Gap at bottom widens as Terriers defeated
By Andrew McDonnell
Bedlington Terriers were pushed further adrift as the gap at the bottom of the league stretched to five points following their 3-1 defeat to Seaham Red Star.
Drane struck the Terriers level just two minutes after Paul Gardner gave the visitors the lead, but Seaham did go in at the break ahead following Darryll Donnelly’s header.
Dan Robinson then found Red Star’s third three minutes after the break and Drane almost found his second, hitting the foot of the post.
Bedlington were playing their first league game in two weeks following their cup ties, and they made five changes to the side that thumped Alnwick Town 5-2 on Wednesday.
However, it was their opponents who managed to get to grips with the game first, Lee Kerr and Nicholas Kane both missed their opportunities early on in the game.
Peter Denton, who was playing his first game since his loan move from Hartlepool United, kept Robert Bird’s out with a brilliant one-handed stop.
With their first opening of the game, the Terriers should have went ahead, after 13 minutes Andy Ferrell produced a dinked pass to Drane, who fired over.
Gardner drove down the line in the 17th minute, his low cross was met by Bird, who shot at goal, but the keeper managed to react quickly and tip the ball over.
Seaham eventually went ahead after putting pressure onto the home side, one-way traffic paid off as the Terriers still struggled to find their feet.
Denton quickly came out to McBryde’s feet to cut out the chance, but the ball fell to Gardner, who lobbed the ball up and over into an empty net.
The Terriers didn’t allow their opponents to settle for long as they drew back level within two minutes of falling behind.
Marc Walton’s shot on the turn was saved well by Shaun Newbrook, who parried away, but Drane latched upon the loose ball and tapped-in at the back post.
Despite pulling back into the game, it was the visitors who were still on top and Bedlington’s new shot-stopper was called upon, yet again, to keep the score level.
Robinson and Bird were denied before Seaham did go ahead for the second time in the game after 38 minutes, scoring from a corner.
Donnelly leapt up well and headed the corner back across goal and into the far corner, Bedlington’s trouble from set-pieces continued.
Bedlington’s worries could have been made worse if Bird hit the target moments later, but luckily he shot over, but his strike-partner Robinson did find their third after the break.
The striker shrugged off the challenge of the defender, opened his body and then placed the ball into the bottom corner, leaving the keeper helpless.
Just like when Bedlington went one-down earlier in the game, Drane popped up again, however, this time, he could only hit the foot of the post after a brilliant solo-run.
Both Bird and McBryde had chances to kill the game off before Seaham appeared to have taken their foot off the pedal, allowing Bedlington more time on the ball.
It was that man Drane again with another chance just after the hour mark, but like M.Walton’s shot after, it couldn’t trouble the keeper.
What will have been pleasing for Ferrell, is the fight the hosts gave as they hunted for a way back in the game, Lance McGlen could only hit wide after carrying the ball forward.
Bedlington’s trouble was that they lacked the cutting edge when it came to finishing off attacks, with Seaham almost finding a fourth late on.
Denton was called upon once more in the final 10 minutes of the game, keeping out McBryde, but the Terriers slumped to their tenth defeat of their league campaign.
They face their biggest away trip of the season next Saturday, travelling to the Frenchfield Stadium to play an in-form Penrith as they look to pick up points to bridge the gap at the bottom.
Bedlington: Denton, L.McGlen, Nellis, Anjos (Harvey 41), Stoneman, Pendlebury, K.McGlen (Jasper 59), Ferrell, M.Walton, Quinn (Stephenson 85), Drane
Subs Not Used: Capewell, Liam Davison
Seaham Red Star: Newbrook, Galbraith, Gray, Gardner, Kirkup, Donnelly, Kane, Kerr, Robinson (Stephenson 76), McBryde, Bird
Subs Not Used: Reay, Thorp, C.Scott, H.Scott
Referee: Danny Markham
Rating: 8 out of 10
9 Shots 24
1 On Target 15
8 Off Target 8
1 Shots Blocked 3
3 Fouls Conceded 6
2 Corners 5
2 Offsides 1
7 Free-Kicks 5
11% Shooting Accuracy 63%
Photos by Sian Goodfellow