Walton Bags Brace as Terriers Secure Victory
By Andrew McDonnell
Marc Walton completed his second brace in two games to secure Bedlington Terriers another victory in pre-season, this time a 3-2 win over Whickham at Glebe Sports Ground.
Walton gave the visitors the lead after 20 minutes, but then doubled their advantage four minutes before half-time by smashing home his penalty.
Mason Stephenson restored Bedlington’s two-goal advantage after Chris Naisby pulled one back 10 minutes into the second-half, but a late Mark Pattison strike wasn’t enough.
The visitors came into the game having defeated Shankhouse 3-1 just two days prior, their squad was stretched with injury, but it was a fairly even start to the contest.
Craig Jelley squandered a golden opportunity after only two minutes played, he miss-hit his shot after Mark Fitzpatrick found a decisive pass across the six-yard box.
They may well have taken the lead moments later however, Chad Collins saw his effort cleared off the line by Mason Stephenson following a scramble in the box.
The nervous start to the game ended and Ferrell’s men began to settle, passing freely and relaxing more on the ball, helping them to put pressure on the opposition.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute that Bedlington’s first chance came, Walton found Ferrell at the back of the penalty area, but the midfielder side-footed his shot wide.
The contest was scrappy, the hosts were looking to get in their opponents faces while playing the long-ball game, whereas the visitors looked to be more free-flowing.
With only their second attempt of the game, the Terriers managed to get the important goal to go ahead, their trump-card came out on top and took advantage of some poor judgement.
Walton latched upon a loose pass, and after rounding the keeper, he chopped back onto his right-foot, and found the far corner for the breakthrough.
Dan Staples, who has been in fine form since his return, produced yet another top-draw save when he just managed to tip Naisby’s free-kick from the half-way line onto the bar.
Stephenson and Liam Hudson both managed to squander their chances before Walton found himself in the action once again just before the break.
The striker was fouled in the area, and took no time before he rifled the spot-kick into the very top-corner of the goal, leaving the keeper no chance to save it.
Bedlington may well have found themselves going in with more of an advantage, but Hudson headed just wide and Ferrell fired inches over the bar.
A brilliant start to the second-half was almost rewarded after 47 minutes, some neat one-touch football by Andy McBride and Walton allowed Ferrell to hit first-time, but Richard Heiniger tipped over.
A lapse in concentration allowed Jelley to get his shot away without any pressure, drawing a full-length save from Staples, Whickham were then allowed back into the game with the resulting corner.
Bedlington’s failure to defend a low-corner from Collins allowed Naiby to tap-in at the back-post to pull a goal back.
Walton practically created a carbon-copy of his first goal, this time at the other end, and the striker was unlucky not have hit the target with his effort just after the hour.
Hudson was causing problems all evening for the full-back, and after skipping past the challenge, he found McBride, but the forward’s touch let his down at the wrong moment.
The Home Guard came within inches of drawing level following Kalum Broadhead’s set-piece from outside the area.
Paul Dummett linked up well with Hudson down the flank all evening, the defender floated a through ball and the forward found Stephenson entering the box.
The youngster latched upon the pass, and after bringing the ball down brilliantly, he fired his shot away, the keeper saved, but could only parry it up and into the back of the net.
The game appeared to be all done and dusted given the chances Bedlington were creating, but Whickham made it a nervy close to the game after Pattison tapped home.
Frazer Nairn could only parry a third shot in a row into the path of the substitute, who scored the hosts second, and would have found it harder to miss.
Robin Falcus’ men came very close to snatching a draw in the dying minutes, Scott Swanson couldn’t get his feet sorted at the back-post and hit wide.
Ferrell’s men were put under real pressure in the game and they came out on top, looking stronger with each game played, and they now play Chester-le-Street under 24 hours later.
Whickham: Heiniger, Brown, Naisby (Hay 68), Jelley (Swanson 56), J.Peareth, R.Peareth, Soutar, Collins, Aiston (Pattison 61), Fitzpatrick, Rook
Terriers: Staples (Nairn 78), Nellis, Dummett, Ferrell, Little (Gourley (T) 61), Stoneman, Stephenson, Pendlebury (Skidmore 66), Walton, McBride (Summervile (T) 73), Hudson
Referee: Stephen Dial
Assistants: Gavin Scott and Jack Herriott