Late Strike Ended Terriers’ Hopes of a Point
By Andrew McDonnell
Ben Sayer’s late strike ended any hopes of a positive result as Bedlington Terriers were narrowly edged out by Morpeth Town at Craik Park.
Sean Taylor handed the hosts the lead inside the first 12 minutes of the contest, the visitors responded well and were rewarded four minutes before half-time.
Stephen Little equalised with a towering header and it looked like a draw was inevitable until Sayer found the bottom corner after 82 minutes.
Following three defeats in-a-row, the Terriers came into the game with their high-flying neighbours looking to end an unwanted run, and they settled fairly quickly into the game.
Both sides looked to get the ball down and play, former Bedlington man Jordan Nellis latched onto John Pendlebury’s pass, but the striker’s finish was to be desired about.
It didn’t take long, however, for Morpeth to find the break through, five minutes after Nellis’ chance, the deadlock was broken with a team goal.
Some good build-up from the back allowed James Novak to thread a pass to Taylor, who made no mistake with the finish, beating the keeper at the near post.
Bedlington responded well, as in previous games where they have gone behind, a swift counter-attack was almost rounded off, but Harvey’s strike, and Andrew McBride’s follow-up was seen off.
J.Nellis went for glory before Pendlebury whipped in vicious cross in at the other end, McBride’s shot was saved well by Niall Harrison.
Town turned defence into attack and with the next chance in the game Fabian Otte was called upon, saving Taylor’s shot superbly with his legs, and Luke Carr’s follow-up was blocked on the line.
The Railwaymen latched on Bedlington trying to play out from the back, Paul Stoneman was dispossessed, but Keith Graydon’s effort sailed over the bar.
Otte produced another fine save, sticking an arm out to deflect J.Nellis’ shot behind for a corner, and another chance went begging when Graydon hit his free-kick over.
However, Bedlington made Morpeth rue their missed chances as they managed to find the equaliser four minutes before the break.
A brilliant floated cross from the back post found the head of captain Little, who towered above the two defenders and found the back of the net.
Sayer and Carr both had clear chances once again before half-time to ensure the hosts went in at the break, but the former squandered his chance, while Otte saved the latters shot.
After an entertaining, end-to-end first-half, the opening 15 minutes of the second-half was tight and neither side really threatened in the final third.
Substitute Steven Anderson came within inches of making an instant impact just after the hour mark, but David Hiftle’s ball was unable to find the forward in space.
Liam Hudson’s long-range strike was well seen by the keeper before Anderson had another chance, but the chance was squandered and frustration was setting in.
The visitors were sitting deep in their own half looking to take anything they can from the game, and after breaking out well, Harvey was brought down.
However, the resulting free-kick couldn’t find the target, and 10 minutes before the end, Otte parried a save back into the danger area, but Michael Chilton headed down and just over.
Bedlington’s resilience was broken however, two minutes later when Sayer, once again, managed to get a late winner for the Highwaymen.
His curling effort found the bottom corner, and the Terriers didn’t managed to hustle another chance, but Morpeth could have made it third if it wasn’t for another good save.
The three points stayed at Craik Park with the hosts, and the defeat leaves Andy Ferrell’s men without a point in four games as they welcome Durham City to Welfare Park on Saturday.
Morpeth Town: Harrison, Henderson, Novak, Sayer, Jewels, Hiftle, Taylor, Graydon, J.Nellis (Anderson 63), Chilton (Bell 87), Carr (McAndre 63)
Subs Not Used: Swailes, Williams
Terriers: Otte, Pendlebury, Dummett, Liam Davison, Stoneman, Little, Sam Walton, Buzzeo (K.Nellis 46), McBride, Harvey (Stephenson 75), Hudson
Subs Not Used: Nairn, Laviers, Skidmore
Referee: Lindsey Robinson
Assistants: Stuart Kyle and Adam Nichol