Terriers Survive Late Comeback to Earn Replay
By Andrew McDonnell
Bedlington Terriers survived a late rally from West Auckland Town to earn a replay in their FA Cup Extra Preliminary round tie as they drew 1-1 at Welfare Park.
Liam Hudson gave the Terriers a dream return to the competition as he fired home Andy McBride’s low cross after 11 minutes.
Fatigue started to affect the home side and late pressure paid dividend as Anthony Hume found the equaliser with 15 minutes to play, booking a replay at the WSI Stadium on Tuesday night.
Andy Ferrell’s men came into the game having earned their first point of the season during the week against Newcastle Benfield.
The game started fairly evenly with neither side wanting to risk a lot to go behind in the tie, but Hudson may well have put the hosts after just six minutes.
He cut back onto his right foot, wrong-footing his marker, but his shot from the edge of the visitor’s box was straight at the keeper.
West’s forward Shaun Hudson caught John Pendlebury in possession deep in his own half, but Frazer Nairn closed down the angle and produced a superb stop to keep the game all square.
A long ball pumped forward from the save proved to be decisive as Bedlington took the lead from the attack.
McBride controlled the ball, crossing low across the West penalty area, and after Marc Walton left the pass intentionally, Hudson latched upon the ball and fired home.
Andy Campbell’s side looking to get a reaction, going very close to equalising after 20 minutes with a double opportunity.
An in-swinging cross was headed up onto their own bar by the Terriers, and from the resulting corner Hume headed back across goal from the far post, and to Bedlington’s relief, it just went wide.
Bedlington came close to doubling their lead after 28 minutes in a nervy affair, Walton’s free-kick curled up and over the wall and David Knight saved well down low.
At the beginning of a strong final 15 minutes of the first-half, Michael Jameson found Hudson, but the striker lacked composure at the right moment and hit well wide, letting the Terriers off.
After the break, the opening 10 minutes were very close and nothing could split the two sides, but a free-kick in a dangerous position was well seen by Nairn in goal.
The goalkeeper kept out Hume on the hour before the striker was found at the back post, and his header was cleared off the line moments later by captain Stephen Little.
It was a hectic few minutes in the game, and Hudson had another fantastic opportunity at the other end to double the home side’s advantage.
After swivelling in the box, he drew an excellent save down low from Knight and the rebound was struck almost too well as Hudson rattled the bar.
With their next break, West saw John Seaton whip an inch-perfect cross, which Jameson met with his head and Nairn, yet again, was on hand to make sure the lead was kept intact.
Bedlington were living dangerously sitting off and letting the visitors have more of the ball, tiredness was showing and the resulting corner was sliced well wide by substitute Reece Kenney.
The pressure was too much to handle and West scored after 75 minutes, another corner was met by Hume, this time he managed to make it count, glancing the ball into the far corner.
Proceedings then turned into an end-to-end affair as both sides pushed for, what could have been, the winning goal to send them through to the next round.
However, both sides couldn’t come up with any decisive opportunities, and the tie now goes to a replay at the WSI Stadium on Tuesday night, meaning the scheduled Bishop Auckland game is now postponed.
Terriers: Nairn, Nellis (Gourley 89), Dummett, Liam Davison, Little, Pendlebury, K.McGlen, Harvey, Walton, McBride (Ferrell 68), Hudson
Subs Not Used: K.McGlen
West Auckland: Knight, Bath, Bell, Proctor, Marron, Seaton, Hodgson, Gardner, Hume, Hudson (Kenney 59), Jameson (Dickinson 72)
Subs Not Used: Moss, Bligh, Stockburn
Referee: John Mulligan
Assistants: Kenneth Stevenson and Bernard Law