Shildon returned from Bedlington with all three points after one of the most dominant displays one is likely to witness at any match. The foul weather and televised World Cup football kept the attendance below the hoped for spike that Friday night football might bring to the Northern League this season, but the small crowd were nevertheless entertained by the one-sided spectacle.
In the pouring rain, the Railwaymen poured forward from start to finish, forcing the Terriers onto the back foot for the majority of the match. Yet it took a fabulous save from Lewis Graham midway through the second half to prevent the home side from taking a shock lead.
Diving to his right, the young keeper fingertipped the ball onto the post and, moments later, Shildon benefitted from another slight contact as Sam Garvie’s cross was diverted into the net for a deserved, if somewhat fortunate goal to take the lead.
Ten minutes from time Garvie doubled his and Shildon’s tally with a thunderous drive to put the match beyond Bedlington.
It was another match in which Shildon forged countless opportunities but failed to find the net until the home defence’s luckless intervention in the 66th minute. Of course it could also be argued that by creating so many chances, the breakthrough is almost a statistical inevitability. If any match made the case for such an argument it was surely this one.
Shildon must be commended for continuing to search for the first goal in the face of so many chances falling by the wayside and, having found the opener, it seemed certain that the scoreline would be extended.
Thirteen minutes from time Shildon made a double substitution. The industrious pair of Billy Greulich-Smith and Ben Wood were replaced by Stephen Turnbull and Paul Connor, both of whom were making welcome returns from injury.
Within three minutes the pair combined to force the opening that led to the second goal. Turnbull’s cross from Connor’s pass was laid back into the striker’s path by Scroggins. The blocked shot landed in Garvie’s path and the forward volleyed powerfully home.
The scoreline failed to demonstrate Shildon’s complete dominance of this tie, but the side will be happy to celebrate taking all three points in this first of at least five Friday night fixtures the side will play this season.