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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 70
Clayton Macdonald fitness test along with Mattie Crossen. Kieren Proctor and Matthew Ridley to play for the reserves. Leeds set to start in goal.

Saturday 18th March, Dr Pit Welfare Park 3.00pm k.o

Cliche time! Every game is now a cup final... six pointers on the horizon.... take every game as it comes!!! After the Ryton defeat, and to a lesser extent the Stockton loss, no game should be taken for granted and this weekends fixture against Bedlington will be no different. The final nine games will tell us more about the mentality of the players; the talent and commitment has never been in question but can they handle the pressure in the coming weeks? There were positive signs last week; The movement and ball distribution was of a higher quality and fitness levels have improved, thanks to twice weekly training sessions. Communication was better, although Town do lack a leader when Stephen Oakley and Mark Dixon are absent. Come 5.00pm, hopefully the lads will have answered these questions and closed the gap on the top three. One thing is for certain, it won't be dull and maybe the drum and bear hat need to make a reappearance!!

Bedlington's season can best be described in three phases - A poor start followed by a resurgence and then a plateau in form. When Town demolished the Terriers back in October, they were top of the form table at the time and continued to pick up good results up until Christmas. Four subsequent heavy losses in a row, starting with a 5-0 derby defeat on Boxing Day against Blyth Town set the the tone for the rest of the season. Recent victories against Hebburn and Easington will have lightened the mood but those wins came against clubs who were on a crest of a slump! Like Northallerton, they can be a hard team to predict but six wins from their last nine home games suggests Town won't have everything their own way. Last week, the Terriers signed veteran striker Johnny Wightman from Washington (registered with Boldon CA during our DCC tie) and was prolific in his South Shields days. The pitch can be very heavy underfoot at this time of year which will suit centre backs Paul Wardle and Christopher Armstrong in dealing with Craig Hutchinson! Long haired goalkeeper, Jak Wells would be in my top five shot stoppers in division two and promising youngster, Joshua Rodgers was plucked from Wearside League side Harton & Westoe. Along with Wightman, they have plenty of options upfront including Jack Foalle, Lee Scott and Sam Norris. On paper, Bedlington now have a squad that should be in the top eight but for whatever reason, they have lacked consistency.

Norris is a January signing from Dunston and has wasted no time in making an impact. A goal against Easington was followed by a hat-trick against cash-strapped Hebburn Town. Norris began the season with Durham City and was one of a number of promising youngsters who left the club when finances became tight. Norris has been a wanted man in the past and his former clubs include Newcastle Benfield, Team Northumbria and Whitley Bay.

Darlington R.A 1-0 Bedlington
Bedlington 0-1 Billingham Synthonia
Bedlington 5-1 Hebburn (o.g, Scott, Norris 3)
Easington 2-3 Bedlington (Rodgers 2, Norris)
Heaton Stannington 4-0 Bedlington
Bedlington 2-7 Billingham Synthonia (EAMC Graham, Oliver)

WLLLLLWWWWWDLWL W7 D1 L7 F32 A31 League Position: 13th Form Table: 16th

Last Season: N/A
This Season: Billingham Town 5-0 Bedlington

Mark Dixon completes his three match suspension and Danny Rowbotham will only join the squad incase of an emergency (works away during the week). Keeper, Alex Leeds appeared to be suffering from a thigh strain during the second half against Thornaby so Barry Oliver has taken no risks by bringing in Kieran Proctor. The young keeper took part in training last week and certainly caught the eye; Proctor has played for Newcastle Benfield and Gateshead reserves plus had trials with Northern Premier side Corby. Captain, Stephen Oakley has had a couple of run outs to test his knee injury and could be in contention for a start. Mattie Crossen didn't train on Tuesday night and will face a late fitness test along with Alex Leeds. Jamie Davis has recovered from a sickness bug and will train on Thursday night.

SQUAD FROM: (subject to change) Fitness Tests: Leeds, Oakley, Crossen *
Leeds, Proctor, Osmond, Moore, Redman, Crossen, Oakley, Connor, Macdonald, Davis, Lavan, Keogh, Dunlavey, Hogan, Beddow, Dickinson, Hutchinson.

*Squad will be updated by Friday evening

Bedlington is always a hard place to go too and bring the three points home but as a team we know that nothing less than a win in all of our remaining games for promotion is a must. It's going to be one heck of a run in but we believe in the squad we have put together so we will be going there full of confidence and looking to go home with the much needed three points! UTT!

WEATHER: Light Cloud 9C

Graham Hutchinson
Press Officer

Sent from my iPad



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