Wallington 3 Bedlington Terriers Reserves 1 Northern Alliance, Division One
WALLINGTON survived some early scares but ultimately prevailed against a determined Bedlington outfit to maintain their unbeaten run in the league.
The top two in the league met for the third time this season and the home side completed a hat-trick of wins courtesy of some resolute defending and three second-half goals.
The Greens now have a five-point lead over Bedlington, while Cramlington United’s impressive 2-0 victory over next week’s cup semi-final opponents Ponteland United saw them keep the gap at two points.
The away side started much the stronger, bright and assertive in their play and forcing mistakes from most in a Green shirt.
Matty Lees had to be alert to stop a shot with his leg at his near post while Trevor Baston and Justin Millican both had to fling them themselves in front of goal bound efforts.
Right on half-time Wallington carved out their first chance of a forgetful half when Kyle Reardon could only stab the ball wide after being found by Sam Walton.
Bedlington were much the better side but were made to pay for not taking their chances in the first 45 minutes.
Within 10 minutes of the re-start, Josh Gilmartin was involved in the opening goal as he received Reardon’s throw in on the half turn and fed Walton.
The winger delayed his pass till the last minute before slipping through Jordan Nellis who beat the offside trap and the goalkeeper, before stroking the ball home.
Soon after it was 2-0 to the hosts as Nellis and Walton’s closing down of the defender and then keeper resulted in a poor kick out that Gilmartin instantly controlled before returning with significant interest.
The ball rolled into the open net from 35 yards and brought up the midfielder’s first goal since October.
Just like in the first half, Bedlington’s most fruitful option looked like it would stem from a set-piece and so it eventually proved as with 20 minutes remaining they made one of their countless free kicks count from long range.
The visitors then laid siege upon the Wallington box, but the home side stood firm and they sealed the victory with a goal on the break when Nellis latched onto a clearance upfield and coolly lobbed the goalkeeper.