Bay crushed by impressive Shildon


Saturday 17th February

Report by Harry Salkeld

After winning four games in a row, the Bay were back at Hillheads looking to make it five. The thought of having a full row of W’s next to the Bay’s name in the matchday programme felt like a fantastic dream. Our opponents, Shildon, came into this game with the exact same form across their last five games. They had lost one and then won their next four. Their very good form also matched their league position as they sat 2nd in the table before the game. Earlier on in the season, we travelled to Shildon but suffered a damaging 4-0 defeat, so, if that was anything to go by, this was never going to be a cakewalk at Hillheads Park for the Bay. One change was made to the side that beat Carlisle, with Scott Lowery out injured, but a second was enforced when Finlay Neary was injured in the warm-up, enabling Ben Richardson to start in his place.  

The away side started the game with fervent intent as they had a shot cleared off the line by Andrew Cartwright within the first minute. That passage of play was unfortunately just a small glimpse of what was to come for the next 90. The opponents’ early pressure paid off in the 7th minute, when Greulich Smith knocked the ball past Hodgson leaving him acres of space to shoot. He pulled the trigger, and Lewis Suddick looked like he might have cleared the ball of the line, but the referee gave the goal as it had crossed the line before Suddick could get there.  

The Bay’s first attempt of the game came when Gilchrist went on a charging run which led to a shot that went wide. It was the first time the Bay had been out their own half so many thought it was may be a sign of positive things to come. Despite that Bay effort, the visitors continued to dominate.   

In the 15th minute the Bay had a free kick that was taken by Gilchrist, but his shot went straight down the throat of Mazfari. In the 23rd minute, Finlay Hodgson miskicked the ball which nearly led to a Shildon goal but to his relief the score remained 1-0.  

Down by the touchline was Elliott Day, who was getting ready to come on for, what looked like, an injured Bailey Geliher. However, that substitution would have to wait as Shildon were on the attack with their number two, Banks, on the ball. He played a ball into the box that was gratefully greeted by Greulich Smith, putting the visitors two to the good. The change that Liam McIvor wanted to make before the goal, was finally made before play restarted. The change of personnel also meant a change of tactics, Suddick moved to left-wing, and Cartwright switched from left-back to right back therefore meaning Day could take up his regular left back position.  

In the 31st minute, ex-Bay player, Andrei Ardelean had the chance to make it 3-0 but Almond put in a superb tackle to deny any effort at goal. However, it wouldn’t take much longer for Ardelean to score against his former club as he put Shildon 3-0 up in the 39th minute. 

The Bay went up the tunnel at half-time three goals down and with a mountain to climb if they wanted anything from the game. That mountain was extremely steep and ultimately no-one would climb it by the end of the game.  

Shildon continued to play in the same vein meaning the Bay were sat back in their own half to the frustration of the crowd and Liam McIvor. In the 60th minute, Greulich Smith completed his hat-trick as he had the Bay defence on ropes and then finally slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.  

In the 62nd minute Elliott Day had a headed attempt which didn’t trouble Mazfari. In the 67th minute the Bay finally had their first shot on target of the game when Jos Storr was brilliantly denied by Shildon’s number 1. In the 74th minute, the Bay made their next change of the game as eighteen-year-old, Harry Law came on for Ben Richardson.  

In the 79th minute, things went from bad to worse for the Bay as Posthill had a shot that put the visitors 5-0 up. Only three minutes later, and Posthill scored again after he went on a charging run which no Bay player could stop. 

By the time the referee blew his whistle, the Bay had suffered a 6-0 defeat. Shildon were very good, as they have been all season, they showed good technical ability as well as a lot of physical strength which the Bay struggled to cope with.  

Despite losing this game heavily, the Bay have still had a very good run recently. Four wins out of five is incredibly impressive, bearing in mind we have played Shildon, Heaton Stan and Carlisle away. 

Our attention is now on Heaton Stan away, so if you can, please make the short journey and cheer on the lads in blue. HOWAY THE BAY!!! 

WHITLEY BAY: Hodgson, Cartwright, Suddick, Ellison, Almond, Hall, Storr, Richardson (Law 74mins), Gilchrist, McGeorge, Geliher (Day 28mins) 

Substitutes not used: Pickering, Charlton

Attendance: 348

Referee: Matthew Davidson

Caution: Cartwright

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