|Northumberland Senior Cup Quarter Final||156|
|Tuesday 1st February 2005||Whitley Bay V Bedlington Terriers||3-2|
Match Report By Peter Fox
Bay edged out the Terriers in a Northumberland Senior Cup 5-goal thriller at Hillheads. Marc Walmsley made his first start of the season, with Chris Moore and Steve Leadbitter also available again.
Whitley had the better of the opening stages with Adam Johnston and Leadbitter just off target and Andy Fairlamb also had a decent effort that he put wide after twelve minutes.
Bedlington responded with an Ian Dixon free kick, which hit the bar, but it was Whitley who broke the deadlock after 25 minutes. A long pass was hit over from the left wing, which Chris Moore controlled with his first touch and fired home with his second.
This seemed to perk Bedlington up with former Bay man Kevin Walton looking particularly dangerous and he was on the end of a good move after 33 minutes but fired wide.
Whitley had a chance to double their lead after 35 minutes when Moore set up Johnston who should have done better than to blaze over the bar and the Terriers equalised only seven minutes later when Walton’s low shot beat Terry Burke. On the half time whistle Dean Gibb received a yellow card for something that was supposed to be a tackle on Steve Leadbitter and the Terriers man was lucky to stay on the pitch. Terriers finished the first half strongly with Robbie Cockburn going close but it was all square at half time.
It was another foul after 50 minutes that was the start of Bedlington’s downfall, as after Dixon had clattered Johnston, Leadbitters free kick was deflected for a corner. Leadbitter’s delivery this time was excellent and Brian Rowe got on the end of a flick on to head the ball home at the far post.
Bay had a two goal cushion nine minutes later as from Paddy Little’s free kick Bedlington keeper Michael Robinson started to come for the ball, didn’t get close to it and left Leon Ryan to head the ball over him and into the net.
The Terriers replaced Gibb with Steve Shaw and the pace of their game picked up. The Bay defence was under severe pressure and they conceded a penalty as Chapman was fouled. John Milner stepped up to fire home the spot kick with his customary efficiency and Bedington were right back in it.
Burke saved from the feet of Cockburn and Shaw fired wide when a pass to Milner looked a better option, but Bay gradually regained their composure, with the introduction of Paul Thompson being a major factor as he was able to hold the ball up and give the defence some breathing space.
However, given the nature of Bay’s season so far it was an extremely nervous last few minutes for the home fans compounded by five minutes of stoppage time before they could celebrate reaching the semi-finals of the County cup.