BEDLINGTON Terriers’ good run of late came to an abrupt end with defeat by Guisborough Town at Welfare Park on Saturday.
The Terriers were in confident mood after a ten-match unbeaten run.
The home made one change to the starting line-up with Craig Hubbard coming in to midfield for the suspended Stuart Elliott.
Even though Bedlington had the majority of early possession they found it difficult to carve out any clear chances.
The first real chance came on nine minutes when a free kick from Steven Baptist was pumped into the penalty area and despite several efforts to get a decisive touch the ball was cleared to safety.
On too many occasions the final pass was not good enough and for all the Bedlington possession, frustration quickly began to show amongst players and spectators.
Guisborough took confidence from the Terriers’ mistakes and had their first opportunity on 24 minutes when James Decosemo got away down the right and crossed into the middle where he found striker Nathan Steel, but his powerful shot went wide.
The Terriers did not heed the warning and within a minute an identical move saw a cross bounce right across the face of goal, causing indecision between the goalkeeper and defenders, with Steel forcing it in at the back post.
On 29 minutes Steve Bowey strode forward with purpose and eventually found Tony Shandran in the inside channel but he was quickly closed down by the Guisborough defence and could not find the target with his right foot effort.
Mark Convery tried his luck from around 18 yards but his shot went high and wide.
The Terriers put some great passing together on 34 minutes when Harrison and Novak combined to eventually find the lurking Shandran but he could only fire wide.
Despite constant attacks from the home side, Guisborough remained strong and resolute as half-time arrived.
The second half saw the pattern of play mirror the first, with the game mostly confined to midfield with both defences having the upper hand.
A change came on 58 minutes when Steven Stewart and Glen Robson replaced Chris Carr and Convery.
As the half progressed the Terriers gained the upper hand and got their reward on 70 minutes. An enormous clearance from goalkeeper Craig Pickering was flicked on by Shandran and the ball found the on-rushing Robson who deftly flicked the ball past Dixon in the Guisborough goal.
Route one but Terriers were level and back in the game.
Bedlington were in the ascendency and pressed for a second goal.
Great inter-passing play resulted in a series of corners for Peter Snowdon and Baptist going close.
But dogged defending by Guisborough restricted the Terriers to these few chances, and with Bedlington pushing on, they were almost hit with a sucker punch on 80 minutes.
Only an outstanding reflex save from Pickering managed to keep out a Luke Bythway effort, when he clawed the ball away from almost inside the net and out for a corner.
The resulting corner caused consternation in the Terriers defence but they managed to get the ball away and give themselves some respite.
Unfortunately this only delayed the killer blow.
On 84 minutes a free kick taken by Gell found the head of the unmarked Bythway and his glancing header nestled in the corner of the net past a disconsolate Pickering.
The Terriers had it all to do and with so little time left it called for all-out attack with Snowdon joining front line.
Constant pressing in the final moments brought a series of corners and even Pickering went up to cause problems.
Indeed it was Pickering who had the best and final chance of the game when he found the ball at his feet from a cleared corner around 12 yards out.
His sweetly hit volley was arrowing for the net only for defender O’Sullivan to stoop and block the shot with his head and out for another corner.
Before the corner could be taken, the referee blew for full-time.
On the balance of play, Bedlington did not do quite enough to have won the game but defeat was a little harsh.