|FA Vase 3rd Round||567|
|Saturday 5th December 2009||Whitley Bay V Boldmere St Michaels||3-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
A Phil Bell hat trick helped Whitley to overcome a gallant Boldmere St Michaels side at Hillheads in the 3rd Round of the FA Vase. It was a well deserved victory but having dominated the first half, Whitley allowed the visitors back into the game after the interval and it needed Bell’s third goal just four minutes from time to put the result beyond doubt.
On a bright and sunny afternoon with a healthy crowd of 567 in the ground, Whitley immediately put the West Midlands side under pressure and Paul Chow had the ball in the net within two minutes only for the goal to be ruled out for an infringement on the keeper. The game was being played largely inside the Boldmere half and with five minutes played, Chris Moore’s cross from the left just eluded both bell and Chow as it flew across goal. Seven minutes later, Paul Robinson played the ball wide to Chris Fawcett on the right wing and his fierce shot was finger tipped over the bar by keeper Sean Butler. Robinson’s corner was headed into the goalmouth by Chow where Phil Bell headed home from close range. The goal was no more than Whitley deserved and it settled the team and also the fans.Two minutes later, a high cross into the goalmouth by Fawcett was headed from the back post by Chow into the arms of Butler. Whitley continued to push forward in search of a second goal and Hodgson’s pass gave Bell another chance but this time he fired wide.
Having soaked up a lot of pressure, Boldmere broke away down field and a strong shot from Lee Osborne fully tested Kindley, who needed two attempts to hold on to the ball. Two minutes later Tom Law curled a shot over the angle of bar and upright as the visitors battled back into the game.
Whitley were looking comfortable in midfield with Robinson, Hodgson and Fawcett prominent and it was this trio who set up an opportunity which Hodgson drilled over the bar.
Just past the half hour, Boldmere striker Kirk Smith completely mishit a shot after bursting through on the right and the ball rolled harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
Whitley’s second goal followed soon after and it came when Hodgson received the ball some 25 yards from goal following a throw in. His cross from wide on the right to just inside the penalty area was headed crisply past the despairing Butler by Bell, whose height was causing real problems for the visitors. The remainder of the half saw Whitley in complete control as Moore constantly sprinted past the floundering Boldmere defence, who could not cope with his blistering pace. Balls in from the wing were a constant source of danger and after Hodgson had driven a shot just off target, Chow’s effort from Moore’s next cross was pushed wide for a corner. At the interval, Whitley were 2-0 ahead and looking comfortable winners.
With another excellent crowd in attendance I thought we started very well, we put Boldmere under pressure from the off, and dominated the first 45 minutes as a result.
Obviously Belly has taken the headlines and rightly so, his recent performances have been tremendous, I now believe we have the Phil Bell back playing the way he did when we won the league a couple of years ago, working extremely hard but now a real goal threat.
Phil finished his first two goals very well, reacting to Chowies effort which the keeper saved for the first then thumping his header past the keeper for his second, both from great deliveries, Robbo & Hodgy if my memory serves me right.
The second half started ok, a little slow with us just going through the motions to some degree, Boldmere got a sniff of a chance and started pushing us back, especially when I replaced Chris Fawcett for Callum, which meant we moved Moorsey over to the left wing and put Callum wide right (not his natural position). This change allowed their best player (Baker) a little more freedom which he used to his and Boldmere’s benefit when they scored their goal.
After the introduction of Sparky and then Pickers, which allowed Mooresy to revert to right wing, and Callum back into the middle of the field we looked much better, and Belly’s third goal was tremendous, great pass from Sparky, great pace, control and composure from Phil with an excellent finish for his hat trick.
I think we played at probably 85% of what we are capable of, but credit to Boldmere they gave us a scare which will hopefully be a warning for future games.
Great day for Phil, the fans and the club, here’s hoping for another home draw.
Whitley seemed to be sitting back more and more rather than attacking as in the first half and little was seen of Moore, such a potent force in the opening half. Midway through the half, Callum Anderson, who appeared to suffer a serious injury just two weeks ago in the game at Benfield but has made a rapid recovery, replaced Chris Fawcett and from this stage on, Whitley’s play lacked width, and the Boldmere defence appeared more comfortable. This allowed the side from the Midlands Alliance to play a more attacking game and with 15 minutes left, they pulled a goal back. Ricky Baker found space on the left wing and his cross into the goalmouth was slotted home from close range by substitute Lyndon Weller, who had been on the pitch for less than ten minutes.
Suddenly the game seemed wide open as the side based in Sutton Coldfield sensed they had a chance of a getting an equaliser. Both sides made further changes in the closing stages and it was a nervy period for Whitley as passes started to go astray and the visitors found a new lease of life.
Whitley Bay started the game strong and applied a lot of pressure in the early period of the game which is what we expected from watching the game against Penrith. We conceded two well worked goals from set pieces that we knew would be a problem on the day. As the first half progressed, we started to hurt Whitley down the channels and managed to get them turning and opening up opportunities but our final ball into the box was poor. Opportunities from Lee Osborne and debutant 17 year old Tom Law could have made the half time score very different.
We changed our game plan at half time and took the game to Whitley and we feel we dominated the second half creating a number of opportunities, substitute Lyndon Weller scored within minutes of entering the field of play. We dominated the game from this point onwards and even the strong crowd went quiet. Unfortunately when you apply so much pressure it left us vulnerable at the back and we conceded after Whitley broke away from our corner kick.
I was proud of the way we played and very disappointed we did not take the game into extra time which I feel would have been a very interesting outcome. Whitley Bay are a good side and will be a match for anybody in this cup competition although I would be looking to avoid Barwell in the next round as they could be more than a match for Whitley’s defence.
I feel Boldmere have made some good friends in the North East and we were made extremely welcome by the players, officials and supporters alike, I feel we played our part on the day and made it an exciting match.
Boldmere knew that their chance had gone and Whitley comfortably played out the remaining minutes. There was still time for a bizarre incident when with the game in progress the young Boldmere keeper turned to say something to some of the fans behind his goal and looked back just in time to see the ball rolling towards goal. He managed to avoid further embarrassment by gathering the ball safely.
In the Vase the result is always the most important thing with good performances being an added bonus. I think we saw a bit of the best and worst of us today, some excellent flowing playing during the first 30 mins, followed by some mediocre football until they scored and then 10 mins of rubbish where we seemed to panic a little. Credit must go to Boldmere though, who I thought put up an excellent fight and never gave up despite going 2-0 in the 1st half.
Personally it was nice to grab 3 goals, it's always helpful however when you've got people putting them on a plate for you! The first goal was a bit of a training ground corner routine, with Chowy getting an excellent near post flick leaving me the easiest of headers from 2 yards. The second came from a pin-point Hodgy cross, which I think left the keeper and defender confused as to who should go for it, luckily I managed to nip in between them and get my head on it. The third came from a quick break out of defence, Mooresy and Sparky worked it well on the left before passing it inside to me, where the defender sold himself a little so I could come inside and roll it past the keeper. What was most off-putting about that one was the sight of Leon sprinting past me like Usain Bolt, screaming for the ball! Has anyone ever seen him move so fast?!! ;)
So overall, a mixed performance with the right result. Hopefully a home draw again in the next round and until then continuing our good run in the league.
Man of the match honours deservedly went to Phil Bell not only for three well taken goals but for his work rate throughout the game. During the first half, Chris Moore was also a contender for the award, but credit is also due to Boldmere, in particular for their second half performance.
WHITLEY BAY Kindley, Timmons, Fawcett(Anderson 68mins), Hodgson, Coulson, Ryan, Moore, Robson, Bell, Chow(Kerr 60mins), Robinson(Picton 81mins)
Subs not used: Burke, Waite
Referee Mr S Rowntree