HAVING emerged from a tricky home game against Esh Winning with three points and three second half goals, Bedlington Terriers FC travelled to West Allotment Celtic to take on former manager Tom Wade’s side.

Bedlington made the perfect start and were in front early.

The league’s top scorer Alex Benjamin hooked the ball across the face of goal and strike partner Anthony Shandran got between two defenders to to fire it through the keeper’s legs.

Shandran went close again before the home side levelled on 21 minutes.

Novak played in a cross from the left which was well finished by Matthew Wade.

But the visitors got themselves back in front just after the half hour mark.

A well worked free kick between Richard Hodgson and Mark Convery saw the latter play in a cross which was met by the head of Chris Carr at the near post.

The lead was increased when a through ball by Hodgson sent Shandran through down the left side, advancing on the goalkeeper with a defender closing down, he expertly side-footed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.

Building on a first half performance which saw Bedlington hold on at times but finish their chances well, both sides were going for goal after the interval.

A Convery corner was delivered right into the middle which saw a crowd of players challenge the goalkeeper who managed to get enough on the ball to knock it away.

A defender tried to clear but found his attempt blocked by Hodgson. The ball fell to Benjamin near the penalty area and his first touch took it under control while he spun and placed a shot towards the bottom left corner only to see it go agonisingly wide.

West Allotment made their first change with Gordon coming on to replace West player/assistant manager and former Terriers midfielder Gareth McAlindon.

Bedlington also made a change with Steven Stewart coming on to replace Ali Henderson.

A through ball from Convery found the impressive Shandran, who after spinning away from one challenge played the ball wide to Stewart in space on the right and he stepped inside to create space for the curling shot which drifted just past the far post.

West Allotment made their second change when Dunn came on to replace Evans.

The returning Stewart was struggling with a knock and was replaced only 15 minutes after coming on by Andrew Dugdale.

Benjamin incensed the home bench when he caught keeper Bannon in a 50-50 challenge to a through ball.

The incident was seen by the referee as a foul but warranted nothing more than a talking to.

The home bench were infuriated but the ball was on the floor to be won, there were no complaints from the players as it was clear to see there was no malice in the challenge.

With Shandran looking for his hat-trick he again cut inside from the wing with a mazy run, beating two defenders before a dummy put the goalkeeper on the floor, however, his shot was cleared off the line.

Bedlington were in control, playing good, attractive football on the ground.

And the game was all but over as a contest when the Terriers were awarded a penalty and Hall was sent off for stopping a certain goal with his arm.

There were no complaints when he was shown a straight red card for the offence.

The resulting penalty was converted by Shandran to seal his third of the game, although Bannon was close to keeping the ball out when diving down to his left, getting a strong hand on the ball.

Terriers made their final change with the returning Stuart Elliott replaced by Colin Morton for the last seven minutes.

A shot from the edge of the area by Shandran was saved by goalkeeper Bannon who was unable to hold onto the ball which came out to the on-rushing Benjamin, but his effort was superbly saved by the face of the West Allotment goalkeeper and out for a corner.

The resulting set-piece by Convery found the head of Alex Benjamin who puthimself on the scoresheet.

Benjamin nearly got his second minutes later when he was played through on goal, taking the ball past the keeper his goalbound right footed effort was cleared by a defender.

The final whistle sealed a deserved victory which saw an impressive performance display from Bedlington Terriers against relegation threatened West Allotment.

Up next for the Terriers was the League Cup match last night (Wednesday) against Spennymoor Town at Welfare Park while the Terriers make the trip to Norton & Stockton Ancients on Saturday.