EMIRATES FA CUP EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
WHITLEY BAY 2 GARFORTH TOWN 1
Saturday 5th August
Two goals in less than 60 seconds midway through the first half set Whitley on their way to a hard fought FA Cup victory over North Yorkshire opponents Garforth Town.
Whitley ran out 3-0 winners on the previous occasion the sides met in the FA Cup three years ago but this was a much closer contest with the result in doubt right up the final whistle.
Determined to put their midweek defeat behind them, Whitley made two changes, with Scott Lowery and Lewis Suddick both available and back in the starting line up, while Cameron Brewis, returning from injury, was named on the bench.
Inside the sixth minute, Wayne Phillips was almost played in on goal but keeper Toby Wells was alert to the danger and came out to block the ball. When Whitley conceded a free kick just outside the right edge of the box, Tabish Hussain fired the ball just over the angle of bar and upright.
In the 19th minute, a Bay corner on the left caused confusion in the Garforth goalmouth with Wells unable to claim the ball and Scott Lowery poked it over the line to put Whitley in front.
Almost straight from the kick off, Whitley broke forward again and Lewis Suddick drove in a shot from the right and Wells punched it clear but only as far as Matty Weirs who powered the ball home from 15 yards to give Whitley a two goal advantage.
The visitors were under real pressure at this stage and after another attack was repelled, a poor tackle by Barkway earned the Garforth centre back a yellow card.
Battling their way back into the game, Garforth began to force Whitley into their own half and it took a great clearance by Phillips from inside the Bay six yard box to deny the visitors a scoring opportunity.
With half time approaching, Town reduced the arrears with a tremendous shot from Hussain. When the ball was cleared from inside the box, it fell kindly for the Garforth midfielder who struck it perfectly from around 18 yards out on the right into the top corner of the net giving Dan Lister no chance.
It was deserved reward for the efforts of the Yorkshire side and left the game very much in the balance at the interval.
On the resumption, the away side started strongly and went close within two minutes, Zachariou drilling a shot just wide of the post. The same player was not far off target again with an effort that flew just over the bar.
The visitors posed a threat when they attacked down the right with the pace of Hussain keeping the Bay defenders on their toes but in contrast to the West Allotment game, more disciplined work at the back restricted the opportunities to get shots on target. Youngster Evan Wilkinson, once again replacing the injured Elliott Day, looked a really good prospect on only his second appearance.
Midway through the half, Lister made a great save to push an effort from Hussain wide of the near post before Whitley made a quick break and Ben Richardson’s powerful shot was met by a diving save from Wells who put the ball behind. Cartwright then broke forward down the right but his appeals for a penalty as he went down on the edge of the box were waved away.
Garforth made several substitutions in an attempt to force an equaliser but Whitley soaked up the pressure effectively and were always a threat on the counter.
The action continued, keeping the fans well entertained and eight minutes from time when Luke Page spotted Wells off his line he tried a long range shot towards a vacant goal but his attempt was wide of the target.
The ever dangerous Hussain brought an outstanding save from Lister with five minutes left while at the other end, Suddick was denied by Wells.
Into stoppage time Whitley might have put the result beyond doubt when substitute Cameron Brewis, who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds was played in on goal but slotted the ball the wrong side of the post with only Wells to beat.
That was about the final chance for either side and it was Whitley who were soon able to celebrate victory and a place in the next round when they will be away to Whickham.
WHITLEY BAY: Lister, Cartwright, Wilkinson, Richardson, Hall, Lowery, Weirs, Neary, Page, Phillips, Suddick (Brewis 90)
Substitutes not used: Millington, Cunningham
Referee: David Fittes
Man of the Match: Dan Lister