Some people say that league form is irrelevant in a cup tie. Terriers unbeaten in NL action this season, but had lost once in a cup game, a home defeat in the FA Vase, against Stann. Stann have already lost two cup games, and two league games.
This encounter is the second part of a four part trilogy. And Stann ran out worthy winners by a comfortable margin in the end, thanks in a big way to the captain’s performance, in getting his first hat trick for the club, and an impressive first start of the season from Joe Kerridge.
A disruption to manager Derek Thompson’s plans saw an enforced change to his planned line up, with Ross Simpson having a difficulty in the warm up, and was replaced by Ryan Bailey. There were also five changes from the home defeat to Easington, with Leech, Imray, Wright, Wilson and Paterson not in the starting eleven, and only Imray making the bench.
Nevertheless Stann started brightly with a deep cross from Kerridge, which Lee Johnson half volleyed into the side netting. Terriers primary threat came from Leighton Hopper, whose shot was superbly turned around his post by Regan. From the corner, taken by Matthew Fisher, Keelan Nellis stormed in to meet the cross but put his header narrowly wide of the upright from inside the 6 yard box, Chance not taken. Kerridge in a central position and from outside the area had a rasping drive finger tipped over by Dryden.
Stann took the lead on 15 mins when a header fell to Kevin Carr just outside the area and with the outside of his right foot curved his shot low, but against the far post, but Richie Hoggins netted from close range.
Kevin Carr had a goal bound shot turned over the bar by Karl Dryden
Two up on 20 mins with a Kerridge corner not fully cleared and Kerridge again crossed for Blackbourne to head towards the goal for an easy chance for Bailey to slot in from close range.
A fair and strong challenge on 25 minutes saw Bailey in agony and had to be replaced by Imray. Bailey has had some injuries to cope with in his career with Stann.
The visitors were quite shakey at the back, and had a charmed life as three Stann players had shots blocked in the same move. Former Stann player, Liam Anderson tried a 20 yd shot which went low and past the far post
On 39 mins a Kerridge shot across the box was fumbled by Dryden and Hoggins pounced for another simple tap in for his second goal. At last Stann were taking their chances, which gave them a good half time lead.
The second half opened with Stann under pressure as Terriers sought a way back. Johnson was booked for a foul on Ethan Biwer and from the free kick Hopper tapped in from close range on 55 minutes after Regan had palmed away a strong shot. Around the hour Bedlington had two chances, first Hopper hit the post, then Fisher’s free kick was headed against the bar, again by Hopper.
Stann released the pressure on them on 68mins when Dryden again fumbled a Kerridge cross and Hoggins got his hat trick from a couple of yards.
Four minutes later and Hoggins pounced on a loose pass, rounded the advancing Dryden and from an acute angle smashed the ball into the far corner. I thought it was his best goal of the night, but Richie told me afterwards that “he preferred his tap ins from a few yards”
The crowd responded heartily with appreciation when four goal hero Hoggins was substituted by Campbell with around 14 minutes left.
Stann now have to arrange a QF home match against Morpeth.
Part 3 of the 4 part trilogy takes place on Saturday at Bedlington.