|skilltrainingltd League Division One||210|
|Tuesday 30th September 2008||Whitley Bay V Billingham Town||8-0|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley completely overwhelmed a poor Billingham Town side on Tuesday evening to record their biggest win for many years. Coming just three days after the superb victory over Hyde in the FA Cup, fans could be excused for thinking that this game might have turned out to be something of an anti-climax but in the event Whitley turned on the style with some tremendous flowing football and even though the game was won long before half time, the players kept going, showing a ruthless streak that has sometimes been missing in the past.
Three of Saturday’s team were rested, Paul Chow, Leon Ryan and Lee Picton all being named among the substitutes, with their places going to Mark Minto, Brian Smith and Anthony Woodhouse.
While Whitley dominated the opening stages, there was no real sign of the avalanche of goals that was to come. In the fourth minute, Chris Moore fired inches wide and a few minutes later Lee Kerr went close with a shot that curled just beyond the post.
The opening goal came after 17 minutes when a corner from Paul Robinson was only half cleared and the ball fell to Brian Smith who delicately chipped it over then advancing keeper. Two minutes later Woodhouse crossed from the right and Robbie Livermore headed home the second goal – a near repeat of his header on Saturday. The floodgates looked about to open when Chris Moore raced clear down the right, cut in and went past a defender before firing home the third goal with just 24 minutes on the clock, remarkably the exact time of Whitley’s third goal against Hyde.
Unlike that game though, the goals did not end there and Moore might have added a fourth on the half hour but his shot crept past the far post as Kerr just failed to apply the finishing touch.
A rare move downfield saw Billingham mount an attack but Richard Graham’s shot did not trouble Terry Burke, the ball going well over the bar.
Kerr tested Billingham keeper James Wiggan with a 20 yard shot that he held at the second attempt but four minutes later Wiggan was helpless when David Coulson lashed home Robinson’s deep corner from just outside the penalty area. Two minutes later, it was Robinson’s turn to hit the target with a great volley that again gave the beleaguered keeper no chance. 5-0 might have become six on the stroke of half time when slack defending let Kerr clear on goal but Wiggan came to his side’s rescue, spreading himself well to block the shot.
Five goals ahead at the interval, Whitley could have been forgiven for easing up in the second half but they maintained the pressure and Billingham players could hardly have been encouraged when they saw Leon Ryan and Paul Chow coming off the bench. Indeed, within seconds of his arrival, Chow added Whitley’s sixth, tapping home from close range after good work from Robinson and Woodhouse. Remarkably Whitley’s six goals so far had all been scored by different players. Chris Moore deservedly ended that pattern in the 64th minute when he got his second and Whitley’s seventh after the Town defence had been cut open once again. He had been tormenting defenders throughout the game and they could find no answer to his pace and trickery.
Still Whitley looked for more goals and after 73 minutes, Coulson nearly got another but his shot from a free kick by debutant substitute Chris Reid was pushed over the bar by Wiggan.
Terry Burke had been a virtual spectator at the other end of the pitch for much of the game but he was called into action 12 minutes from time to save a free kick from Alexander. Play quickly reverted to the Hillheads Road end and Woodhouse, who had been working hard all game, nearly got his name on the score sheet with nine minutes remaining but Wiggan got to the ball just in time after Chow’s lob had put him through on goal. Ryan brought a good save from Wiggan late on but in the final minute, Moore and Kerr set up the eighth goal for Paul Chow who was left unmarked 10 yards out by a dispirited Billingham side who nevertheless maintained their discipline to a much better degree than Hyde had done a few days earlier.
Great entertainment for a good midweek crowd saw Whitley make it 17 goals in the last three games, a tremendous advert which will hopefully bring more fans through the turnstiles in the weeks ahead, beginning with the FA Cup tie against Nantwich.
WHITLEY BAY; Burke, Taylor(Ryan 45mins), Minto(Reid 57mins), Livermore, Coulson, Smith, Moore, Robson(Chow 57mins), Kerr, Woodhouse, Robinson.