|Arngrove Northern League Division One||146|
|Saturday 29th December 2007||Bedlington Terriers V Whitley Bay||1-5|
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Match Report By Peter Fox
Whitley provided more festive cheer for their fans as they produced a five star performance to demolish neighbours Bedlington Terriers. A few seasons back Bedlington were top dogs in the Northern League but are now languishing at the wrong end of the table. Their league position was borne out by the number of home fans in attendance and they were easily outnumbered by the travelling Bay contingent.
With the games coming thick and fast there were a few changes to the starting line up for Bay but Lee Kerr was in the starting line up having scored eight goals in his last three games. Kerr is on a hot streak as Bedlington were about to find out at first hand.
The game was fairly even in the first few minutes as both sides adapted to the tricky conditions but Bay were ahead within ten minutes. A Damon Robson free kick found Paul Chow who set the ball up for Kerr to pick his spot past Karl Dryden after seven minutes.
Bedlington had a bit of possession after this but their tactics seemed to consist of pumping high balls into the area and hoping for the best. David Coulson and his fellow defenders handled the pressure comfortably and when Bay broke they looked likely to score every time.
Paul Chow saw an effort blocked from a Paul Robinson free kick but Whitley finally doubled their lead after 27 minutes when James Lang was adjudged to have fouled Paul Chow in the area. Kerr stepped up to send Dryden the wrong way from the spot.
The rest of the half was all Whitley. Robinson shot over after a good ball from Chow put him through on goal but Bay made it three after 35 minutes. A flowing move ended with Robson putting a superb pass inside a defender for Robinson to run onto. After beating his man he dragged the ball back and back heeled it into the path of Chow who beat Dryden with a first time shot. Total football!
Whitley wrapped the game up before half time when Kerr netted two minutes before the break, slotting home the ball after Chow’s shot had been blocked to notch his third hat trick in four games.
The Terriers had obviously had a stiff talking to at half time and although the game was lost they still had pride to play for. They got onto the score sheet when Alex Lawson converted a penalty four minutes into the second half but that was as good as it got for them.
Chow saw a shot blocked from a Robson cross and then Kerr rounded Dryden but shot wide from a tight angle. Chris Graham was next to see a goalbound effort blocked by the overworked home defence before Kerr forced Dryden into action with a shot which the keeper tipped round for a corner.
Dryden again denied Kerr after a Mark Minto cross created the chance but Bay finally got their fifth goal after 73 minutes when Graham and sub Dean Douglas combined to create a chance for Minto who buried the ball from 18 yards out.
Three minutes later and it could have been six but Douglas saw his effort ruled out for offside, and he, Robson and Minto all came close to increasing Bay’s lead but Bedlington managed to escape further punishment. A result that sets Whitley up nicley for what will be a much more difficult game against Billingham Town on Saturday.
Bay: Burke, Woodhouse, Minto, Rowe (Picton 65), Coulson, Graham, Moore (Douglas 67), Robson, Chow, Kerr (McMullen 78), Robinson