EMIRATES FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
WHICKHAM 1 WHITLEY BAY 1
Friday 18th August
After a dramatic conclusion to this Emirates FA Cup tie, the game ended in a draw, so the sides will meet again at Hillheads on Tuesday evening to decide who progresses to the First Qualifying Round.
Whickham had much the better of the opening 45 minutes and were a goal ahead at the interval, but Whitley took control in the second half and were only denied victory when Mark Davison’s stoppage time penalty struck both feet on its way into the net and the goal was disallowed.
Whickham striker Scott Robson threatened early in the game attacking down the right but Dan Lister thwarted his attempts on goal. Whitley then created two chances in the opening ten minutes but attempts from Andrew Cartwright and Harvey Neary were both off target. From that stage, Whickham gradually got on top, retaining possession better than Whitley and with 26 minutes played, the pressure on the Bay defence forced them to concede two corners but neither produced a clear goalscoring chance for the home side.
The game continued in a similar fashion and two minutes later Callum Munro drove in a strong shot straight at Lister.
Scott Lowery became the second Bay defender after Michael Hall to be cautioned for a foul a few yards outside the box but the free kick came to nothing.
Six minutes before the interval Whickham took the lead when Munro broke down the left after being set clear by Robson and from the edge of the box he fired a powerful effort just inside the near post with Lister rooted to the spot. While it was a poor goal to concede from a Whitley perspective, the home side had earned their lead on the balance of play and they continued in the ascendency up to the half time whistle.
On the resumption, Whitley immediately looked more purposeful, forcing the hosts back on the defensive. Six minutes into the half, Stephen Turnbull’s goalbound free kick was pushed wide by Dawson, making his first real save of the game. Michael Hall then headed narrowly wide from the resultant corner.
That was the Bay skipper’s final action of the game as moments later he was replaced by Josh Gilchrist. The substitution had an almost instant impact as Gilchrist, attacking on the left, played the ball through to Cameron Brewis whose shot across goal beat Dawson and went into the net just inside the far post.
Back on level terms, Whitley pressed forward again four minutes later but this time Gilchrist’s effort went wide of goal. Lewis Suddick then worked his way down the right but delayed his cross into the goalmouth and the ball was cleared.
The game was being played largely in the Whickham half as Whitley searched for a way through a stubborn defence. Suddick went down in the box but appeals for a penalty were waved away, then Cartwright drilled a free kick wide of goal.
A rare effort for Whickham by Johnson went narrowly wide before Whitley came back and substitute Mark Davison, returning from injury, and had replaced Ben Richardson saw a header saved low down by Dawson.
In the second minute of stoppage time, a ball was driven in from the right up the slope into the Whickham six yard box. Despite loud appeals for a penalty, the referee was initially unmoved but his attention was drawn by his assistant who had spotted a handball and after discussion he pointed to the spot. His decision enraged the home side and Burrell was dismissed for a second yellow card while their manager Lee Haldane was sent from the dugout.
Davison fired the penalty kick high into the goal and it looked like Whitley had grabbed a very late winner but their celebrations were short lived as the goal was ruled out with Davison slipping as he took the kick and the ball hit his other foot before entering the net.
There was barely time for play to resume before the final whistle was blown, so the sides will have to meet again, as it happens, for the third time in ten days, to decide the winner.
WHITLEY BAY: Lister, Cartwright, Phillips, Turnbull, Hall (Gilchrist 53mins), Lowery, Weirs, Brewis, Suddick, Richardson(Davison 75mins), Neary
Cautions: Hall, Lowery
Substitutes not used: Day, Millington, Wilkinson, Cunningham, Charlton
Referee: Matthew Davidson