Terriers dump league leaders out of FA Vase

Bedlington Terriers v Sunderland RCA
Bedlington Terriers v Sunderland RCA

BEDLINGTON Terriers advanced to the second round of the FA Vase with a comprehensive win over STL Northern League division one leaders Sunderland RCA at Welfare Park.

Goals from Ian Graham, Craig Hubbard, Anthony Shandran and Tommy English earned Terriers a second round tie at away to Parkgate FC, who play in the Baris Northern Counties East League premier division.

Bedlington went into the game without Chris Philipson, Chris Carr, Stephen Harrison, Craig James, Anthony Chapman, Dean Douglas and Paul Swithenbank, whilst Steven Stewart, John Brackstone and Steven Richardson were only able to make the bench and recent signing Steven Baptist was cup tied.

From the first whistle there proved to be only one team up for the game as Richard Flynn went close before Steven Bowey was denied by the keeper.

Bedlington got their noses in front on 20 minutes when a ball over the defence put Graham clear one-on-one with the keeper and he produced an exquisite chip from the edge of the box.

Delight turned to delirium a minute later when the home side doubled their lead.

Graham this time turning provider, heading down to Hubbard who produced an unstoppable volley for his first in a Terriers shirt.

At this point, the Terriers were rampant, entertaining the crowd with a display of defensive domination, midfield mastery and awesome attacking.

The latter was again prominent with ten minutes of the half left when midfielder Stuart Elliott, playing in an unfamiliar right back role, saw his cross hit first time by Graham on the edge of the box only to be denied by the crossbar.

And Graham ended the half just missing out on his second, cutting inside the defender and blasting a terrific effort just wide of the near post.

The second half started with Bedlington on the attack, penning Sunderland into their half, and it took only five minutes for the lead to be increased.

The ball was played down the left and James Novak wriggled past one defender as he went into the box and, with a shooting opportunity looming, was clipped from behind by Andrew Jennings.

The referee’s assistant signalled a penalty and Tony Shandran stepped up to score his 20th of the season, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Thisfinally spurred the visitors into action and Jennings made amends soon after the penalty, scoring with a deflected shot to give his side a glimmer of hope.

Play started to concentrate more in the Bedlington half as RCA continued to push for a second, but with Flynn and and his defensive team looking solid, another goal never looked likely.

As the half wore on Sunderland continued to control the majority of possession so Bedlington introduced Steven Stewart, replacing Mark Convery.

The visitors did little with all of that possession and in the closing stages it was Bedlington who looked to put the game beyond doubt.

With the game into injury time, a ball across the edge of the box found English in space and produced a clinical finish to make it 4-1.

An impressive performance from Bedlington who dominated proceedings, even when Sunderland were pushing they always looked like they had a gear or two to go into if needed.

Bedlington: K Morton, Elliott, Novak, Snowdon, Flynn, Bowey, Convery (Stewart), Hubbard, Graham (Richardson), Shandran, English. Subs not used: Pickering, Brackstone, C Morton.

Bedlington were due to entertain Newcastle Benfield in the league last night (Wednesday) before making the trip to newly promoted Guisborough Town on Saturday.