Terriers take the scalp of Whitley Bay

Bedlington Terriers' Anthony Shandran takes on Whitley Bay's Gareth Williams.'Photo by Michael Boyle
Bedlington Terriers' Anthony Shandran takes on Whitley Bay's Gareth Williams.'Photo by Michael Boyle
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BEDLINGTON Terriers travelled to Whitley Bay on Saturday in the STL Northern League and returned will all three points.

The Terriers were forced to reshuffle the thread bare squad due to niggling injuries and it meant starts for Mark Convery, Colin Morton and Steve Bowey.

The unlucky Craig Hubbard had to make do with a place on the bench.

The first chance fell to Tony Shandran in the second minute when he got the better of Whitley defender Chris Reid but was unable to keep his shot down and it cleared keeper Kyle Hayes’s bar.

Bedlington made most of the early running with neat possession football from Convery and Stuart Elliott probing away for the killer pass.

On six minutes the Bedlington defence were given a wakeup call when prolific striker Paul Chow evaded his marker in the box, but he could only plant his header over from a good position.

The Terriers had a good chance themselves on ten minutes when Steven Baptist planted a left wing free kick on to the head of Shandran, but he could not find the target.

Terriers keeper Craig Pickering was equal to former Bedlington midfielder Paul Robinson’s 22-yard drive.

Shandran had a great chance to open his account on 32 minutes when a long ball into the inside left channel saw him beat defender David Pounder before he unleashed a powerful strike that looked destined for the far corner but just drifted wide with Colin Morton just unable to apply a touch.

The deadlock was broken on 37 minutes and its was that man Shandran who got his 30th league goal of the season.

A long punt up field by Pickering was allowed to bounce by Reid and Shandran got his body between the defender and the ball and muscled his way into the penalty area, and as Hayes came out Shandran coolly slipped the ball past him and into the net.

This was no more than the dominant Terriers deserved for their work and skilful play.

A great save on 52 minutes by Pickering prevented Whitley Bay from getting back into the game when a left wing cross by Craig MacFarlane was flicked on by Lee Kerr to Chow only for Pickering to show great reflexes and tip the ball over.

Bedlington increased their lead on 55 minutes when marauding right back Stephen Harrison found himself deep in the Bay penalty area.

He took on Gareth Williams and his ball inside was deflected over the goalkeeper, and despite the best efforts of Darren Timmons to keep it out, into the net.

Whitley Bay responded and on 57 minutes MacFarlane beat two defenders before cutting in from the left only to fire his shot wide.

Bedlington should have killed the game off when a long ball from Convery saw Shandran again get the better of Williams, and as the ball bounced around, Bowey pounced on it only to fire straight at keeper Hayes from six yards out.

On the hour a mistake by Elliott allowed Kerr to steal the ball deep in the penalty area and in trying to make amends, Elliott brought him down.

Chow sent Pickering the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The whole dynamic of the game had changed and it was Whitley Bay who were now on the front foot and asking all of the questions.

The Terriers had to re-shuffle when the injured Chris Carr had to be replaced by Stephen Stewart.

Despite the changes, the Bedlington defence stood firm and it was the Terriers who began carving out the chances when first Convery then Baptist had shots from distance.

The Terriers made their second change with Hubbard replacing the injured Bowey.

There was almost a fluke goal for Whitley Bay on 78 minutes when Reid cleared the ball from just inside the Terriers half and it carried further than expected and almost caught Pickering out.

On 83 minutes it was Harrison who brought the best out of Hayes when, after being found by a great ball from Convery, he fired a great left foot shot that was brilliantly kept out by the Whitley Bay goalkeeper.

There was one final scare on 88 minutes when a hopeful high ball saw Chow out jump Pickering only to send the ball narrowly wide.

A couple of heart in the mouth moments in the Terriers penalty area in the final couple of minutes came to nothing and there was great delight amongst the Bedlington team and supporters when the referee blew for full-time.

Some great performances with Carr and Peter Snowdon imperious in defence, Harrison superb in defence and attack but man of the match was Elliott who, despite conceding the penalty, was outstanding.

Bedlington Terriers entertain Guisborough Town on Saturday at Welfare Park, kick-off 3pm.