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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Hexham get safety points

HEXHAM battled back from three goals down to clinch the required point to secure their Division One status next year.

With just a draw needed to stave off attention from the teams at the bottom, they clawed it back against Bedlington Terriers Reserves who found themselves in a similar precarious position.

The hosts got off to the worst possible start as they conceded after just two minutes, Simon Brown powering a header past Peter Holland.

Things did not ease up as Calum Donohoe profited from another set piece on 23 minutes to leave Hexham with a tough task on their hands.

When they conceded a third to Stephen Dodd two minutes before the break, they were truly staring down the barrel of the gun.

Yet a stroke of luck put Hexham in with a chance on the stroke of half time, Marco Fleitas’ free kick taking a wicked deflection off a defender to rebound out of reach of goalkeeper Steven Whitmore.

Hexham re-emerged from the break a completely different team and had reduced the deficit to just one goal as full back Tom Hacking claimed his first goal in almost 12 months.

The defender got the faintest of touches onto Fleitas’ corner which crept past the defender on the line.

Hexham bombarded the Terriers for the final 15 minutes and got their reward when skipper Gavin Cox popped up with the leveller on 86 minutes, arriving late at the back post to divert Fleitas’ flag kick home.

Hexham built on the draw to take all three points from Ponteland United when the teams met at the weekend.

The hosts heaped early pressure on United and they finally cracked midway through the half, Aidan Armstrong fouled in the area by Ryan Potts to allow Patrick McAlindon to beat Cameron Robb with a low effort.

Hexham’s cause was not helped when striker Liam Heenan was given his marching orders before the break, the referee judging his attempt to win a 50-50 with Josh Peacock too dangerous.

With an extra man advantage, Ponteland turned the screwed after the break but Jack L’Argent sent an effort skimming over the crossbar, while Craig Cook failed to head Peacock’s excellent cross on target.

Hexham, expertly marshalled by man of the match Cox, held firm and doubled their lead with 20 to go when Hacking demonstrated a prolific streak by heading home his second in as many games! The goal knocked the stuffing out of Pont and Hexham made matters worse with a freak goal late on, McAlindon’s ball into the area beating everybody and floating into the far corner of the goal.

Ponteland went into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Heddon, which leaves their rivals firmly in trouble at the foot of the division.

After combining with Mick Rankin, Liam Anderson gave Pont the lead as he beat goalkeeper and defender to poke the ball over the line. But the teams were level at half time as a loose ball in midfield was quickly spread to Francis Storey, and the striker confidently slid the ball past teenager Robb.

In an open second half, it was United who took the prize home as L’Argent won his side a penalty which was confidently stroked home by former Heddon man Andrew Davidson.

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