Late goal kills hope of a point for Terriers
By Andrew McDonnell (@AndrewSJourno)
Jordan Fry’s late header proved to be the killer blow for Bedlington Terriers as they were edged out by Morpeth Town at Welfare Park.
Sean Taylor handed the visitors a deserved lead in the game on 25 minutes, but Jonathan Wright’s wonder strike on 72 minutes gave the hosts hope.
However, just like the reverse fixture back in September, Morpeth scored a winner in the final 10 minutes of the game after Jordan Fry headed home at the back post.
The result means that Bedlington have it all to do in their final seven games of the season, and after Wednesday’s cup quarter-final, they face Sunderland RCA in the league.
Andy Ferrell’s men came into the game with ambitions of carrying on Saturday’s second-half performance into this game, and they started brightly.
Liam Hudson found himself with a clear passage to shoot at goal after the ball broke fortunately for him, but former Terrier Karl Dryden pushed the ball over the bar.
However, the visitors started to find their feet and went close through Dan Taggert, whose shot was well saved by Ryan Beal, and then James Novak and Ben Sayer.
The Highwaymen kept pressing and looking for the opening goal, and they broke the deadlock on 25 minutes.
Sayer struck at goal after latching upon a poor clearance, and after his shot was palmed straight back into the danger area, the oncoming Taylor tapped home for the opener.
Bedlington’s keeper was almost left red-faced again 10 minutes later, Fry attempted an audacious lob, but Beal recovered and managed to get a glove to the ball.
Taylor may well have had his second of the game shortly after, but Beal was on hand to trap the effort with his legs, and the Terriers then finished the half strongly.
Hudson was gifted possession just outside of the Morpeth box, but instead of lobbing the ball over the keeper, who was in no-mans-land, he shot straight at Dryden.
The Highwaymen continued to control the game after the break, but looked like they were playing within themselves, but they went close twice.
A quick free-kick caught the Terriers defence flat-footed, but after Taylor drove a brilliant cross across the box, Beal produced a fantastic reflex save to deny Fry, who was two-yards away.
The hosts knew they needed something from the game in the fight to stay in division one, and a double substitution was made on 57 minutes, with Michael Baxter and Lee Johnson coming on for Ryan Drane and Marc Allen.
Bedlington’s first chance of the second-half wasn’t until the 67th minute when Wright’s free-kick from 25-yards out whistled past the post.
However, the forward was gifted another opportunity from a set-piece, this time from a good 30-yards from goal.
Wright, who scored a hat-trick on Saturday, stepped up and curled the ball with pace into the top corner for the equaliser.
This gave the hosts a lift and they weren’t settling for just a point, the pressed and were going for all three.
It was Morpeth who managed to capitalise on some questionable marking from a corner, just minutes after Steven Anderson’s effort just went over the bar.
A quick corner was taken, and Fry took advantage of the time and space that he was allowed, heading home the cross at the back post just nine minutes from the end.
The Highwaymen saw the game out professionally and ensured all the points would be going back to Craik Park with them.
Ferrell’s men have it all to do now if they are to avoid relegation, and it looks like the points that have been dropped throughout the season form positive positions could come back to haunt them.
Terriers: Beal, Pendlebury, Ferrell, Allen (Johnson 57), Dummett, Errington, M.Stephenson, King, Hudson, Wright, Drane (Baxter 57)
Subs Not Used: T.Stephenson, Bartlett, Nellis
Morpeth Town: Dryden, Henderson, Novak, Sayer, Reid, Hiftle, Taylor (Carr 64), Graydon, Taggert (Patton 46), Anderson, Fry
Subs Not Used: Harrison, Jewels
Referee: Shane Sugden
Photos: Chris Chambers – CJC Photo