|FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying||301|
|Saturday 12th September 2009||Guiseley V Whitley Bay||2-0|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley Bay’s FA Cup campaign is over for another year and although they were not at their best, there was no disgrace in going out to a Guiseley side that play two divisions above the Bay in the football pyramid.The goals, one in each half, were both the result of defensive mistakes, and they ended Whitley’s unbeaten start to the season, which had lasted for nine games.
On a glorious sunny afternoon, in temperatures more suited to the cricket match taking place on the adjoining field, well over 100 Bay fans were in the neat Nethermoor ground to welcome their team onto the pitch. Ian Chandler opted to start with virtually the same side as at Ryton, the only change being Richard Hodgson, who took the place of Damon Robson in midfield.
Whitley started the better of the two sides and almost straight from the kick off Chris Fawcett went past his man and whipped in a cross that flew across the goal. There was more urgency in Whitley’s play and Guiseley’s tentative start was not helped when with barely four minutes gone, Martin McIntosh was substituted, apparently having tweaked a hamstring. Whitley continued to press forward and a crossfield ball from Fawcett reached Chris Moore on the right wing and his ball into the goalmouth was headed behind for a corner. With ten minutes played, Guiseley’s James Cotterill was booked for a trip on Paul Chow about 20 yards out but Robinson’s free kick was easily held by keeper Jon Worsnop.
One minute later, and against the run of play, Guiseley went ahead. Anthony Lloyd’s cross from way out on the right to the back post eluded both Craig McFarlane and Tom Kindley, who should probably have come off his line to collect the ball. It appeared that the ball was going harmlessly out of play but Steve Burton nipped in unnoticed to head it past Kindley at an acute angle, the ball going in off the underside of the bar.
The goal lifted the home side but Whitley continued to battle away and when Chris Moore chased what seemed like a lost cause from a long ball out of defence, he cut it back across goal where Worsnop just got to it ahead of Phil Bell.
Guiseley’s Lee Tuck was proving a handful for the Whitley defence, linking up well with fellow striker and goalscorer Steve Burton, with some quick passing and strong running. In one such case, Kindley raced out to gather the ball just ahead of Burton as he looked set to double the lead. Just past the half hour there were two good efforts by Tuck, one of which from distance drifted wide and the other was saved by Kindley’s feet.
Six minutes before the interval, Paul Chow looked to be through on goal but he was denied by a marginal offside decision. Two minutes later, Whitley created their best opportunity of the game when Robinson’s ball from midfield sliced through the home defence but Richard Hodgson’s shot when clear on goal went agonisingly inches wide of the left hand upright. Whitley were finishing the half strongly and after Fawcett’s cross was put behind for a corner, Hodgson’s ball to the back post saw Worsnop palm away Fawcett’s goal bound effort.
An equaliser just before the interval could have put a completely different complexion on the game but even though they went in a goal down, Whitley still had everything to play for in the second half.
Four minutes after the resumption, the home defence was put under real pressure when Whitley were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out on the left. Chris Moore’s curled cross into the goalmouth was headed on by David Coulson to Phil Bell, whose overhead kick was kept out only by the alertness of Worsnop who made an excellent block at the expense of a corner.
Three minutes later Guiseley broke away down to the other end and won a corner on the left. The ball was crossed by Merris but having won possession, Bell lost the ball to Fitzgerald who cut in from near the right touch line and spotting a gap between Kindley and his near post slotted the ball home when the Bay keeper was probably expecting a cross rather than a shot.
If the goal disheartened the Whitley players they would have been encouraged by the support from their fans who created far more atmosphere and noise than the home supporters.
Ian Chandler made three substitutions just before the hour in a bid to rescue the game, Lee Kerr, Adam Johnston and Lee Picton replacing Bell, Hodgson and Robinson. Craig McFarlane, who was struggling against the pace of Tuck and Burton on the right side of defence, was moved into a more central position.
Kerr, who many fans thought might have been introduced earlier, was booked for a high challenge on Lloyd soon after coming on but found it difficult to make a significant impact, being forced back to help out in defence as an increasingly confident Guiseley took control of the game. Uncharacteristic mistakes crept into Whitley’s defensive play as they became more stretched but Callum Anderson was one who stood out and was later named Whitley’s man of the match.
Leon Ryan was pushed up from defence to support the attack as Whitley battled to get back into the game. A long throw from Picton was headed on by Ryan to Coulson but Worsnop palmed the ball away from goal. Moore linked up with Kerr but the home defence was proving just too strong and there seemed to be no way through. Kerr set up Johnston but his shot was pushed behind as Whitley threw everyone forward in the closing stages. Three minute from time, Moore’s corner was met by Coulson, but when his header was blocked, the ball fell to Chow who had to react quickly but fired wide.
Two minutes into stoppage time it looked as if Whitley would concede a third goal when Tuck raced clear. His efforts throughout the game deserved some reward but he was denied when Kindley saved with his legs, the ball flying over the bar.
Although Whitley never gave up, Guiseley had looked comfortably in control ever since they had scored their second goal and deservedly ran out winners of what had been an entertaining game played in a good spirit.
WHITLEY BAY; Kindley, McFarlane, Anderson, Hodgson(Kerr 57mins), Coulson, Ryan, Moore, Fawcett, Bell(Johnston 60mins), Chow, Robinson(Picton 60mins)