|Arngrove Northern League Division One||130|
|Tuesday 12th February 2008||Chester-le-Street V Whitley Bay||0-6|
Match Report By Colin Phillips
Whitley travelled to Moor Park to face a mid-table Chester Le Street and after the heroics of the weekend were looking to get back to winning ways in the League.
Whitley started without regulars Kerr, who was working and Coulson who was ill.
The opening exchanges were cagey with neither side providing a telling ball and neither keeper were troubled. It took 10 minutes for the first shots of the game as firstly Christian Graham fired just wide then Chester Le Street went straight to the other end for Scott Emmerson to do likewise.
On 11 minutes Woodhouse found himself in an advanced position and shot towards goal however it was off target and it fell to the feet of Minto who lashed in from 10 yards to put the Bay in front.
Whitley were pouring forward and on the quarter hour Robson stung the keepers hands from close range and from the resultant corner, Robinson shot just wide.
The game was being played in the CLS half and a flowing move from Whitley ended in Graham’s shot being saved by Connell the CLS keeper.
Livermore who was a constant threat down the right then had 3 great crosses in succession but no Whitley player was able to connect. Chow had the ball in the net on 33 minutes but was harshly judged offside.
On 37 minutes, Livermore delivered another great cross into the box that was perfect for the head of the quickly arriving Picton but a CLS defender stuck out his hand and deflected the ball out of harms way and the referee had no choice but to award the penalty. Robinson stepped up and slammed the ball down the centre of the goal for 2-0 to the Bay.
It was no more than they deserved and they swept forward to press home their advantage. On 41 minutes Minto swept a fabulous crossfield ball into the path of Chow, who controlled and sidefooted home for a great goal.
Just before half time Whitley went four up as this time Rowe was the provider of the pass to Robinson who let fly from 25 yards and his shot appeared to squirm through Connell’s hands, but the Whitley fans behind the goal swear that it changed direction on at least 3 occasions to totally bemuse the startled keeper.
CLS were glad to hear the half time whistle and trooped dejectedly to the dressing room.
After the interval Whitley were first out and waited a good few minutes for CLS to appear, no doubt their half-time team talk was required to be far more comprehensive than Whitley’s.
It was clear from the outset of the second half that CLS had been told to mark tighter, close down quicker and retreat much deeper as they tried to stifle Whitley’s attacking play. Whitley were restricted to long spells of controlled possession but were unable to get a clear sight of the CLS goal. They brought on Cook for Robson and Douglas for Rowe to fully utilise the squad after Saturday’s exertions. The game was developing into a midfield battle as space was denied and both sides were having rare excursions into dangerous areas. On one CLS attack, the ball was played out wide and crossed into the box for Robinson to calmly chest the ball back towards his keeper. Despite CLS shouts of handball, the referee pointed to his chest and waved play on. However, the Assistant was flagging and after consultation a penalty was given much to the amazement of the Bay players. Cuthbertson took the spot kick and struck a shot that was heading for the corner of the net, but Burke the Whitley keeper made a great save with a dive to his right and managed to palm the ball away. Justice was done.
Whitley made their final substitution on 70 minutes as Robinson made way for Moore, who was immediately into the action as he found Minto who passed to Douglas and his shot was fired over the bar.
Moore was seeing a lot of the ball out on the right and on 75 minutes he crossed for Douglas whose shot was blocked only to fall to Chow who gleefully blasted in for his second of the game and Whitley’s 5th.
CLS were allowing Whitley possession in their own half and it was only Whitley’s carelessness that was causing the defence any anxiety. However CLS were unable to mount any meaningful attacks as they squandered possession themselves with wayward passing and long balls delivered with hope rather than expectation.
Whitley on the other hand were comfortable and relaxed with firstly Graham curling a great shot from distance that was just over the bar, then Moore having two efforts just off target.
CLS were clearly longing for the final whistle and just as they thought it couldn’t get any worse, Douglas skipped past a couple of defenders and as he was tripped, the ball ran through to Chow who curled a great shot into the top corner from just outside the box to claim his hat-trick and make the final score 6-0 to Whitley.
This was a game where Whitley Bay totally outclassed their opponents, who looked nothing like the side that had claimed all three points at Hillheads back in November. Whitley are back in winning form and played with all the confidence that has built over the past few weeks.
Whitley Bay Team : Burke Taylor Picton Rowe (Douglas) Woodhouse Graham Livermore Robson (Cook) Minto Chow Robinson (Moore)