REDCAR ATHLETIC 4 WHITLEY BAY 0
Saturday 28th January
This was a day when very little went right for Whitley and an impressive Redcar side were good value for their convincing victory. However, a series of controversial decisions by the match officials marred the contest with Whitley in particular feeling hard done by.
The Bay starting eleven showed two changes from the team that beat Seaham on Thursday, Dan Lister returning in goal while Adam Hutchinson was also back in the side. Scott Lowery meanwhile was playing his 100th game for the club.
In the opening exchanges a good cross into the goalmouth from the right by Harvey Neary was palmed out by keeper Jack Norton and knocked clear by a defender. In the ninth minute, in a similar incident at the other end, Dan Lister pushed away a long range effort from Boyle but the ball fell kindly for Holdsworth to fire into the net from close range to give Redcar the lead.
Three minutes later Boyle drove the ball wide from the edge of the box. Redcar then had Conway booked for obstructing a Whitley free kick in midfield.
The hosts were posing the greater threat and shortly after, Bell’s shot was deflected wide for a corner that Lister gathered comfortably.
The most controversial incident of the game followed with 22 minutes played. Redcar were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and while Whitley were lining up to defend the kick, Holdsworth stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net without waiting for the whistle to be blown. It emerged that the referee had said he could take the kick but it caught everyone by surprise and left Whitley furious at the decision to allow the goal.
Two down was bad enough but four minutes later it got even worse when Bell was allowed to break forward unchallenged and from the edge of the box powered a shot past Lister to put the hosts in complete control.
Whitley looked stunned but just past the half hour, Adam Hutchinson headed not far wide of the target in a rare attempt on goal. An effort on target at the other end was cleared almost off the line as Whitley struggled to contain a rampant home side. Redcar then had two players booked in the space of four minutes including Craig Hutchinson for a bad foul on Stephen Turnbull.
Three goals behind at the interval, it looked bleak for Whitley but six minutes after the restart, Adam Hutchinson very nearly pulled one back with a glancing header that drifted just beyond the far post.
Into the final half hour of the game, Redcar were awarded a penalty when Michael Hall challenged Craig Hutchinson for the ball as the Redcar man raced into the left side of the box. The Bay captain appeared to get a foot on the ball but Hutchinson went to ground and the referee pointed to the spot.
Coleman struck the ball into the corner of the net giving Lister no chance, ending any faint hopes that Bay might have had of rescuing the game.
Substitute Josh Gilchrist’s 25 yard free kick forced a fingertip save from Norton, who pushed the ball over the bar. A goal looked certain with 13 minutes to go but when Porritt’s shot was blocked, Gilchrist saw his follow up attempt cleared off the line.
Coleman was then sin binned by the referee but stayed on the far touch line rather than returning to the dugout for ten minutes, as he should have been required to do. The officials failed to notice this until eight minutes later when complaints from the Whitley bench finally brought a response, but bizarrely this resulted in a caution for Bay’s Liam McIvor.
With the game into stoppage time substitute Joe Groves-Forbes nearly snatched a consolation goal for Whitley but his shot was pushed over the bar.
It meant that for only the second game this season, Whitley had failed to score.
The final whistle soon brought an end to a very disappointing afternoon for Whitley but one which resulted in well deserved celebrations among the home side.
WHITLEY BAY: Lister, Patterson(Day 57mins), Hutchinson, Turnbull, Lowery, Hall, Neary, Richardson(Ward 66mins), Morien(Gilchrist 66mins), Brewis(Groves-Forbes 80mins), Porritt
Referee: Mark Carvounis