Terriers battle to earn deserved point
By Andrew McDonnell
Marc Walton ensured that Bedlington Terriers left the Daren Persson Stadium with a well-deserved point as they drew 1-1 with North Shields.
Gareth Bainbridge struck the post near the half-hour mark, and Marc Dummett was also denied by the woodwork when Chris Bannon parried his corner onto the crossbar.
Bainbridge struck with just 16 minutes left in the game, but the lead lasted a matter of minutes when Walton flicked Dummett’s corner past the keeper.
After the disappointing display through the week, five changes were made to the side that lost 4-0 to Bishop Auckland, but it was the hosts who settled first in the game.
A through ball over the top found Bainbridge, who peeled off his marker, but the chance was gone when forward failed to get anything onto the ball.
However, Andy Ferrell’s men started to settle, Jonathan Wright and Walton came close with ambitious efforts in quick succession.
The current FA Vase holders enjoyed more possession, but they failed to make it count as the Terriers almost broke the deadlock on 20 minutes.
Michael Baxter picked up the ball after the visitors broke out from the back, and after a brilliant run, he cut back inside, but his shot deflected wide.
Jack Errington headed the resulting corner just over the bar before Shields found themselves hard done by, coming close twice.
Before Bainbridge could pull the trigger, Dummett put his body on the line and cleared the danger, and the forward was denied again three minutes later, by the post.
Gary Ormston drilled in a low cross and Bainbridge’s effort cannoned off the woodwork, before Dan Staples recovered the ball safely.
The rest of the first-half belonged to the visitors, Walton’s second free-kick of the half was just off-target.
Wright had two defenders marking him on the edge of the area, but a brilliant turn on the edge of the area, the forward was denied after Bannon produced a fine save.
The resulting corner from Dummett swung in and almost caught the keeper in no-mans-land, but he managed to recover and tip the ball onto the crossbar.
Shields started the second-half the brighter, and Graham Fenton’s men almost found the opening goal of the game after just two minutes.
Bainbridge managed to get to a through ball ahead of the on-coming Staples, but his shot was headed off the line by Keelan Nellis
Walton was denied by a superb one-handed save on 51 minutes, this was before Staples safely collected Dean Holmes’ shot after some good work on the edge of the area.
After a very even game, it was Shields who broke the deadlock on 74 minutes, a goal which, in theory, came out of nowhere.
Michael McKeown pumped a long ball into the box from a free-kick, the ball evaded everyone in the box, bar one man, Bainbridge, who headed home at the back post.
However, the Terriers weren’t down and out and still had fight left in them, and the game was all square just six minutes later.
Dummett’s corner swung in with pace and Walton helped the ball on its way into the net to give the visitors a chance to push for a winning goal.
Neither side managed to create anything going forward in the closing stages and the Terriers picked up a crucial point as they seek to stay in the division this season.
Bedlington will travel to the UTS Stadium on Tuesday night before the re-arranged Wansbeck Derby next Saturday against Ashington at Welfare Park.
North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Lancaster, McKeown (Richardson 76), Parker, Coppen, Glen-Ravenhill (Summerley 85), Ormston, Bainbridge, McGorrigan (Wilson 63), Holmes
Subs Not Used: Hughes, Brooking
Terriers: Staples, Capewell, Dummett, Anjos (Johnson 62), Stoneman, Errington, Nellis, Allen (T.Stephenson 67), Walton, Wright, Baxter (Hudson 74)
Subs Not Used: Drane, M.Stephenson
Referee: Michael McDonough
Rating: 8 out of 10