|FA Cup Preliminary Round||178|
|Saturday 30th August 2008||Billingham Town V Whitley Bay||0-4|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
A Billingham Town side that bore no resemblance to the team of recent seasons were outclassed by Whitley in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.
The home side held out for most of the first half but once the second goal went in, the result was not in doubt as the Teessiders struggled to make any impact on the Bay defence.
Ian Chandler recalled Anthony Woodhouse to the starting line up, alongside Paul Chow in attack, in place of Lee Kerr who was on the substitutes’ bench.
Within seconds of the kick off, Chow tested Billingham keeper James Wiggan with a header after Chris Moore had whipped in the ball from the right. A few minutes later Moore created another opening, this time for Woodhouse, but again the keeper made the save. Billingham were making little impression but in the 14th minute they were awarded a free kick from which Martin Thompson headed well wide. John Alexander then cut in from the wing and brought a low save from Burke.
Whitley looked the better side but were not making their superiority count, despite two opportunities provided by Chow for Woodhouse. The first saw a half hit shot saved low down by Wiggan and the second resulted in a glancing header going inches wide of the post. Whitley were gradually increasing the pressure and Robbie Livermore tested the keeper with a 20 yard effort after side stepping a defender.
Alexander then broke through at the other end and when he was tackled the ball fell for Donachie who shot over the bar when he should have found the target.
Six minutes before the interval, Whitley broke the deadlock when Anthony Woodhouse, out on the left, fired a shot past Wiggan from fully 25 yards. A minute before the interval, a crucial tackle by Billingham’s Mark Osmond prevented a second goal, when he took the ball off the toes of Damon Robson after Chow had played the ball through.
After the break, more good work by Livermore set up an opportunity for Woodhouse, who volleyed wide. A double substitution saw Kerr and Robinson introduced ten minutes into the half and it was Robinson who was the architect of the second and crucial goal midway through the half. Chow played the ball into the penalty area where Robinson cleverly flicked the ball forward and the unfortunate Thompson headed it past his own keeper. Robinson deservedly received the congratulations but the ‘dubious goals panel’ behind the Billingham goal had no doubts that it should go down as an own goal.
Billingham seemed to capitulate from this point and five minutes later Chow headed home at the back post from Moore’s cross for the third goal. Ten minutes on, Robinson crashed the ball against the bar and Chow was quickest to respond, volleying home the rebound from ten yards. Robson and Brian Smith both went close to increasing the margin of victory in the closing stages and a dispirited home side were relieved to hear the final whistle.
The longer the game went on, the stronger Whitley looked, with Robbie Livermore having a particularly good game in midfield.
The reward was £1500 prize money with double that amount on offer in the next round when Whitley face another away day, this time at Pickering Town.
WHITLEY BAY Burke, Taylor, Minto(Robinson 56mins), Timmons, Coulson, Ryan(Smith 76mins), Moore, Robson, Woodhouse(Kerr 56mins), Chow, Livermore.