After keeping an impressive clean sheet in the win over Synners in midweek the Stan were dealt a blow with three of the back four in that game, Simpson, Miller and Middleton, all unavailable for the trip to Bedlington. This meant a debut for Michael Leech at left back and recalls for Blackbourne and Imray, with Waters moving into the back four. Wright got the nod ahead of Hoggins upfront and the returning Carr joined him on the bench. One other absentee for the Stan was Manager Derek Thompson who was still bedridden so James Colwill and Dean Deagle took charge for the second game in a row.
Bedlington, who have got off to a tremendous start to the season with three straight league wins, included former Stan players Westphal and Anderson on the bench.
The Terriers kicked off in glorious sunshine on a pitch which looked in better nick than in previous seasons and were quickly on the attack with Burn drawing a save out of Regan in the first minute. The Stan responded with Wright flashing a shot across the face of goal in the 5th minute but they were dealt an early blow with Bailey limping off in the 14th minute to replaced by Carr.
Regan made a fine diving save in the 17th minute to deny Burn from a free header but it was the Stan who took the lead in the 21st minute when a deflected Wright cross fell nicely for Campbell to finish smartly from 15 yards.
After a scrappy period a deep cross into the Stan box beat everybody with a Bedlington forward unable to get a touch at the back post and the half finished with a Patterson drive sailing over the bar.
HT: Terriers 0 – 1 Stan
The second half started with the hosts in control and Burn saw another effort clear the crossbar before a free header from a corner was headed well wide. A free kick from Hopper dipped over the bar on 55 minutes, before a Stan counter attack where Wright found Burns with a great cross but his volley was wide.
The Stan didn’t have to wait too long for the second goal as when Campbell was needlessly tripped on the edge of the box Wright took advantage of Corkhill leaving a gap to his right hand and drilled home the free kick from 20 yards in the 66th minute.
Proctor replaced Paterson a minute later but after a Stoddart clearance was recycled, Proctor allowed Turnbull to turn inside him and shoot across Regan into the far corner to immediately reduce the deficit.
Bedlington were on the front foot now and Fenton almost took advantage of the space around him but crashed a 20 yarder against the post before another free kick fizzed over the Stan bar.
Fenton should have equalised on 76 when he went clear inside the Stan box but the big striker sliced hopelessly wide and Bedlington should have been punished a minute later when Proctor released Wilson , who had just replaced Campbell, but his chip drifted wide.
The Bedlington onslaught continued and after Imray was dispossessed in his own box, Waters bundled over Hopper in the 81st minute and Referee Sloanes rightly pointed to the spot.
Fisher struck the penalty to Regan’s right but it was a nice height for the keeper who got across to beat it away and preserve the Stan’s slender advantage.
Regan then comfortably dealt with two crosses into the box and a shot and a header that were both straight at him as Bedlington threw everything forward.
A tremendous tackle from Burns epitomised the Stan’s battling qualities and Wright then shot over the bar as we entered the three minutes of stoppage time. Bedlington’s last chance came from a corner in the 93rd minute which was cleared to Turnbull who’s shot was way too high.
FT: Terriers 1 – 2 Stan
It hadn’t been pretty and most neutrals would have felt Bedlington deserved to take the game to penalties after dominating the second half but you couldn’t fault the battling qualities and effort from the whole Stan side. Regan was imperious in goal and ably supported by his makeshift back four, with Leech having a fine debut at Left Back. Couple this with the two canny finishes from Campbell and Wright and maybe we just about deserved the £550 prize money and a home tie with Padiham in the next round.