Bedlington Terriers 2-3 Sunderland RCA – EBAC Northern League Division One
(Doninger 63, Carr 92; Clarke pen 26, pen 70, Home-Jackson 83)
By Stuart Dick at Welfare Park
Bedlington Terriers traumatic season hit a new low on Saturday afternoon as they took on Sunderland RCA at Dr Pitt Welfare Park. Before kick-off it was apparent Goalkeeper Jack Norton was a no show, meaning Bedlington were forced to put right-back Craig Baxter between the posts.
Things went from bad to worse as the Terriers gave away two penalties, both converted by former Terrier Jamie Clarke, and a late goal to substitute Josh Home-Jackson. Mark Doninger and Chris Carr got consolations for the Terriers.
After scrappy start, it was Bedlington who were in the ascendency. On 12 minutes Paul Brayson fashioned a chance for Doninger in the penalty area. The midfielder saw his shot well saved by Craig Shields but the rebound fell to Dylan Williamson who rolled the ball back to Doninger, who tried to poke home but the ball was cleared off the line.
Brayson was once more the creator on 18 minutes as Bedlington broke through midfield. 30 yards out he rolled the ball left to Williamson who took a touch before firing a right footed effort at goal, only to be denied by the legs of Shields.
The first goal of the game came as the clock ticked towards the half hour mark. After a defensive mistake Clarke broke behind the Terrier centre-backs, and tried rounding Baxter, only to be clipped by the stand in ‘keeper. The Ref showed Baxter a yellow before Clarke stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom right hand corner, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way. It was the first chance of any note for the visitors.
Bedlington almost replied within 6 minutes as Mark Convery picked out Doninger in the penalty area. Doininger turned on the spot and attempted to chip Shields. The ball went over the ‘keepers head but a covering defender managed to head the ball behind for a corner.
RCA should have doubled their lead as the clock it 45 minutes. Craig Shields hit a goal kick from the back which was misplayed by Steven Stewart allowing Gary Shaw to break in behind the backline and face Baxter one on one. The Winger tried chipping the ‘keeper but Baxter had it covered and easily claimed.
Early in the second half another defensive slip, this time by Phil Cave, allowed Elliott Cutts to get in behind the defence once more down the left. The Midfielder hit a rocket of a left footed shot towards the top left hand corner, but Baxter denied him with a tip over the bar.
The referee was left with a huge decision on 63 minutes. It seemed Cave had brought down a striker as the last defender on his way to a one on one with Baxter. Neither the referee nor the assistant called it up and play went on. Soon after the ball went out of play and the RCA players surrounded the ref, with Cutts physically pushing the referee. The man in the middle booked Cutts, although a red card was probably warranted.
Within a minute Bedlington had pulled level. A long ball from the back found Brayson in the penalty area. Despite being fouled the striker managed to roll the ball off to Doninger who hit home from 20 yards with his right foot. The referee then booked the defender for the foul on Brayson.
As Bedlington began to rise to the challenge, the referee awarded a second penalty to the visitors, this time for a foul by Chris Carr. Clarke once more hit his effort low to the right, with Baxter again going the wrong way.
It became 3-1 as the clock it 83 minutes. A long ball forced Baxter out of his goal the right hand edge of the box. Neither he, nor Stewart were able to clear the ball and Josh Home-Jackson stole in and rolled the ball into the open goal.
Bedlington scored a late consolation in injury time, as Carr found himself in the visitor’s penalty area. The defender performed and overhead kick and bundled the ball home, making it 3-2 with almost the last kick of the game.
Terriers – C Baxter, S Stewart, P Cave (K Dobson), C Carr, A Leeson, C Morton, M Convery, M Doninger, P Brayson, D Williamson (M Brittain), S Baptist