Match Report:Terriers Hold Title-Chasers West Auckland (Andrew McDonnell)

 Bedlington-West

 

Bedlington Terriers kept their first clean-sheet in 22 games as they held title-chasing West Auckland Town to a 0-0 draw at Welfare Park.

A first-half that was dominated by the visitors ended goalless, Steven Richardson and Craig Ruddy both had great chances and Alex Francis came closest when his shot hit the crossbar.

A very open second-half was filled with chances for both sides, the home side should have really took the lead through Lee Scott, but he failed to hit the target on both occasions.

West found Luc Glasper in fine form, the youngster denied kept the visitors at bay all afternoon. A heroic goal line clearance moments before the final whistle through Keelan Nellis topped off a superb defensive display from Bedlington.

The Terriers came into the game off the back of two heavy defeats against Newton Aycliffe and Sunderland RCA, they knew the visitors would cause them problems throughout.

West dominated in the opening 20 minutes, with chances to break the deadlock falling to former Terriers man Richardson and his strike-partner Moffat.

Moffat, who is Auckland’s top scorer this season, played through a wide-open Jake Fowler, but failed to hit the target with West’s better opportunity of the half.

The game opened up thereafter with Bedlington pushing higher up the pitch, they withstood the opening spell of pressure with a superb defensive display.

Although there were 15 places between the sides before kick-off, the middle stages of the first-half were contested evenly, with both sides lacking the cutting edge in the final third.

Half-time was looming and with three minutes to play Francis’ shot hit the underside of the bar and out to Ruddy whose shot was parried behind for a corner, thus after Richardson drew a save out of debutant Luc Glasper.

Bedlington were certainly the happier of the two sides going in at the break, the scores were level at 0-0, but West will have been disappointed not to go in with the lead.

The urgency from both sides was clear to see from the get-go, with the opening exchanges being very open as they were both looking to get the first goal in the contest.

K.Nellis played over a long ball to Scott 10 minutes into the second-half, the striker however, took too long to get his shot away and the defender managed to get back and make a goal-saving tackle.

The visitors were still causing a real threat to the Bedlington back four, Francis neatly skipped past challenges from Marc Walmsley and Steven Little, but his shot was tipped behind by Glasper.

Another brilliant chance came Scott’s way, this time skipper Liam Davison was the provider, but just like his first chance he squandered the opportunity, due to an unfortunate bobble up off the surface.

Moments later Andrew Keenan lofted his pass over the West’s back four, but Stephen Young’s first glimpse of a chance was miskicked wide.

Although the home side were showing courage and determination to try get ahead against the league-leader, they were almost caught out 15 minutes before the end.

Moffat saw a lucky ricochet off the Bedlington defender fall into his path, however, unlike previous weeks, he struck the shot straight at Glasper and another chance by the striker was squandered.

In the final 10 minutes of the game both sides could have easily got the important breakthrough.

Lewis Galpin was teed up on the edge of the Terriers penalty area by Francis, who brought the ball down on his chest, but his shot was dragged wide.

K.Nellis was called into action once again, the first time Glasper was beaten all afternoon was when Moffat fired his shot from 20-yards out, but the defender headed away the effort off the line.

Three additional minutes had come and gone in the blink of an eye, but to manager Gary Innes they must have felt like an eternity with West pushing for a late goal.

At the start of additional time Francis’ looping cross to the edge of the box was met fiercely by Tait, however, his shot was just off target when he fired it through a big group of players.

The Terriers managed to hold on for their first clean-sheet since mid-October and they go into next week’s game away to Consett with belief that they can get something out of the game.

Bedlington: Glasper, Morton, Walmsley, Davison, Little, K.Nellis, Keenan (Thompson 79), Watson, Scott, Young, J.Nellis Subs Not Used: McGorrigan, Dunn, Donohoe, Sayer

Bookings: Watson, Scott

West Auckland: Lowson, Pattison, Gordon, Gibson, Galpin, Tait, Francis (Skinner 70), Ruddy, Moffat, Richardson (T.White 70), Fowler Subs Not Used: J.White, Preston, Hebden

Bookings: Gibson, Tait

Man of the Match: Jordan Nellis

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