A CHILLY afternoon on the pitch at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre will be remembered for a thunderous strike from Michael Robson.

The centre-half found the top corner from 25 yards to earn Hexham a point against top four side Bedlington, in Northern Alliance Division One.

The 1-1 draw was a full-blooded encounter in freezing conditions which could have gone either way, with both sides having their fair share of goalscoring opportunities.

Livewire forward Dylan Mabunu was Hexham’s main threat in the opening stages, and he provided the ammunition for striker Kurtis Harvey to fire wide from 20 yards after 10 minutes.

But if weather conditions weren’t already cold enough, the hosts were made to shiver just two minutes later, when a perfectly executed through ball cut the Hexham defence wide open.

Visiting forward Michael Robinson raced through and slotted the ball past advancing keeper Nathan Byerley, in the Hexham goal.

Hexham kept their heads up, and on the quarter-hour mark, Robbie Pattison made a firm tackle to win the ball on the right hand touchline, before crossing the ball for Mabunu, whose shot was blocked.

On 26 minutes, Bedlington appealed for a penalty area when Tommy Wilkinson’s shot was blocked. But their claims that the ball had struck a defender’s arm fell on deaf ears.

Shortly afterwards, Bedlington’s Oliver Thompson raced past two defenders down the Hexham left, before crossing for Robinson, who headed over the crossbar.

Then Byerley rushed out of his goal bravely to save at the feet of Chris Conway after a good Bedlington move.

Bedlington had the ball in the net again, but the referee had already blown for offside by the time Scott Bowman stylishly lobbed the keeper with the outside of his right foot.

Hexham responded well, and ended the first half on a high, with Harvey and Will Forsyth going close, and Vinnie Proudlock impressing down the right after switching flanks.

Home keeper Byerley saved his own skin after scuffing a goal kick straight to Robinson. But as the forward bared down on goal, the stopper got down low to his left to save.

Hexham’s Callum Duncan had a fierce low shot tipped around the post early in the second half, and then struck the woodwork from a tight angle shortly afterwards.

The hosts were enjoying a period of free-flowing football, and it was no surprise when Robson equalised on 64 minutes. After a marauding run over the halfway line, his thunderous drive skimmed the fingertips of visiting keeper Nathan Eaton on its way into the net.

On 70 minutes, midfielder Lewis Loughhead linked up with Harvey before his powerful shot was tipped over the bar.

Hexham’s momentum was stifled in the closing 15 minutes, with the referee awarding a series of hotly contested free kicks to the visitors.

Home defender Tom Hacking made a vital interception in the closing stages as a Bedlington forward chased a ball over the top.

Hexham, who also had a penalty appeal turned down in the second half, are now eighth in the league with games in hand on some of teams above them.