Bishops come from behind to edge past Bay


Saturday 25th November

By Harry Salkeld

The Bishops persevere to repel attacks and ultimately put Whitley in check mate

After a crucial win last time out at Hillheads, the Bay were back looking to make it two home wins on the bounce against a very strong Bishop Auckland side. One change was made to the starting eleven that lost to West Auckland last week, Jos Storr was replaced by Jamie Holmes. New signings, James McGeorge and Finlay Neary, both started on the bench. In case anyone is wondering Finlay is Harvey’s younger brother. Some brotherly competition in the team, you love to see it and let’s hope they bring out the best in each other.

Our opponents came into the game 2nd in the league, they had won their last five games and are top goal scorers in the league with 59 goals. In comparison, Whitley have scored 27 so the Bay backline were going to have to be at the very best if they didn’t want to leave empty handed.

The Bay started the game with great attacking threat when Andrew Cartwright had a shot denied by Ryan Catterick. They continued their attacking prowess when Almond went on a charging run, found Davison, but his shot was denied keeping the score at 0-0.

Minutes later Bond pulled off a magnificent one handed save to deny Marcus Giles effort at goal. The visitors then had three corners which came in rapid fire succession but thankfully nothing came from them.

In the 23rd minute Andrew Cartwright went on a charging run; he then passed the ball to Davison but his shot went over the bar to his frustration. Minutes later and Cartwright was off on one of his signature runs again. Two quick touches took two Bishop defenders out of the equation and Cartwright, one on one with the keeper, buried the ball to send Hillheads wild.

The Bay nearly grew their lead when a cross was played into Lewis Suddick who missed the ball in front of goal. Despite missing that golden opportunity, the Bay continued to play great football for the rest of the first half but no real chances evolved, sending the Bay into the break 1-0 up.

It was a fantastic first half performance from the Bay, the attack had created many chances, the midfield controlled the game and the defence kept the Bishops out with some great defending, leaving Bond with little to do.

Not many chances came in the first 15 minutes of the second half but the Bishops were controlling possession and looking more threatening. The Bishops hard work paid off in the 65th minute when they scored an equaliser. Mohammed threw the ball to Dean Henderson who ran into the centre and smashed the ball off the underside of the bar in to the net, to the delight off the travelling fans behind the goal.

In the 70th minute the Bay made a change when new signing, James McGeorge came on for Jamie Holmes. In the 76th minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty after a Bishop player was tripped by a Bay defender. The penalty was questionable as many people thought the foul was committed on the edge of the area. Mohammed stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty after the ball hit the post and crept its way in to the back of the net.

The away side then hit the bar when Andrew May’s header hit the bar after a lovely corner was shipped onto his head. In the 86th minute, Cartwright had a shot saved by the Bishop keeper. In the 87th minute, Nick Gray made a triple substitution. Brewis, Richardson and Suddick were all replaced by Storr, Fin Neary and Geliher.

Despite the Bay’s constant pressure in the last five minutes, they never found an opening. The Bay left as losers but it didn’t feel like that. The feeling around Hillheads was that we deserved to walk away with at least a draw. It was an immense performance; we have been battered by the Bishops in the last 12 months so we are clearly making progress against the big boys. Talking of big boys, we are playing Birtley Town and Heaton Stannington this week. They are both having great seasons so these are the games that we need to win.

We may have lost this weekend but the performance didn’t show it. All the lads worked their socks off and played great football.

We go again this week, HOWAY THE BAY!

WHITLEY BAY: Bond, Cartwright, Day, Turnbull, Almond, Richardson (Geliher 87mins), Suddick (Finlay Neary 87mins), Harvey Neary, Davison, Brewis(Storr 87mins), Holmes (McGeorge 70mins)

Man of the Match: Andrew Cartwright

Referee: Tyler Dutton

Assistant Referees: Andy Seddon and Dean Hellyar

Cautions: Holmes, Almond, Davison, Cartwright

Attendance: 301

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