|skilltrainingltd League Division One||371|
|Tuesday 10th November 2009||Whitley Bay V Norton & Stockton Ancients||7-0|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley put their recent disappointing league form behind them with a crushing victory over mid table Norton and Stockton Ancients on Tuesday evening. This win was as emphatic as the score line suggests and in contrast to their seven goal demolition of Bishop Auckland back in August, this success was gained against a mid table side who have already beaten several of the leading teams this season.There were five changes from the side that lost at South Shields, with Kindley, Anderson, Hodgson, Robinson and Johnston all in the starting line up. It was a cold but dry and calm evening for the first ever league game between the teams and Whitley made an excellent start.
With just over a minute played, Kerr’s short corner on the left was played back to him by Hodgson and now with a better angle on goal he curled a shot into the goalmouth and as was the case with Chris Fawcett’s goal against Benfield, the keeper was deceived and the ball flew into the net without anyone else getting a touch to it.
This was just the start Whitley had been looking for but Norton showed they were not going to be a pushover and slick play four minutes later almost brought an equaliser but they were denied by a fine save from Kindley. Robinson then drilled a shot towards goal but defender Lewis McCardle got his body in the way of the ball to keep it out. Play evened out for a while and the visitors began to show some of the form that had brought them victories over Dunston and Benfield. Kindley was forced to make a double save as the visitors threatened to reduce the arrears while another effort by the visitors was cleared off the line.
At the othet end, a great run by Paul Robinson created an opening after he took the ball along the by line, cut back and tested James Briggs with a shot that the Norton keeper palmed away from goal. Kerr quickly pounced on the loose ball but drove his shot across goal and just wide of the far post.
With 26 minutes played, Whitley extended their lead when Chris Reid’s cross from the left rebounded into the path of David Coulson and he forced the ball home from six yards out.
With a two goal cushion, Whitley were looking increasingly comfortable but on the half hour the Teessiders threatened when David Hillerby went close when he found an opening. This was about as good as it got for Norton as Whitley piled forward and fired in shots at every opportunity. Robinson’s cross was headed inches over the bar by Johnston then Fawcett’s 20 yard drive brought a low save from Briggs. Shortly before the interval, Briggs could only parry a shot from Kerr but Chow was beaten to the loose ball by a defender.
Less than two minutes into the second half Chris Fawcett pulled up after attempting a shot on goal and limped off with a hamstring injury which makes him extremely doubtful for the Vase game against Alsager. Realistically he could be out of action for around two weeks.
Within seconds, Whitley went 3-0 ahead when Adam Johnston went past an opponent, and played the ball in for Paul Chow to send a great first time shot past Briggs. This was Chow’s third goal in as many games since regaining his goal scoring touch.
Two minutes before the hour, Johnston added the fourth when his shot crashed off the bar and he reacted quickly to head the rebound home with the Norton defence all at sea.
The game was now won and with Damon Robson having replaced the injured Fawcett, Chris Moore and Phil Bell also came off the bench for the last half hour.
Robinson was having a great game and he was setting the tone for his team mates, chasing and winning virtually every ball in midfield. He was also having his fair share of shots and with 66 minutes on the clock he was only just off target with another first time effort. Chris Moore was making his presence felt on the right wing and a cross to the back post so nearly brought the fifth goal but Reid’s header was just off target. With 73 minutes played, another excellent cross from Moore evaded the Norton defence and Robinson came in at the far post to side foot the ball home from the narrowest of angles. This goal was no more than he deserved but better was to come in the closing stages. With six minutes left, Kerr played a low ball into the goalmouth from a left wing corner and it was knocked clear, but only as far as Robinson who curled a great 25 yard shot through the Norton defence and beyond the helpless Briggs. At 6-0 with time running out, the fans must have thought the game was over but the best was yet to come!
Robinson was full of confidence and was now prepared to try just about anything and with the ball at his feet just inside his own half close to the Whitley dugout he spotted Briggs off his line. Well over 50 yards from goal he struck the ball perfectly and although the keeper back pedalled desperately, the ball flew over his head and into the net for one of the most spectacular goals any of the 371 fans at Hillheads can ever have seen. A superb goal and a remarkable hat trick all in the space of 13 minutes! This was also Whitley’s 60th league goal in just 19 games.
Norton were desperate for the final whistle but Whitley were still not satisfied and Chris Moore almost added an eighth after bursting through on goal but his shot drifted wide.
The game ended to resounding applause from the excellent midweek crowd who gave the team a well deserved standing ovation.
As well as the margin of victory and the boost to their goal difference what was so impressive was Whitley’s thirst for possession, tireless running and determination to win every ball. No one epitomised this better than Paul Robinson but it was a night when every Whitley player including the substitutes played their part.
Apart from Chris Fawcett’s injury, the game was the perfect preparation for Saturday’s start to Whitley’s defence of the FA Vase.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, Anderson, Reid, Hodgson, Coulson, Ryan, Fawcett(Robson 47mins), Johnston(Bell 65mins), Kerr, Chow(Moore 56mins), Robinson.
Substitutes not used: Burke, Picton
Referee Mr G Beswick