|FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying||364|
|Saturday 27th September 2008||Whitley Bay V Hyde United||3-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley are through to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup after a magnificent victory over Hyde United, a side three divisions above them in the football pyramid. They are now just two games away from a place in the 1st Round Proper.
The game was reminiscent of last season’s FA Vase semi final second leg against Lowestoft, with Whitley starting in tremendous style and racing into a three goal lead in little over 20 minutes.
Just three minutes into the game, a great through ball from Paul Robinson split the Hyde defence and Paul Chow ran on to drill the ball past Hyde keeper Craig Dootson. The cheers had barely died down when Lee Kerr and Robbie Livermore combined to set Chris Moore away on the right. His electric pace took him clear of the Hyde defence and he fired the ball across the keeper and into the corner of the net to put Whitley 2-0 ahead with only five minutes played. Hyde, who play in the Blue Square North League, were visibly stunned and looked in total disarray. Whitley were in complete control and might have extended their lead when Robinson played a corner deep and Damon Robson, completely unmarked just outside the penalty area drove the ball wide of goal.
Moore was causing all sorts of problems on the right wing and in the 24th minute he received the ball near the touch line, went past his man with ease and crossed beyond the Hyde defence where Robbie Livermore stole in and headed the ball into the roof of the net to give Whitley a three goal advantage.
Desperate to stem the relentless tide of blue and white shirts, Hyde reorganised and made a tactical substitution and at last they managed to pressurise the Bay defence. It took them 28 minutes and even then the shot from defender Karl Munroe flew high over the bar. Just past the half hour, Terry Burke needed to be alert to save from Chris Simm and as Hyde began to shows signs of their superior status, Nicky Clee shot over the bar after cutting in from the left wing. At the other end, Kerr came within inches of connecting with a cross from Moore but two minutes before the interval, Simm saw his low shot rebound off the base of the post as Hyde searched for a way back into the game.
The Greater Manchester side had the majority of the possession after the interval but Whitley defended well, with Leon Ryan and David Coulson outstanding at the back. Moore continued to cause problems for the visitors and when he changed wings his cross from the left saw Livermore shoot just over the bar.
After 66 minutes, Hyde pulled a goal back when defender Chris Lynch headed through a crowded goalmouth after the ball had been crossed from the right. Two minutes later, Hyde substitute and joint manager Neil Tolson broke through on goal but lost control of the ball and it went through to Burke. Tolson responded angrily and was sent of for using foul and abusive language. This was the signal for unpleasant scenes around the tunnel with disgruntled Hyde fans arguing with their player.
Whitley were unperturbed and in the 70th minute might have put the result beyond doubt when Chow’s header across goal fell for Robson with the goal at his mercy but his shot lacked power and Dootson made a good diving save. On a warm and sunny afternoon, some Whitley players were beginning to run out of steam after their tremendous first half display, but Ian Chandler was able to bring on extremely capable substitutes in the form of Anthony Woodhouse and Mark Minto who both played their part in the closing stages.
With 15 minutes left, Kerr brought a tremendous save from the Hyde keeper following more good approach work from Moore. Eight minutes from time, Mark Minto almost got a fourth goal for Whitley with a glancing header from Picton’s pinpoint cross, but the ball flew the wrong side of the post.
The frustration and ill discipline of the visitors was apparent again in the closing stages when Karl Munro verbally abused one of the match officials and was sent off, leaving them to complete the game with only nine men on the pitch.
Having soaked up a good deal of pressure, Whitley finished strongly and thoroughly deserved their victory, producing what was probably the performance of the round in defeating so comfortably a team three divisions higher in status. They were deservedly given a standing ovation at the end by the crowd of 364. The prize money for this round, £4500, is a welcome bonus, bringing Whitley’s total winnings in the FA Cup so far this season to just short of £10000.
WHITLEY BAY: Burke, Taylor, Picton, Livermore(Woodhouse 68mins), Coulson, Ryan, Moore, Robson, Kerr(Minto 76mins), Chow, Robinson(Smith 86mins)