WashingtonÂ Â 1Â Â Â Whitley Bay Â 2
Saturday 12th November
Whitley completed the double over Washington thanks to a goal in each half from Callum Patton. This game at the Nissan Sports Complex may not have been one of the most entertaining contests of the season but Whitley deservedly came out on top and the one hundred Bay fans who made up Washingtonâ€™s biggest crowd of the season went home happy after seeing their side pick up all three points at a venue that has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years.
Washington created the first chance of the game inside the third minute when the experienced Johnny Wightman cut in from the left and drove the ball into the side netting. A minute later, Callum Patton was narrowly off target but shortly afterwards he had another opportunity after Kyle Fryatt had been fouled 20 yards from goal. His free kick into the six yard box was punched away by keeper Dale Connor and when Tom Potter played it back into the danger zone, Andy Robertson could not quite get his head to the ball while Ross Wilkinson, diving forward at the back post just failed to find the target.
A good 20 yard effort from home skipper Marc Costello flew just past the post in the 23rd minute but play soon reverted to the other end and after a clumsy tackle, Whitley were awarded a free kick which Callum Patton drilled low into the bottom corner of the net from 25 yards, beating the dive of Connor.
Boosted by the breakthrough, Whitley pushed forward and Andy Robertson saw a close range attempt blocked, but four minutes later they should have doubled their lead when Potterâ€™s cross from the right beat the home defence leaving Fryatt clear at the back post but he slid the ball wide of the target. Potter, restored to the starting line up for this game, was looking lively and twice went close as the interval approached but the clearest chance fell to the hosts, when Waters fired a powerful effort straight at Flynn.
Whitley created two openings soon after the interval but Washington began to show more attacking intent. Nevertheless, the Bay might have doubled their lead when Pattonâ€™s well flighted corner was flicked narrowly past the back post by Fryatt and then just past the hour, when another corner was not cleared, a tremendous volley from Robertson curled inches past the far post.
Washington levelled the score in the 65th minute following a goalmouth scramble during which Flynn made three excellent saves as the ball ricocheted around the six yard box. The Bay defence were unable to clear their lines and when the ball fell for substitute Paul Kane, who was briefly a Whitley player last season, he poked it home from close range.
The game was opening up more and Alex Kempster broke clear only to be thwarted by Connor racing out of his goal to dive on the ball. The introduction of Kyle Patton and Callum Anderson from the bench proved influential as Whitley put increasing pressure on the tiring home defence. Anderson saw a cross from the right pushed round the post then appeals for a penalty following what appeared to be a trip in the box were ignored.
Three minutes from time, referee Craig Dean did award a penalty following a foul on Wilkinson. The decision was hotly disputed by the home side but when calm had been restored, Callum Patton sent Connor the wrong way with a confidently struck spot kick to put Whitley back in front.
In the third minute of stoppage time Aiden Haley went close to adding a third goal for Whitley but the final whistle was not long delayed and the points were deservedly won, extending the unbeaten run under Marc Nash to three games.
WHITLEY BAY: Flynn, Munro(Anderson 78mins), McDonald, Haley, Wilkinson, Allen, Potter(Hall 87mins), C Patton, Robertson, Kempster, Fryatt(K Patton 75mins)
Substitute not used: Keltie
Referee: Craig Dean,
After the game, Marc Nash admitted that it had not been a classic but was happy to have seen his side claim the victory.
â€œSometimes you have to grind it out and we ground it out. It was a bit of a stalemate for a spell, but actually when they made a substitution it was probably to our advantage. We started again, pressing down the wide areas and when Callum Anderson came on he gave us a huge injection down that side and Kyle Patton was running in behind their centre halves who were tired. We could tell it was just a matter of time but it was whether we were going to run out of time or not. But they cracked when we got into the box and they gave a penalty away. So yes, weâ€™ll take the three points.â€ Referring to the earlier penalty appeal, he added â€œIt was just part of the pressure building up. Something was going to happen so I was well pleased with the response after they scored, and the subs had an impact as well, so yes, a good three points!â€