Fatigue Shows as Terriers Lose Final Pre-Season Match
By Andrew McDonnell
Two games in under 24 hours took it’s tole as Bedlington Terriers were defeated 2-1 by Chester-le-Street Town at Moor Park.
Neither side managed to find the killer final ball throughout the first-half, but it was the Terriers who were dominating their opposition.
Michael Hepplewhite gave the hosts the lead after an hour from the penalty-spot, and their lead was doubled 10 minutes before the end when Steven Wood volleyed home.
The Terriers responded almost straight away and pulled a goal back through Lance McGlen, but it wasn’t enough as the Durham outfit ran out winners.
Andy Ferrell’s men played Whickham just half-a-day prior to kick-off, running out 3-2 winners in a tough contest, as they looked to close their pre-season campaign with another win.
Despite there being nothing to show in the first 15 minutes, it was the visitors who settled quickly and had a few breaks, but the final ball was missing.
Half-an-hour went before the first critical save was made, Dan Staples was forced into a fine save when Scott Heslop beat the offside trap.
Staples was treated for a knock, but continued to play, and the sides went in at the break goalless with the Terriers still needing to find the final ball.
Two minutes into the second-half Liam Hudson found Ferrell, who headed just over and this encouraged Bedlington to step up a gear.
Adam Harvey struck a shot from the edge of the box, Aiden Ames produced a fine save down low to parry behind for a corner.
Hudson and Marc Walton both had chances within quick succession, but couldn’t find the breakthrough, but against the run of play, the hosts took the lead.
Stephen Little fouled Martin Thompson in the area and Hepplewhite fired home the penalty to give Chester-le-Street a surprise lead on the hour.
Mason Stephenson came on in place of Walton and some brave defending from Town denied Bedlington as the pushed hard for the equaliser.
Marc Dummett, who was a stand-out performer against Whickham, forced his way through the opposing defence only to fire over the bar.
Time was running out fast and despite the pressure from the Terriers, the hosts managed to double their advantage in the game through Wood.
Bedlington simply paused and appealed for, what appeared to be, and offside decision, but the striker continued and volleyed Jake Stafford’s cross past the keeper.
Ames produced another brilliant save six minutes before the end, this time it was from little, and Lance McGlen shot home to give the visitors hope of getting another.
The game ended in defeat in the Terriers’ final pre-season game, they now have a week to recuperate ahead of the season opener against Dunston UTS at Welfare Park.
Chester-le-Street: Ames, Honour, Reynolds (Graver 20), Stephenson, Grant-Soulsby, Mole, Wood, Stafford, Thompson, Heslop (Davidson 58). Hepplewhite
Terriers: Staples, L.McGlen, Little (Sommervile (T) 70), Gourley (T), Skidmore (Dummett 70), Pendlebury (Nellis 69), Ferrell, Harvey, McBride (Stephenson 61), Hudson, Walton (Hutchinson (T) 70)