|Northumberland Senior Cup Semi-Final||884|
|Thursday 6th March 2008||Newcastle Utd Reserves V Whitley Bay||2-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
It took extra time to decide this closely contested cup tie at Whitley Park, Benton, and after a hard fought game, Whitley can count themselves unlucky not to have earned a replay against Newcastle’s young full time professionals.
Whitley started well and might have gone ahead with just four minutes played when Paul Robinson’s cross from the left found Paul Chow just six yards from goal but he stabbed the ball wide of goal. Newcastle quickly responded and Zamblera fired a shot across goal but Terry Burke made a comfortable save. With 20 minutes gone, James Troisi burst through the centre of Whitley’s defence with a great turn of speed and fired a low shot beyond Burke into the corner of the net to put United ahead. Ten minutes later, Mark Minto did well to block a shot from Baheng on the line before Lee Kerr attempted to lob Newcastle keeper Soderberg but the tall Swedishman took the ball high above his head. Whitley were battling well and almost got the equaliser four minutes before the interval but Kerr headed wide from Chris Moore’s right wing cross.
Bay players and fans were becoming increasingly frustrated with a series of free kicks being awarded to United for seemingly innocuous challenges but that did not stop them from holding their own and indeed gaining the upper hand during the second half. Damon Robson and Chris Moore, both of whom had spent part of the early careers at Newcastle, fought for every ball in midfield and were giving the United youngsters a stern test. Doninger was forced to head Moore’s cross behind as Whitley pressed forward but United countered with Godsmark putting over a dangerous looking cross that eluded the home forwards. Moore then tried a long range effort that Soderberg only held at the second attempt and Kerr’s shot on target was put behind by Tozer’s outstretched leg. With a minute of normal time remaining, Moore again provided a dangerous cross that Kerr headed down and when the ball bounced up towards the top corner, Soderberg tipped it over the bar. Astonishingly the referee failed to award a corner and it looked as if Whitley’s last chance had gone. However, in the final minute of stoppage time, Paul Robinson, who had worked tirelessly in midfield, was tripped on the edge of the penalty area and Kerr fired a superb free kick beyond Soderberg for a well deserved equaliser that sent the game into extra time.
Godsmark twice broke through in the early stages but was denied by Burke. Troisi, scorer of the first goal, turned provider nine minutes into extra time when he played the ball through to Baheng who beat Burke from 12 yards. Still Whitley refused to give up and when Robinson crossed from the left, Moore’s stinging volley was saved low down by Soderberg. Then in the last minute, Whitley almost snatched a replay when David Coulson’s header clipped the outside of the post.
WHITLEY BAY Burke, Taylor, Picton(Smith 65mins), Dugdale(Rowe 63mins), Coulson, Minto, Moore, Robson, Kerr, Chow(Porter 85mins), Robinson