By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Bedlington Terriers 3 (Convery 45, Doninger 58, Pell 72)
Newcastle United Under-21s 2 (Ferguson 15, Hooper 77)
This Northumberland FA Senior Cup quarter-final tie had been postponed on three previous occasions but Bedlington Terriers were pleased that it went ahead this time around as they pulled off a shock win against a strong Newcastle United second-string side.
Cup fever was very much in the air at the Dr. Pit Welfare Park, with programmes sold out, parking at a premium and kick-off delayed by nine minutes as the home side tried to get everyone through the turnstiles.
Among the healthy crowd were ex-Magpies youngster Andy Mogwo and current United star Paul Dummett who, fresh from his first-team debut against Brighton at the weekend, did his best to blend in by wearing his Newcastle United jacket. Youngsters Adam Armstrong and Jamie Sterry were also there to cheer Newcastle on.
Bedlington were unchanged from the side which held Northern League Division One leaders Spennymoor to a 0-0 draw on Saturday and set out their stall to frustrate Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's team.
It worked early on as skipper Shane Ferguson's low cross fell to Steven Logan at the far post on four minutes but his shot was blocked by Phil Cave, then Marcus Maddison saw a low effort held by Jack Norton.
The former Darlington goalkeeper then saved well from Mehdi Abeid's curler in the tenth minute but there was nothing he could do to keep out Ferguson's glorious 15th minute free-kick, which the Northern Ireland international bent over the wall and into the net after Maddison was fouled on the edge of the area.
Maddison tested Norton again with a dipping effort which the keeper grabbed at the second attempt after it had bounced off his chest, then the Durham-born winger scuffed wide after Adam Campbell's through-ball. But, as the half-hour mark approached, it took a superb last-ditch tackle from Remie Streete to thwart Philip Bannister.
United continued to press for a second, though, and it almost came when Romain Amalfitano fed Ferguson on the left and his low cross was met by Nile Ranger, but Norton somehow denied him.
Seven minutes before the break, a great tackle from Lubo Satka robbed Bannister as he prepared to shoot but in first-half stoppage time, boyhood Newcastle fan Mark Convery equalised with a free-kick every bit as spectacular as Ferguson's half an hour earlier.
Buoyed by their goal, Bedlington started the second half well with Steven Bowie forcing Jak Alnwick to tip a shot behind and then nodding agonisingly wide from Convery's cross inside the first five minutes.
Then the veteran Terriers skipper blazed over after Bannister sent him away before Mark Doninger, the former Newcastle Reserve midfielder, brought the best out of Alnwick with a low strike which the keeper did well to push away.
At the other end, Maddison cut inside and shot narrowly wide then, in the 57th minute, Abeid picked out Campbell with a raking pass which the flame-haired forward dinked over Norton but just over the bar. But the hosts went in front through arguably the best goal of the night when Doninger spotted Alnwick off his line and audaciously lobbed him from more than 30 yards.
Streete headed wide from a Ferguson corner as United tried to force an equaliser but it was nearly game over when Convery's free-kick fell for Chris Carr, who would have had a tap-in but for a covering challenge by Satka.
Alas, from the resulting corner taken by Convery, Richard Pell arrived late to head home but five minutes later, substitute JJ Hooper gave United hope with a clinical finish from Ferguson's defence-splitting pass.
A shot from Campbell was deflected into Norton's arms then Abeid's free-kick hit the wall and Amalfitano volleyed wide before Campbell was denied by a top class save as Newcastle piled on the pressure but the Terriers held on to dump the holders out.
Bedlington Terriers: Jack Norton, Craig Baxter, Phil Cave, Chris Carr, Richard Pell, Adam Wilkinson, Mark Convery, Mark Doninger, Philip Bannister (Paul Brayson 75), Colin Morton (Kris Gate 64), Steven Bowie (c)
Subs not used: Andrew Leason, Anthony Shandran, Martin Brittain
Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, Steven Logan (Michael Riley 83), Remie Streete, Lubo Satka, Shane Ferguson (c), Marcus Maddison (JJ Hooper 62), Brandon Miele, Mehdi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano, Nile Ranger, Adam Campbell
Sub not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Alex Kitchen, Dennis Knight
Referee: Dave McCallum