|Northumberland Senior Cup 2nd Round||185|
|Tuesday 22nd January 2008||Whitley Bay V West Allotment Celtic||2-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley are through to the semi finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup but this local derby was certainly not a classic. Coming just three days after the hard fought Vase game against Long Buckby, Ian Chandler was forced to make changes with both Christian Graham and Dean Douglas cup-tied and Lee Kerr unavailable. Andy Dugdale, Gary Cook, Robbie Livermore and Anthony Woodhouse came into the starting line up while Allotment were captained by former Bay defender Steve Locker.
After a quiet opening, Whitley scored with virtually their first real attempt on goal. It came after 13 minutes when the ball was cleared to the edge of the West Allotment penalty area where Anthony Woodhouse volleyed a spectacular shot over the packed defence and beyond the reach of keeper Kevin Morton.
Allotment responded well and four minutes later Keith Douglas brought a fine save from Terry Burke who pushed his shot over the bar. On the half hour Whitley created a great opportunity to double their lead when Chris Moore went down the wing past the last defender and put over the ideal cross for Paul Chow but his header went just the wrong side of the post with Morton rooted to the spot. A short while later, Moore’s teasing cross was somewhat fortuitously deflected by a defender into the arms of the diving Morton as Whitley began to get on top. Four minutes before the interval, Chow had the ball in the net following a quickly taken free kick but the referee penalised an Allotment player for encroaching while the kick was being taken and ordered the kick to be retaken rather than allowing the goal.
The visitors had not created a great deal during the first half but within two minutes of the restart they levelled the score when Glen Taylor got between two defenders as a cross came in from the left and he headed the ball firmly past Burke from close range. Despite looking below par and giving the ball away too often in midfield, Whitley regained the lead 11 minutes later when Robbie Livermore headed past Morton from Moore’s cross from the right after the winger had gone past a defender and played the ball across the six yard box. This was Livermore’s third goal in the Senior Cup this season, having scored twice in the previous round at Newcastle Blue Star.
The game was far from over though, and within three minutes, Terry Burke pushed a goal bound effort over the bar. Whitley’s two scorers then combined well and Woodhouse saw his glancing header well taken low down by Morton. Another goal now would have made the game safe but Whitley spurned several chances with Robinson failing to make his usual impact. Whitley were uncharacteristically struggling to retain possession, and when Allotment pushed forward late on, it looked as if they might snatch an equaliser and force extra time. However, Whitley held on to record their tenth successive win. This was probably the least entertaining of the ten but no team can be expected to perform at their best every game.
Perhaps just as important as the victory was getting the game played and avoiding increasing further the backlog of fixtures. Credit is due to groundsman Dave Styles for getting the pitch playable on a night when all other games in the area had to be called off.
WHITLEY BAY Burke, Taylor, Cook(Minto 58mins), Woodhouse, Coulson, Dugdale, Moore, Robson, Chow, Livermore(Porter 74mins), Robinson(Reay 77mins)