|skilltrainingltd League Division One||248|
|Saturday 20th December 2008||Whitley Bay V Bishop Auckland||5-0|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley gave their fans plenty to cheer about in their last game before Christmas as they made it seven wins in a row, romping to another convincing victory. This time Bishop Auckland were the victims as Whitley once again put five goals past their opponents. Their home form this season makes impressive reading, having won their last eight league games at Hillheads. In all, they have scored 42 goals in 11 home games and this latest win moves them up to fifth place in the Northern League table.
Whitley showed no effects from the gruelling FA Vase game at Penrith just three days earlier and quickly took the lead against struggling Bishop Auckland. With just six minutes gone, Chris Moore, playing against his former side, easily outpaced the visiting defence and his cross from the right was not cut out and Chris Fawcett, completely unmarked at the back post, had the simple task of tapping the ball home from close range to score his first goal for the club. Four minutes later it might have been two but Leon Ryan’s powerful header crashed off the bar and was scrambled away by the Bishops defence. After 16 minutes, visiting keeper Chris Porter made a great diving save to push a first time effort from Paul Robinson round the post after Moore had supplied the pass.
Twenty minutes into the game, the visitors went close when Parkin fired just wide after appeals for handball were waved away.
Bishop Auckland were handed, almost literally, an opportunity to draw level in the 27th minute when a header across goal hit the arm of a Bay defender and the referee awarded the visitors a penalty. However, captain Gavin Parkin fired the spot kick wide. Bishops were still in the game and soon afterwards, Parkin tried a speculative shot from around 25 yards but the ball flew over the bar. Burke then parried a shot from Richards and the ball was cleared to safety. That was about as good as it got for the visitors as Whitley stepped up the pace. With 34 minutes played, Moore again left his marker bemused as he broke clear on the right before crossing into the goalmouth where Paul Chow headed the ball past the helpless Porter to make it 2-0.
Damon Robson then raced through a static defence and put Chow clear on goal, only for Porter to save his side as he blocked the shot. Two minutes before the interval, the keeper could do little to prevent the third goal as Whitley won three headers in the penalty area, Coulson and Ryan both nodding the ball on before Chow’s effort looped beyond the keeper into the net.
Seconds before half time, the visitors won a corner on the left but it was quickly cleared and the alert Paul Robinson played a long ball out to the right where Moore was completely unmarked. He raced away upfield, cut in and drove a long range shot into the net, the ball taking a slight deflection off a defender on the way. Three goals for Whitley in the space of eleven minutes ended the game as a contest and the visitors were probably relieved to hear the half time whistle.
The second half was less eventful as Whitley comfortably controlled proceedings. Just past the hour mark, Chow broke clear but Porter again made a good save to deny the Bay striker a hat trick. Bishop’s substitute Steven West headed a dangerous cross from Robinson into the side netting as Whitley stretched the visitors. Midway through the half, Porter raced out to a long ball played to the edge of the penalty area but Andy Hay, who had come off the bench just four minutes earlier, just reached the ball ahead of the keeper, knocked it past him and then had the simple task of putting it into the empty net for Whitley’s fifth goal.
In the closing stages there were opportunities for Whitley to add further goals and substitute Darren Reay, hero at Penrith three days earlier, tried his luck from 20 yards but the ball flew wide. Five minutes from time, a cross from Fawcett was not cut out and Andy Hay brought another fine save from Porter, the keeper doing well to parry his powerful shot. Moments later, Chow nearly added a sixth when he headed just over the bar from Mark Taylor’s cross.
At the back, Whitley again looked secure with a settled defensive formation that gave little away and earned their fifth clean sheet in their last six games.
This was a strong all round performance from Whitley, with every player contributing to another thoroughly entertaining game. Although Paul Chow is in excellent form, now having scored 19 times this season, the goals are coming from all around the team, with no fewer than eleven members of Saturday’s squad having got on the score sheet this season.
WHITLEY BAY: Burke, Taylor, McFarlane, Robson(Reay 52mins), Coulson, Ryan, Moore, Fawcett, Kerr(Hay 64mins), Chow, Robinson(Hogg 70mins)