|skilltrainingltd League Division One||85|
|Wednesday 29th October 2008||Sunderland Nissan V Whitley Bay||3-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
After this third consecutive defeat and their fifth in six games, Whitley will be glad to see the back of October, a month when their form dipped to a level not seen in recent years.
Not only have they gone out of two cups and slipped down to mid table but they have also lost four players. Mark Minto and Brian Smith moved to West Allotment in search of regular first team places and now Anthony Woodhouse and Robbie Livermore have moved down the road to take over the management at struggling North Shields.
Nissan are always a tough side to beat and with former Bay stalwart Brian Rowe at the heart of their defence, Whitley knew they had a battle on their hands. Both Terry Burke and Mark Taylor were missing from the Bay side, but Darren Timmons was back in the team after illness. On a cold evening Whitley started well, and with just four minutes played, Leon Ryan fired a shot inches over the bar from Paul Robinsonís corner. Damon Robson then crossed to the far post and found Craig McFarlane, who mishit his shot and failed to trouble Nissan keeper Paul Newton.
Having been on top during the opening 15 minutes, Whitley were pushed back as the home side got into gear. Hodgson produced a good shot which Tom Kindley, deputising for the unavailable Terry Burke, saved low down.
Just past the half hour, Paul Robinson shot over the bar after receiving the ball from a Picton header. A fairly even half ended all square with neither side having managed to break through.
Things changed after the interval though, with Whitley going close straight from the whistle when Chow was just short of connecting with a low cross from Moore two yards from goal. A minute later play swung to the other end and when the ball was cleared only as far as Nissanís Richard Hodgson, he took full advantage sending a great shot into the top corner of the net, giving Kindley no chance at all. Kindley then saved at the feet of substitute Stuart Banks and with the game really opening up, Chris Moore wasted a good opportunity to level the score when he hit a hurried shot wide after latching on to a long ball out of defence. Whitley kept pushing forward and when they won a corner, Robinsonís ball into the goalmouth saw Davison clear off the line from Ryan, before Newton saved Pictonís effort. The ball finally rebounded to David Coulson who drove it into the net from six yards to level the score at 1-1.
Nissan looked dangerous whenever they attacked, thanks in part to the speed of their attacks and in particular the pace of Joshua Gillies. With 20 minutes left, Andrew Thompson put Nissan back in front after a well worked move cut through the Whitley defence. Seven minutes later Gillies got the third goal which effectively made the game safe for Nissan. Kindley had done well to block Gillies' first effort after he broke clear on goal, but could do nothing to prevent the 18 year old slotting home the rebound.
Substitutions in the closing stages made little difference and although both Chow and Coulson went close late on, Nissan looked a stronger unit, especially in defence and deservedly collected all three points, while Whitley and their fans were left to reflect on another disappointing defeat.
WHITLEY BAY; Kindley, Timmons, Picton, McFarlane, Coulson, Ryan(Hogg 62mins), Moore, Robson, Kerr(Hay 75mins), Chow, Robinson(Reay 75mins)