|skilltrainingltd League Division One||538|
|Saturday 17th October 2009||Whitley Bay V Chester-le-Street||5-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
In an amazingly successful first two months of the season for Whitley, this was yet another convincing victory, and the sixth time that they have scored four or more goals in a game. Their tally in the league is now 50 in just 14 games, with 16 of those goals coming in the last three matches.Sporting bright pink shirts as part of the town’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, Whitley were welcomed onto the pitch by many fans also wearing pink. However, Chester-le-Street were certainly not in the pink of condition and their inability to defend crosses into the penalty area left them exposed whenever Whitley attacked.
After a fairly quiet opening period in comparison to Tuesday evening’s goal rush, Whitley took the lead in the 12th minute. The goal came when Chris Reid’s throw from out on the left was headed on by Leon Ryan, causing confusion in the Chester goalmouth. Following a block by the keeper the ball bobbled about in the goalmouth before Adam Johnston finally got his foot to the ball and forced it over the line.
Whitley continued in the ascendancy although the Cestrians looked lively when they attacked. Striker Nathan Fisher, who has scored ten league goals already this season, combined with Josh Home-Jackson who tested Tom Kindley with a strong shot that the young Bay keeper did well to push over the bar. Moments later Home-Jackson crossed for Rob Draper in front of goal but Kindley dived to grasp the ball at the feet of the visiting skipper.
Chris Moore, back in the side following injury, teased and outpaced his opponent on the wing with several pacey breaks from midfield. His presence helped to make up for the absence of Chris Fawcett, who failed a fitness test shortly before kick off. Just past the half hour, Whitley took advantage of poor defending to extend their lead. The goal came when Richard Hodgson’s free kick from out on the left eluded two defenders and Chris Reid headed the ball firmly past Carmichael in the Chester goal. The visitors fought back briefly and Draper poked the ball just wide of goal but play soon reverted to the other end and Ryan’s header was saved on the line by Carmichael. Three minutes before the interval, Ryan made a surging run from midfield, played a one two with Hodgson but could not make a good contact with the ball and a rather weak shot drifted wide of goal. However, right on the half time whistle, Ryan headed home as Chester again failed to deal with the ball as it came in from the left. With a 3-0 lead at half time, the game was virtually won and it was looking as if another high scoring victory was on the way.
On the restart, Darren Timmons replaced Leon Ryan, who was feeling unwell, a straight swap in defence. Kindley was soon in action, making a confident one handed save to push the ball away from danger as Chester started well. Whitley were generally containing the visitors well, with Callum Anderson and David Coulson giving little space to the dangerous Nathan Fisher.
One minute short of the hour, Whitley won a corner on the right and this time it was Coulson whose leap beat the Chester defence and he headed the ball beyond the reach of Carmichael for the fourth goal. Unfortunately, Coulson fell awkwardly as he landed, appearing to damage an ankle, and he was unable to continue. This meant a reorganisation in defence and Chester-le-Street made the most of the situation. When they won a corner on the right, Rob Draper was left unmarked and his glancing header from Johnson’s flag kick flew into the top corner of the net, to reduce the arrears. Damon Robson, who had taken the captain’s armband when Coulson left the field, provided an opening for substitute Paul Chow, who had just come of the bench, but his header was narrowly off target. 18 minutes from time, Phil Bell, Whitley’s other substitute, showed a clean pair of heels down the left wing and his inch perfect low ball into the goalmouth was not cut out and Lee Kerr side footed the ball home from close range to restore Whitley’s four goal lead.
The closing stages saw more pressure from Whitley, with Bell and Chow both going close following good build up work by Reid and Robson. Six minutes from time, Anderson drew warm applause from the huge crowd of 538 spectators with a tremendous run from defence that took him past a series of opponents. He then crossed the ball from out on the right and Chow was unlucky to see his shot go just past the post. With seconds remaining, Fisher brought another good save from Kindley but was unable to add to his goal tally.
With match officials often coming in for criticism it was pleasing to see that for the second successive Saturday, the game was allowed to flow with stoppages kept to a minimum. Credit is due to referee Paul Davison who controlled the game well and with good humour. Thanks to his sensible approach, there were no bookings
The win, their 13th in 14 outings maintains Whitley’s 100% home league record and keeps them two points clear at the top of the table.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, Anderson, McFarlane, Hodgson, Coulson(Bell 60mins), Ryan(Timmons 46mins), Moore(Chow 63mins), Robson, Johnston, Kerr, Reid
Subs not used: Robinson, Fawcett
Referee Mr P Davison