|Arngrove Northern League Division One||187|
|Saturday 26th April 2008||Consett V Whitley Bay||2-0|
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Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley’s games with Consett rarely go the way of the visiting side and Saturday’s encounter at Belle Vue Park continued that pattern of results. There could be no complaints from Whitley over the outcome of a game in which Consett always posed the greater threat.
From the start the home side looked the more lively but Whitley did go close with six minutes played when Chris Moore crossed from the right and Lee Kerr fired the ball just wide of goal.
A neat, incisive move by Consett created the opening goal after 14 minutes with Dickman crossing from the right for lethal striker Mattie Moffat to send a low shot past Burke into the bottom corner of the net.
Whitley retaliated with Paul Chow breaking quickly down the middle but his early shot from the edge of the area flew over the bar. A minute later, Robinson hit a shot straight at keeper Paul Gilmore.
Just before the half hour, Consett might have doubled their lead when Steven Johnson found himself clear on goal but he volleyed well over the bar. Then shortly before the interval, Lee Kerr briefly escaped the attention of a strong home defence and his cross from the left was blocked by Gilmore just ahead of Chow.
Soon after the restart, Whitley were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position some 20 yards out but Robinson’s shot was easily saved by the keeper. Five minutes later, the home side got the second and decisive goal when Chris Moore was dispossessed 10 yards out as he attempted to clear a Consett free kick. David Pounder seized the ball and beat Burke with a shot across goal.
Whitley made substitutions bringing on Rowe, Picton and Douglas but they were unable to change the course of the game and there was little to trouble Gilmore.
In one rare break, Kerr did well to turn past Piecha, who had been giving him no space at all, but his shot from ten yards went over the bar
A difficult playing surface with patches of long grass did not suit Whitley’s style of play and although they forced several corners late on, they did not create any clear cut chances with Consett’s defenders always in control and with Moffat up front the home side were a constant threat to the Bay defence.
The last chance for Whitley came seven minutes from time when Moore drove a fierce shot goal wards but Consett captain David Johnson deflected it over the bar for a corner that came to nothing.
This defeat meant that Consett moved back above Whitley into second place, one point ahead with one game to go.
If they are to take the runners up spot, Whitley will need to beat champions Durham City at Hillheads on Tuesday and hope that Consett fail to beat Newcastle Benfield in their final game the following night. This is perhaps an unlikely scenario but not very different to the situation ahead of the final games of last season. Let’s hope the players can raise their game for one more time – at least they will have a good playing surface for the occasion.
WHITLEY BAY: Burke, Taylor(Rowe 76mins), Minto(Douglas 64mins), Woodhouse, Coulson, Graham(Picton 53mins), Moore, Robson, Kerr, Chow, Robinson