|Arngrove Northern League Division One||238|
|Saturday 26th January 2008||Whitley Bay V Ashington||4-1|
Match Report By Peter Fox
When the bench for this game read Paul Chow, Gary Cook, Paul Robinson, David Coulson and Damon Robson but the starting XI looks extremely strong it says a lot for the Bay’s strength in depth this season.
Ashington put on a determined display as you would expect from a side managed by Andy Gowens and their heads didn’t drop but they had no answer to the Bay’s firepower.
In the early minutes of the game Mark Minto won a corner and the ball was worked short to Chris Moore who crossed for Lee Picton to head just over the bar.
Minto and Dean Douglas linked up well for the latter to cross and the ball just eluded the onrushing Whitley strikers.
Ashington’s first real threat came when Lee McAndrew had a shot deflected wide by his own player after Lee Picton had given the ball away.
Bay took the lead after 12 minutes with a free kick right out of the top drawer from Lee Kerr. Douglas went on a mazy run which was halted by a foul on the edge of the penalty area. Kerr stepped up and curled a sublime free kick into the top left hand corner of the goal with the ball clipping the post as it went in. Paul Simpson in the Ashington goal could only admire it as went past him.
Ashington to their credit tried to respond and Burke had to collect a dangerous looking cross form McAndrew but they found themselves two down after 20 minutes. Moore was sent away down the right and his low cross was collected by Douglas who jinked his way round a defender before drilling a low shot into the corner of the goal.
It was nearly three a few minutes later when Brian Rowe (with a radical new haircut!) played a lovely ball through to Moore and his cross was met by the diving Robbie Livermore but Simpson produced a fantastic save to palm the ball away.
Towards half time Ashington’s Craig Jelley saw a goal bound effort hit his own player Luke Parkinson, the second time this had happened to the Colliers. They must have known it wasn’t to be their day.
If they didn’t know it at half time they certainly did early in the second half. After it looked as though Minto was going to be clean through on goal only to be dispossessed by Colin Morton, Bay went three up after 53 minutes. Moore put a corner right on Picton’s head and his knock down found Kerr who volleyed home his 16th goal in his last eight games. It was game over now and it seemed a matter of how many Whitley would score.
Kerr latched onto a great long ball from Livermore and, with a defender in hot pursuit elected to shoot early but Simpson got his fingertips to the ball and pushed it round the post.
On the hour Moore hit a low shot just wide from 20 yards, before turning provider for Kerr with a lovely cut back only for the Bay striker to blast the ball over when the whole crowd expected him to notch another hat trick.
Simpson was soon in action again as Moore set up sub Paul Robinson and the Ashington keeper managed to block his fierce shot.
In a rare Ashington break Liam Aitken put a decent cross into the Whitley six yard box but no-one could get a touch before the action swung back to the other end and Kerr prodded the ball just wide from sub Gary Cook’s corner.
Ashington got the consolation their hard work deserved when Dylan Williamson broke down the right and crossed for Ross Atkinson to sidefoot home after 83 minutes, but Whitley weren’t about to allow the visitors to have the last word.
Three minutes later at the end of a flowing move Robinson played a one-two with Minto and then chipped Simpson from around 20 yards. A fantastic effort and a fitting way to round off another football feast at Hillheads.
Bay: Burke, Taylor, Minto, Rowe (Robinson), Dugdale (Robson), Picton, Moore, Graham, Kerr, Livermore, Douglas (Cook)