Stephenson’s late strike hands Terriers win

Mason Stephenson produced a last-minute winner which maintained Bedlington Terriers’ perfect start to pre-season as they were put to the test against Ashington Colliers at Hirst Welfare.

A sublime first-half performance from the visitors was capped off when Marc Walton produced a thunderbolt which sailed into the top-corner, thus after Kallum McGlen gave Bedlington the lead.

Tiredness started to show after the hour and the Colliers pulled it back level through Smiles and Webb, but with 30 seconds left on the clock Stephenson struck a bullet to secure the 3-2 win.

After Tuesday night’s victory over Red House Farm, the Terriers were hoping to record their second win in as many games, while keeping a clean sheet.

It was a composed start to the game from both sides with the visitors looking to take control of proceedings in the middle of the park after Ferrell started for the first time this pre-season.

Bedlington may well have found themselves one down if it wasn’t for Dan Staples in goal producing a brilliant save to deny Carr, but with 15 minutes on the clock the deadlock was broken.

K.McGlen broke down the right and after darting inside past the defender, he fired his shot across the goal and into the far corner.

Walton, who scored a brace against Red House Farm, doubled the lead 10 minutes later when his shot sailed into the top-corner, giving the keeper no chance.

Adam Harvey showed, once again, his quality with free-flowing passing and movement, he may well have added a third, but his shop was straight at the keeper.

Bedlington went in at the break two goals to the good after a dominant first-half display, and that continued into the second-half.

Lance McGlen caught a Colliers defender in possession, but his neat work and determination wasn’t rewarded when his effort bobbled away past the far post.

Manager Ferrell showed the he is still a cut above the rest in the centre of midfield and his audacious attempt from 40 yards only just sailed over the bar, saving the keeper from embarrassment.

The Colliers pulled a goal back just after the hour mark when Smiles was allowed time on the ball on the edge of the box, he picked his spot and curled it into the bottom corner.

Stephen Buzzeo almost restored the two-goal lead, but his free-kick, which was heading into the top-corner, was tipped onto the bar and behind by Reveley.

Following Ferrell’s set-piece which just sailed over, the hosts then went to the other end, after a clever counter-attack, and found an equaliser six minutes before the end when half-time substitute Webb headed home at the back post.

However, the lapse in concentration from the Colliers allowed the Terriers to find an equaliser just moments before the end when Ferrell skipped past challenge after challenge to put the ball on point for Stephenson.

The trialist, who has shown signs of real quality in both pre-season games now, skipped forward and unleashed his shot, which sailed past the keeper to give Bedlington the win that they deserved.

Bedlington now have two weeks until their next pre-season clash away to Team Northumbria, but in between is a charity match at Welfare Park against a Koast Radio team.

Ashington Colliers: Reveley, Hayton (Hills 46), Jones (Watson 46), Ryder (Race 46), Robson (Richardson 46), Schiavetta (Costello 46), Carr (Mullen 46), Gibson (Gray 46), Gilchrist (Bolam 46), Baines (Webb 46), Brown (Smiles 46).

Terriers: Staples, L.McGlen, Skidmore (Lewis Davison 46), Liam Davison, Dummett (Stephenson (T) 61), Nellis, Harvey, Buzzeo, Walton (Laviers (T) 67), K.McGlen (T) (Graham (T), Ferrell.