Bedlington Terriers 1 Marske United 1
By Andrew McDonnell
An own-goal in the dying seconds of the game denied Bedlington Terriers all three points against Marske United at Welfare Park.
Neither team was able to take control of the game during the first-half due to the blustery conditions, although both sides had good opportunities to go ahead.
The home side suffered a set-back when Ryan McGorrigan was forced off through injury just a minute before the break after he landed awkwardly on his ankle.
Bedlington caught their opponents out 13 minutes before the end, Andrew Keenan slotted home Stephen Young’s pass, thus after the latter dispossessed the defender on the edge of the Marske box.
The Terriers were pegged back with seconds to play as the visitors scored through an own-goal from Little, who headed into his own net after a powerful in-swinging cross was misjudged.
Under new manager Gary Innes, the Terriers seemed to have turned over a new leaf in recent weeks, and they came into the game with high hopes after last week’s spirited second-half performance at Newcastle Benfield.
Stephen Young almost caught Robert Dean off-guard when his shot was caught by the wind and almost sailed over the keeper.
Although they were fighting against the wind, the visitors had a great opportunity to break the deadlock when Darren Hollingsworth’s snapshot was just over the bar.
Keeper Dan Staples, whose error cost Bedlington last weekend, was called into action just after the 10 minute mark as he produced a sublime save to keep Jamie Owens’ shot out.
Bedlington only had one real opportunity thereafter in the half, Ryan McGorrigan pulled the ball across the 6-yard box for Young, but the striker couldn’t manage to get anything on it.
The latter was then found in space just a moment later, but again the visitors failed to make the most of their opportunity to get ahead in the game.
An action-packed opening 20 minutes were followed by a period of scrappy football where neither side could manage to get on top of the game.
As half-time approached the Terriers suffered another injury setback. McGorrigan landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge for the ball, Andrew Keenan come on in his place as the forward headed for the dressing rooms.
The home side would have felt disappointed not to make use of the wind factor in the first-half as the sides went in at the interval with the scores level.
The roles were then reversed, the Terriers were put on the back-foot in the opening stages of the second-half, both Owens and Garvie had great chances to put Marske level, but yet again Staples parried their shots away.
Owens then picked up the ball 25-yards from goal after a switch of play from the right-back, his shot was sailing into the top-corner, but Staples pulled off yet another fine stop.
Bedlington’s first venture into their oppositions half came after the hour mark, but Jordan Nellis’ cross was intercepted in front of the anticipating Lee Scott, who was ready to head at goal.
With 13 minutes remaining, the Terriers took the lead through substitute Keenan who made no mistake in front of goal, after Young dispossessed Thomas Bott on the edge of the Marske penalty area.
As the clock ticked towards full-time, the visitors were threatening to get an equaliser, but they couldn’t seem to find one moment of magic to test Staples again.
This was until Little misjudged a powerful looping cross from the right, the defender tried to head over his own bar, but instead headed it straight past the helpless keeper with seconds left on the clock.
Ninety minutes of solid defending from the home side was broken, and as the full-time whistle blew moments later, they were left shell-shocked.
One of their most complete performances under new manager Gary Innes was blown by a defensive error moments before the final whistle was blown.
Bedlington remain 14th in the EBAC Northern League, three points behind Whitley Bay, but they go into games with Newton Aycliffe (home) and Sunderland RCA (away) with the expectancy of getting good results in both games.
Bedlington: Staples, Harvey, Walmsley, Davison, K.Nellis, Little, Young (Dunn), Watson, Scott, McGorrigan (Keenan 44), J.Nellis Subs Not Used: Dobson, Morton, Innes
Marske: Dean, Gibson (Wheatley 40), O’Sullivan (Kelly 77), Johnston, Bott, Hollingsworth, Macdonald, Butterworth, Brunskill, Owens, Garvie (Wright 80) Subs Not Used: Gamble, Hood
Terriers Man of the Match: Keelan Nellis