|skilltrainingltd League Division One||158|
|Tuesday 6th October 2009||Morpeth Town V Whitley Bay||0-3|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
This was a comfortable win for Whitley against a struggling Morpeth Town side now playing at their temporary home in Bedlington. On a calm and dry evening, conditions were much more favourable than at Billingham on Saturday and right from the start Whitley looked much the better side, playing quick, incisive football that troubled the home defence.After just eight minutes Paul Robinson tested Jak Wells with a fearsome 25 yard shot that the young keeper did well to push over the bar. Four minutes later Damon Robson, who had made a surprisingly quick recovery from the head injury he suffered at the weekend, crossed from the right edge of the penalty area and Adam Johnston escaped his marker to head home from ten yards out.
Not long after, Chris Moore burst through but Wells saved his low shot at the near post. Whitley kept up the pressure and Chris Fawcett raced away down the opposite wing before crossing into the goalmouth where Johnston headed over the bar.
Midway through the half, Paul Chow leapt to meet the ball from a corner but his header flew over the bar. Minutes later, Fawcett’s cross from the right wing was cleared when a shot on goal might have been a better option. Still Whitley pushed forward with Robinson setting up Johnston for a shot that was pushed wide by Wells.
Morpeth had shown little threat in attack but just before the interval Carl Thorp fired a shot wide of Kindley’s goal but at the break the only surprise was that Whitley were leading by just one goal.
Playing up the Welfare Park slope in the second half, Whitley continued where they left off, dictating the game. With 52 minutes on the clock, they increased their lead after a right wing corner was only half cleared and David Coulson lashed the ball through a crowded goalmouth and into the net from around 15 yards out. Coulson might have added another goal soon after but his header rebounded off the bar and Sweeney cleared the ball off the line.
On the hour, Whitley made a triple substitution, with Bell, McFarlane and Hodgson replacing Timmons, Anderson and Moore.
Morpeth were contributing little and Whitley were able to control the game without being extended. Paul Chow was unlucky on several occasions as shots that would normally hit the target flew high or wide. He seems to be going through a spell that affects all strikers at some stage, when however hard he tries the goals will not come. Doubtless his luck will change shortly and he will soon be finding the net again. His fortune on the night was typified when he got his head to Robinson’s left wing corner but having beaten the keeper, the ball clipped the bar and bounced away from goal.
Twelve minutes from time any hopes that Morpeth may have been harbouring were finally dashed when Leon Ryan headed home Richard Hodgson’s corner for what was his sixth goal of the season. At 3-0 the game was won and indeed Whitley might have added to their tally in the closing stages. Phil Bell was denied what looked a clear chance when through on goal but was harshly penalised for what the referee deemed to be a foul on a defender when to most people in the ground it appeared that Bell was the victim of a poor tackle. Fortunately the decision did not affect the outcome and at the final whistle, Whitley’s fans, who made up virtually the entire crowd, were celebrating their team’s tenth victory in eleven games, a result which keeps them top of the table, above Spennymoor on goal difference but also with a game in hand.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, Anderson(McFarlane 61mins), Timmons(Bell 61mins), Robson, Coulson, Ryan, Moore(Hodgson 61mins), Fawcett, Johnston, Chow, Robinson
Subs not used: Reid, Alex Mathewson
Referee: M McDonough