|skilltrainingltd League Division One||304|
|Tuesday 16th February 2010||Whitley Bay V Billingham Synthonia||4-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
This was a classic ‘game of two halves’ with Synners edging a goal less first 45 minutes before Whitley turned on the style after the interval to run out convincing winners.
With David Coulson missing the game with a one match ban, Leon Ryan took the captain’s armband while Chris Reid came into the centre of defence. Callum Anderson, back from suspension, replaced Richard Hodgson in midfield.
The visitors looked the more dangerous side for much of the first half with Iley posing the main threat and it took Whitley almost a quarter of an hour to get a meaningful shot on target, Paul Robinson’s effort taking a deflection but falling comfortably for Synners’ keeper Chris Porter. Whitley’s best move of the opening half hour came with a good run down the left by Chris Fawcett which took him past two defenders before playing a neat one two with Adam Johnston but his shot on goal was blocked.
James Magowan went close for Billingham with a shot just over the bar after 20 minutes and the same player forced Terry Burke to push a rasping drive over the bar seven minutes before the break. Billingham were having most of the play at this stage but just before half time a good move when Fawcett switched play across field to Chris Moore ended with Adam Johnston’s shot being saved by Porter.
There was little sign of what was to come at the start of the second half although in a tactical substitution, Paul Chow replaced Lee Kerr. Within four minutes Whitley were in front, the goal coming when Chris Moore took the ball to the by-line, cut it back across the face of goal where Billingham defender Leon Carling deflected the ball into the net off the inside of the far post for what was surprisingly the first own goal of the season for Whitley.
The lead lasted only five minutes, when Synners’ defender Stephen Morrison, moving upfield in support of his attack, slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net from around 20 yards. The ball took a deflection on the way leaving Terry Burke wrong footed.
Whitley quickly returned to the attack and a corner from Paul Robinson produced a goalmouth scramble before the ball was eventually cleared. Craig McFarlane then went close, drilling a shot through the crowded defence but Porter got down well to make a low save.
Whitley were posing a constant threat and regained the lead midway through the half when Fawcett played the ball into the path of Robinson, who in turn played it out to Moore on the right wing. His pace took him clear before he sent over a perfect cross to the near post where Paul Chow headed the ball home from close range to round off an excellent four man move. Six minutes later Whitley extended their lead thanks to another flowing move involving Chris Moore. A great 40 yard pass from Anderson reached Moore again on the right wing and as before he raced clear before sending a low cross into the penalty area where Adam Johnston met the ball on the half volley and beat Porter from ten yards.
With 13 minutes left, Phil Bell replaced Johnston, and within two minutes he got his name on the score sheet, bundling home Moore’s cross as the winger caused more torment for the now hapless Synners.
Whitley were in complete command and although Billingham tried to add a degree of respectability to the score, they could make little impact on a confident Bay defence, marshalled well by Ryan.
This was Whitley’s third win in eight days and the second half performance was probably their best since the snow-enforced winter break. The confidence that will come from this improved form is just what Whitley need in the build up to their FA Vase Quarter Final at Shildon a week on Saturday.
WHITLEY BAY: Burke, McFarlane(Hodgson 69mins), Fawcett, Anderson, Reid, Ryan, Moore, Robson, Kerr(Chow 45mins), Johnston(Bell 77mins), Robinson
Subs not used: Kindley, Picton
Referee: D McCallum