The Wright stuff for Terriers in relegation six-pointer
By Andrew McDonnell
Jonathan Wright’s 16-minute hat-trick inspired a second-half comeback as Bedlington Terriers gave their hopes of survival a boost with a win against Norton & Stockton Ancients.
Marc Walton’s penalty after two minutes was cancelled out after Norton scored two goals in three first-half minutes through Thibault Charmey and then Phillip Caley.
Wright found the net either side of Mason Stephenson’s goal to give the hosts a commanding lead in the game.
Ryu Williamson reduced the deficit on 61 minutes, but when Wright completed his hat-trick two minutes later, he sealed a valuable three points for Bedlington.
Andy Ferrell’s side were looking to build on a positive display midweek against a strong Bishop Auckland outfit, and they did just that after they went ahead in the opening exchanges.
Wright darted inside the box and was tripped up in the process, Walton then stepped up and slotted the penalty home, sending the keeper the wrong way in the process.
However, after the 10-minute mark, Norton found their feet and started to grow into the game, and they took full advantage of being allowed to do just that.
Nicky Martin, who broke through down the flank, drilled the ball across the six-yard box to Charmey, who had a simple tap-in at the back post.
Things went from bad to worse for the Terriers after the Ancients took the lead in the game minutes later.
A swirling free-kick from Charmey could only be parried back into the danger area from Ryan Beal, and Caley was the quickest to react as he prodded home from the rebound.
It was a lively encounter in the first-half, with both sides pressing forward, however, Norton came close four minutes from the break when Jamie Tunstall fired at goal, but Beal saved well.
One can only imagine the half-time team talk after a lacklustre display in the first 45 minutes, but whatever was said, worked, and worked very well.
Wright’s in-swinging corner caused Carl Robinson all sorts of problems, and the set-piece, which was heading in, was pushed onto the post and in.
Bedlington came flying out of the blocks and they went ahead in the game for the second time four minutes later.
Ferrell’s accurate pass over the top was helped on by Wright, who struck the bar with his effort, but Mason Stephenson was quickest to react and his follow-up shot hit the underside of the bar and went in.
The hosts’ doubled their advantage in the game when Wright, who burst through on goal, took the ball round the keeper, and then tapped into an empty net.
Just when you thought the game couldn’t get any more unpredictable, it did, and Norton pulled a goal back within minutes.
After being put through, Williamson took the ball round John Pendlebury and then found the corner of the net neatly.
Just when the visitors and their travelling supporters thought they had a chance to claim something from the game, the Terriers struck once more.
Liam Hudson played a perfectly weighted ball over the top to Wright, whose first touch took the ball past the oncoming keeper, which allowed him to tap home for his hat-trick.
Five goals were scored in the space of 16 second-half minutes, however, it was Bedlington who went on to control the remainder of the game, having a great chance on 83 minutes.
Norton’s back line was caught out by a ball over the top once again, but Wright couldn’t claim his fourth, and the Terriers’ sixth of the game as his hooked shot went wide.
Scoring goals certainly isn’t Bedlington’s problem at the moment, 18 in their last seven, it is keeping them out at the other end, but claiming at least four points from their next two league games is a must.
Morpeth Town, who are sure to have one eye on the FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium, are the visitors to Welfare Park on Easter Monday.
Terriers: Beal, Pendlebury, Ferrell, Johnson (T.Stephenson 75), Errington, Stoneman, M.Stephenson, Drane (Allen 62), Walton, Wright, Hudson
Subs Not Used: Dummett
Norton & Stockton: Robinson, Collantine, Jackson, Mitchell, Tunstall, Elgie (Brown 29), Martin, Braithwaite (Cocks 74), Charmey, Caley, Williamson
Subs Not Used: Mulligan, Wilson, Murphy
Referee: Michael Andrews
Photos: Chris Chambers – CJC Photo