|skilltrainingltd League Division One||126|
|Wednesday 20th August 2008||Bedlington Terriers V Whitley Bay||0-3|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley appear to be getting their season back on track following this second win inside a week. They were much the better side at Welfare Park and were comfortable winners of this local derby.
With Terry Burke unavailable, 17 year old Tom Kindley took over in goal, while Lee Kerr and Paul Chow started up front. In the opposition ranks were three former Bay players, Michael Fenwick and Jon Sunderland, both members of the FA Vase winning side, together with striker Lee Ludlow.
Barely three minutes had been played when Darren Timmons headed just over the bar from Chris Moore’s right wing corner. Moore was being used in the build up for most of Whitley’s attacks, and was causing problems for the home defence with his pace down the wing.
Whitley were creating plenty of openings and when Livermore released Moore on the right, his cross towards the back post was mis hit by Kerr and the chance was lost. A few minutes later, Paul Chow was played through on goal but keeper Kevin Morton made a fine one handed save to push the ball wide of goal.
Robson then played a left wing corner to Livermore whose cross into the penalty area found Chow unmarked but with the goal at his mercy he headed just inches wide. Moore then brought a good save from Morton, who pushed his shot from an acute angle across goal where Kerr volleyed the ball into the side netting.
Whitley’s pressure was finally rewarded after 36 minutes when Chris Moore went round a defender and ran through on goal. His low shot from the edge of the area beat Morton and flew into the bottom corner of the net to give Whitley a well deserved lead.
At this stage, little had been seen of Bedlington as an attacking force with arguably Whitley’s strongest back three of Timmons, Coulson and Ryan giving little away.
Whitley almost added a second within two minutes when Kerr’s shot was deflected behind and from the corner that followed, Coulson headed over the bar.
A rare mistake by Ryan allowed Tony Shandran a free run on goal and with only Kindley to beat an equaliser seemed inevitable but to the dismay of the home fans the Terriers’ striker put the ball wide. Briefly, Shandran looked a threat on the left but he lacked support and the Whitley defence quickly closed him down and at the half time whistle they retained their 1-0 lead.
After the interval, playing up the slope, Whitley appeared to step up a gear. Firstly Moore broke through and Kerr was unlucky to see his effort go wide but a minute later, Chow and Livermore were instrumental in cutting through the Bedlington midfield and when Christian Graham received the ball some 20 yards out he went past a defender cut in and drove the ball wide of Morton for his first goal for the club, and it came against one of his former sides.
It was suddenly all Whitley and a minute later Kerr shot just wide, then Moore broke clear and brought a diving save from Morton. Bedlington’s confidence seemed to be draining away and with Whitley camped in their opponents half it seemed only a matter of time before more goals came. Just past the hour, a free kick on the right of midfield was floated into the penalty area where Coulson headed the ball forward to Ryan who in turn sent a looping header over Morton for Whitley’s third goal.
The game was effectively won but there was still time for Kindley to make his mark in a game where he had previously had little to do. Moments after racing out to collect the ball at the feet of Ludlow, he was in action again to foil the former Bay man when Ludlow took advantage of a moment of hesitancy in midfield and burst through on the Bay goal. However the young keeper dived full length to make a great save, pushing the ball round the post.
Whitley comfortably played out the remainder of the game with substitutes Anthony Woodhouse, Mark Taylor and Brian Smith all getting a run out in the closing stages.
Although not the toughest opposition that Whitley will face this season, this Bedlington side are considerably stronger than last season so it was encouraging to see how Whitley’s midfield took control, with Christian Graham having possibly his best game for the club.
Three points, a clean sheet and the best performance of the season so far – things are definitely looking up.
WHITLEY BAY Kindley, Minto, Graham, Timmons, Coulson, Ryan, Moore, Robson(Smith 76mins), Kerr, Chow(Woodhouse 64mins), Livermore(Taylor 71mins)