SUNDERLAND RCA 0 WHITLEY BAY 2
Tuesday 8th August
Two goals in the first ten minutes proved sufficient for Whitley to make it three wins out of four on a sunny evening in Ryhope.
The homes side had suffered a difficult start to the season, with two heavy defeats in their previous home games and defensive frailities were evident in the opening stages but they battled back bravely and had the better of the second half.
Cameron Brewis, recovered from injury, replaced the suspended Harvey Neary in the only change from the Bay side that beat Garforth in the FA Cup three days earlier while newly signed keeper Carl Charlton was included on the bench.
Playing down the slope, the home side had a chance inside two minutes when Crosby was through on goal but Dan Lister saved well with his legs.
Whitley took the lead in the fifth minute following a free kick by Ben Richardson to the back post where Scott Lowery knocked the ball back across the face of goal leaving Michael Hall with a simple tap in.
Lack of confidence among the RCA defenders was evident again when Luke Page burst forward and saw his shot deflected wide. The resultant corner was not properly cleared and as the ball bounced inside the six yard box Lewis Suddick pounced to smash it home to give Whitley a two goal lead with just ten minutes played.
It was looking ominous for RCA who must have been fearing another heavy defeat but they went close to reducing the deficit eight minutes later following a free kick by Lavan which was cleared almost off the line. Back upfield came Whitley and within seconds, Matty Weirs slotted the ball just beyond the far post after neat build up play.
Two minutes before the interval Lewis Suddick had the ball in the RCA net for a second time but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Seven minutes after half time, Lister had to make a fine double save to keep out attempts from Crosby as the home side steadily grew in confidence. At the other end, Page brought a good save from Wilkinson but attempts on goal were limited.
Ten minutes into the half new signing Jake Cunningham replaced teenage defender Evan Wilkinson as the hosts forced Whitley back into their own half with some pace especially down their right wing but solid defending meant they were unable to find a way back into the game.
Into the last ten minutes, a double substitution saw Josh Gilchrist return from injury and he looked lively in attack along with fellow sub Noah Millington as Whitley saw out the game to claim all three points.
WHITLEY BAY: Lister, Cartwright, Wilkinson, (Cunningham 55mins), Richardson, Hall, Lowery, Weirs, Brewis, Page(Millington 82mins), Phillips(Gilchrist 82mins), Suddick
Substitute not used: Charlton
Referee: Barry Tones