BEDLINGTON 0ROTHBURY 0(AET – Bedlington won 4-2 on penalties)Rothbury exited the Northern Alliance Comintation Cup at the semi-final stage in the cruelest possible way on Saturday, beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Bedlington.
After 90 minutes of normal time and 30 minutes of extra-time, neither side was able to find a breakthough and the game went to the dreaded spot kick lottery.
In the end they lost out 4-2 in the shoot-out with Gaz McCann and Greg Woodburn the two players missing.
For boss Dan Herron, it was a cruel way to see his side go out of the competition but he was magnanimous in defeat and wished Bedlington all the best for their Final appearance against Cramlington United.
Bedlington themselves hailed the game as ‘a fantastic spectacle for the support’ and no-one would argue as both sides put in a tremendously hard-working shift across the 120 minutes where neither could break the deadlock.
Chances came and went at both ends, but the defences were very much on top with skipper Tom Macpherson putting in a man-of-the-match display as he marshalled the Reds’ backline superbly.
“We are devastated to be honest,” admitted Herron. “Losing a semi-final is worse than a final, and on penalties is worse again. There were a few chances for both teams to be fair, but it was a game for good defending I thought. It was quite a cagey affair with some decent football played.”
Tony Brown and Chris Coe were successful with their penalties, but Bedlington tucked away all of their first four to spark the celebrations and take their place in the Final.
“To be fair to them, all their penalties were decent and Paul Appleby didn’t have much hope,” continued the boss.
With over half the season still to play, Rothbury’s aim is now very much one of continued learning and further development of their attractive style of play.
“We’re not even thinking about promotion to be honest - just about developing the young lads we have and embedding the passing style for next year. We’ve got lots of games left to get confidence in the lads to play out from the back and really establish that free-flowing passing-through philosophy!” said Herron.