Terriers edged out by title-chasing Aycliffe
By Andrew McDonnell (@AndrewSJourno)
Liam Hudson broke his nine-game goal drought, but it wasn’t enough as Bedlington Terriers were edged out 3-2 by Newton Aycliffe at Moore Lane Park.
John Campbell found the bottom-corner on 11 minutes and Matty Moffat added a second after flicking a header past the oncoming keeper on 23 minutes.
Liam Hudson slotted past James Winter midway through the second-half, but Moffat’s second goal of the game late on proved to be decisive.
Michael Baxter cut the deficit to just one goal just over a minute later, but Aycliffe held on to take all three points from the game.
After a brilliant display midweek against the leagues basement side, Bedlington would have been looking to build on the performance, but it was the home side that started on the front foot.
Campbell and Moffat both had chances in the opening exchanges, but it was the former who capitalised on his second opportunity, putting the hosts ahead.
A half-hearted attempt to head the ball near the centre of the park allowed the ball to be played through to Campbell, who managed to curl past Ryan Beal into the bottom corner.
Bedlington’s first chance of the game fell on 18 minutes, Tony Stephenson tried to prod the ball over the oncoming keeper, who then produced a fantastic save.
Hudson’s follow-up was crucially blocked to deny an equaliser, but it was Aycliffe who stretched their advantage as they doubled their lead shortly after.
A deep free-kick was floated into the box and Moffat leapt above everyone, including the keeper, and flicked on superbly into an empty net.
The Terriers were second best for the first-half, but Marcus Brown came close to reducing the deficit four minutes before the break, but his scissor-kick found the arms of Winter.
Whatever was said at half-time worked a treat, as the visitors came out the blocks quickly, looking to get back into the game.
Andrew Ferrell struck from the edge of the area and it came off the defender’s arm, which was up in the air, but the strong penalty appeals were waved away.
The player-manager then tried his luck from range again, this time after turning his man he fired at goal, but a defender got an important block as the ball skimmed past the post.
Paul Garthwaite missed a brilliant chance after being found by Campbell in space, but that miss was followed by another from Moffat, this time from close-range.
However, the fighting display from the visitors finally paid dividend as they managed to reduce the deficit on 67 minutes.
Baxter played a perfectly weighted through ball to the feet of Hudson, who, after driving at goal, found the bottom corner to break his nine-game goal drought.
Ryan Drane found himself in space on the edge of the area on 78 minutes, but after the ball was worked to the youngster, he curled straight at the keeper.
Jordan Laidler produced, arguably, the miss of the season with six minutes to go, before Moffat spared his blushes with a minute of normal time to play.
Some questionable defending allowed the forward to have a run at goal, and after rolling his foot over the ball, forcing the keeper into diving, Moffat tapped into an empty net.
However, the fighting display that the Terriers had shown in the second-half came up trumps again as the deficit was back to one.
Ferrell found Baxter with a beautiful pass, and after the youngster cut back inside, he rifled home past Winter in the first minute of injury-time.
There was enough time for Laidler to smash an effort against the foot of the post, but the Terriers couldn’t quite manage another chance in the game.
Wins for Durham City, Whitley Bay and Jarrow Roofing means the week ahead is a big one for the Terriers, with four home games in the space of seven days.
Newton Aycliffe: Winter, Brown, Knight, Hickman, Mitton, Close, Garthwaite, Coffey, Moffat, Boagey, Campbell (Laidler 62)
Subs Not Used: Pattinson, Marshall, Harrison, Banks
Terriers: Beal, Nellis (Capewell 70), Pendlebury, Johnson, Stoneman, Errington, M.Stephenson (Drane 68), Ferrell, Brown, Hudson, T.Stephenson (Baxter 46)
Subs Not Used: King
Referee: Jan Suchecki (3)
Assistants: Shaun Littlewood (3) and Brandon Bishop (2)