Terriers bite back to halt FA dream

Bedlington Terriers 2 Morpeth Town 1 FA Cup with Budweiser Extra Preliminary Round

MORPETH came so close to advancing to the preliminary round of the FA Cup after a nail-biting defeat to local rivals Bedlington Terriers on Saturday afternoon, writes David McMeekan.

It took the home side just six minutes to open the scoring after a cagey start. A perfectly timed lay-off by former Gateshead vice-captain Kris Gate was hit by the left foot of Andy Ferrell 20 yards out.

His strike powered into the bottom left-hand corner of Jak Wells’ goal giving Bedlington the perfect start.
The visitors reacted well to going a goal behind, almost equalising a few minutes later. Winger Steven Howes got the better of left-back Steven Stewart and ran into the Terriers’ penalty area before firing a shot directly at Kevin Morton in the Bedlington goal. The rebound landed on the head of striker Christopher Lunn, but Morton once again denied Morpeth, tipping the header onto the bar.

Howes broke away from the defence on 27 minutes but placed his cross too close to Morton who collected on the bounce. The next attempt of any real note came on 36 minutes when Paul Brayson’s weak effort was easily handled by Town ‘keeper Wells.
Just before the half-time whistle Bedlington had a flurry of chances to double their lead, but each one was blocked by the Morpeth defence.

The away side equalised on 57 minutes through a Bedlington error. The Terriers lost the ball in midfield to Christopher Lunn who ran down the right wing before crossing to the feet of Andrew Wright. Wright’s shot wrong-footed the keeper and slowly rolled into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Morpeth nearly took the lead a later when Michael Chilton directed a header narrowly wide, but it was Bedlington that went 2-1 ahead. A long ball forward fell between Bedlington striker Paul Brayson and the Morpeth defence. Brayson battled his way through before sliding a ball past Wells into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men after Chilton received a straight red card from the referee for what was deemed a ‘studs up’ challenge on Terriers skipper Mark Convery.
Bedlington held on to secure a trip to Whitley Bay in the Preliminary round.