|skilltrainingltd League Division One||410|
|Saturday 22nd August 2009||Whitley Bay V Shildon||2-0|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley continued their winning start to the season with victory over Shildon at Hillheads on Saturday. The visitors had much the better of the first half and could count themselves unfortunate to be a goal down at the interval. However, the second half was a different story as Whitley gradually took control of the game and ran out worthy winners.With captain David Coulson attending a wedding and Damon Robson injured, Callum Anderson was back in the starting line up and there was a welcome return for Chris Moore, whose spell at Durham City ended after just one game when the Unibond League club suffered a financial crisis and were forced to release their entire playing squad.
Despite a disappointing start to their season, Shildon looked much livelier than Whitley in the opening stages and created several good chances. When Lee Kerr uncharacteristically lost possession in midfield the visitors broke away and Jimmy Farrell was clear on goal but hesitated when he was about to shoot and was closed down by the Bay defence. Whitley were creating little and Shildon again went close when Steve Walklate volleyed wide following a cross from the right.
Shildon captain Daniel Moore wasted an excellent chance when he completely miskicked at the back post when it seemed easier to score.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Whitley finally mounted a meaningful attack and Chris Fawcett curled a shot just past the far post. Back at the other end, Ryan’s handball just outside the area gave Watson a chance with a free kick in a dangerous position but the ball was comfortably cleared.
Chris Moore fired just over the Shildon bar from out on the left as Whitley came more into the game but it was Shildon who might have gone ahead soon after when the dangerous looking Sam Garvie crossed into the goalmouth but Watson headed over the bar. With the visitors on top Shildon’s Moore was denied from close range by an excellent save from Kindley.
Two minutes from half time, Whitley were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out on the left. Paul Robinson floated the ball towards the back post where Paul Chow ran unnoticed from behind the Shildon defence to stoop and head the ball low into the corner of the net. It was an excellent goal but it came against the run of play and coming so close to the interval, it gave Shildon little chance to respond and it was Whitley who went in with the advantage.
Shildon began the second half as if they were determined to make amends for their missed opportunities and with barely a minute played, Watson should have levelled the score but blazed the ball high over the bar from less than ten yards out. A minute later, Shildon’s Matthew Gowland brought a great save from his own keeper Keith Finch who pushed the ball over the bar after Fawcett’s cross was headed goalwards by the defender under pressure from Paul Chow. Richard Hodgson had a great chance to extend Whitley’s lead after 51 minutes when played through on goal but his effort just crept past the far post with Finch struggling to make his ground.
Whitley were now getting on top and Chow was denied a second goal when Shildon’s captain blocked his shot inside the six yard box.
With 69 minutes played, Substitute Phil Bell, who had replaced Chris Moore minutes earlier, bravely charged down a clearance and took the ball to the right edge of the penalty area before sending a low cross which Adam Johnston unselfishly allowed to run for Chow to drive into the net from ten yards out.
Hodgson nearly added third a minute later but a great block by Finch at point blank range kept his side in the game. As it turned out, Shildon’s confidence dropped and they produced little as Whitley’s defence calmly dealt with what the visitors could muster. Once again Callum Anderson and Chris Reid hardly put a foot wrong while Tom Kindley’s distribution of the ball was impressive.
Seven minutes from time, a clumsy challenge on Phil Bell as he raced towards goal earned experienced Shildon defender Mark Tinkler his second yellow card of the game and as a result he was sent off. In the closing stages Craig McFarlane and Paul Robinson both threatened to add to the score with surging runs from midfield but keeper Finch saved his side from further punishment.
Another excellent crowd in excess of 400 gave Whitley a great ovation as they left the field having maintained their 100% league record without conceding a goal.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, McFarlane, Reid, Anderson, Moore(Bell 62mins), Ryan, Fawcett, Hodgson(Picton 80mins), Kerr(Johnston 57mins), Chow, Robinson.