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Thursday, 28 May 2015

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Hexham fail to capitalise on early success

HEXHAM are back to looking over their shoulders as they were dragged back in the relegation battle.

Despite leading in their home encounter with bottom side Willington Quay Saints, they dropped a big three points as they ended up losing 2-1.

They are now just three clear of tomorrow’s visitors to Wentworth, Heddon, although they do enjoy the advantage of having played four games fewer.

Hexham started well enough against their bogey team Willington with Thomas North, Stuart Brown and Dean Barnard causing their opponents problems.

Despite dominating possession, Hexham took half an hour to test the away goalkeeper – the first real chance of note breaking the deadlock.

Liam Heenan’s looping delivery was met by Mark Gibson at the rear post, the midfielder’s headed effort leaving Carl Henderson in the Saints goal stranded.

Barnard came close to extending the lead but sent a header narrowly wide, but the game turned on its head just minutes later.

The usually reliable Peter Holland split a cross and it landed perfectly at the feet of Glen Johnson who made no mistakes with the simplest of tap-ins.

Johnson was making a nuisance of himself and won his team a penalty moments after when he was fouled in the area by Scott Robson.

The same man picked himself up off the ground and sent the spot kick home to give relegation favourites Willington the lead.

Hexham camped out in their opponents’ half for the remaining half hour in their search of an equaliser but were unable to break their resilient visitors down.

In fact, Johnson should have completed his hat-trick in the final action of the game but an almost certain goal was somehow deflected onto the crossbar by man of the match Tom Hacking.

Tomorrow’s Tyne Valley derby Heddon has a lot riding on it, with the visitors refusing to give up as they spring a late bid for survival.

They have brought third bottom Bedlington Terriers Reserves further into the dogfight as Sam Redpath scored the only goal when the teams met this weekend.

The result saw Heddon close the gap to just two points, with it all to play for in the coming months.

Meanwhile, spot king Andrew Davidson was again on target as he helped Ponteland United to a 1-1 draw at New Fordley.

Reliable from 12 yards out, Davidson’s left boot gave Pont the lead before Fordley grabbed a leveller courtesy of Lee Waugh.