By Andrew McDonnell (@AndrewSJourno)
Andrew Bulford’s first-half strike turned out to be decisive as Blyth AFC got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Bedlington Terriers.
Bulford was brought down in the area inside the first minute, and Gary Day stepped up to give the hosts the lead from the spot moments later.
Blyth then doubled their lead through Bulford on 19 minutes, but the visitors struck back just before half-time through Sam Norris.
Both sides were reduced to half chances during a quiet second half, as the Braves ended their three games winless streak.
Mick Connor and Andy Bowman’s side came into the game having drawn with West Allotment Celtic on Friday night, but came racing out the blocks to take an early lead.
Bulford was brought down in the area after just 15 seconds, and striker G.Day, who missed a penalty against Northallerton Town, slotted home the penalty.
The hosts were on top, and were certainly enjoying themselves against their neighbours, Stephen Little’s header was gathered by the ‘keeper before David Stewart kept out Liam Gillesphey’s effort.
Bedlington had their first chance of the game on 17 minutes, Andrew Hall’s cross was headed on by Norris, and Chris Bannon gathered the effort.
Two minutes later, Blyth managed to catch their opponents out on the counter attack to double their advantage in the game.
G.Day cruised past Josh Miller down the flank before cutting in and passing the ball across the box, Bulford kept his composure to slot the ball home.
The Braves certainly warranted their lead, Bulford had an effort saved before Ryan McGorrigan went through one on one with the ‘keeper.
The midfielder latched onto a delightful through ball, but took one too many touches as Stewart got down low to save the shot.
Bedlington started to come into the game after the half-hour mark, Stephen Gibson’s corner was headed just wide by Norris.
The forward curled inches wide from the edge of the area moments before pulling a goal back for the Terriers.
Little’s mistake at the back was capitalised on, and Norris burst through on goal before slotting the ball home through Bannon’s legs.
After an eventful first 45 minutes, the first chance of the second half come nine minutes after the restart – Hall’s strike was gathered by Bannon.
However, after the sides exchanged chances once more, just before the hour mark, the next chance didn’t come until six minutes before the end.
The second half was fairly quiet, Gillesphey and Sean McRoberts’ efforts were deflected, but the hosts did manage to hold out for a vital three points.
Blyth AFC: Bannon, Oliver, Sayer, Gillesphey, Little, Tumilty, McGorrigan (Walker, 90), Robinson, Bulford, G.Day (McRoberts, 58), Taylor
Subs Not Used: Errington, J.Day, Middleton
Bedlington Terriers: Stewart, Locke, Cave, Wardle, Armstrong, Miller, Gibson, Herron, Norris, Andrews (Wilson, 67), Hall
Subs Not Used: Henderson, Roberts, Watson, Ward
Goals: 1-0, 1 min, G.Day (Pen); 2-0, 19 min, Bulford; 2-1, 37 min, Norris.
Referee: David Fittes
Assistants: David Carr and Adam Yau
Photo: Chris Chambers/ CJC Photo