Holmes penalty earns derby win


Saturday 27th January


By Harry Salkeld

After our impressive 8-1 win on Tuesday, the Bay were back at Hillheads to play Heaton Stannington, this time with a new manager at the helm. Nick Gray resigned as Bay manager during the week and Liam McIvor was appointed as new permanent manager. However, Liam has a further two match ban from the touchline, therefore, Captain Michael Hall, stepped into the managerial role for this game and for our next game too. One change was made to the side that won midweek; Michael Hall replaced himself with Patrick Almond. Jos Storr and James McGeorge also returned to the matchday squad as they both started on the bench.
The Bay started as the better side with through balls into Bailey Geliher proving to be our best avenue at goal. The Bay’s first shot at goal came from Harvey Neary who shot from outside the box, but Brass collected.
The Bay won a corner in the 12th minute, and it led to a really promising opportunity. The corner was whipped in low and with pace leaving Brass scrambling to keep it out of goal. The ball then found its way to Day whose headed attempt was blocked by a Heaton Stan defender. Despite not taking the lead, the Bay were growing in confidence, and they continued to play great football.
In the 27th minute, the Bay provided a threat from a corner once again. A ball was curled into the box, Almond had an effort blocked and then Gilchrist from 2 yards out somehow had his shot denied by a Stannington defender. It looked like a nailed-on goal, but it was phenomenal defending by Stannington. Minutes later, and Cameron Brewis had a shot which was deflected out wide for a corner.
In the 30th minute, some brilliant build-up play led to Josh Gilchrist being through on goal. He was then fouled but the flag was raised meaning a penalty could not be given. It was 100% a foul in the box but the linesman believed he was in an offside position. When I interviewed Michael Hall after the game, he said Gilchrist had told him he was never offside. Thankfully this decision didn’t affect the outcome of the game.
In the 38th minute, Pickering pulled off a great save to deny Daniel Stephenson’s free kick which had a lot of curl and power behind it. No more chances came towards the end of the first half meaning the Bay went into the changing rooms level at 0-0. The scoreline wasn’t really a reflection of the game though as the Bay were easily the better side and had created a lot of chances.
The first shot of the second half came from Harvey Neary whose shot went straight down the throat of Brass. The next big chance of the game didn’t come until the 65th minute when Stephenson had another free kick denied by Pickering. In the 70th minute, Bailey Geliher was replaced by Jos Storr.
In the 76th minute, Pickering fumbled his attempt at catching the ball which led to Stephenson receiving it but a great press from Neary forced him away from goal leaving the score at 0-0. If it wasn’t for Neary’s efforts the Bay could have easily been 1-0 behind.  In the 79th minute, Heaton Stan had an effort rattle of the bar, but it wouldn’t have counted as it was offside.
In the 81st minute the Bay won a penalty after Elliott Day was tripped inside the penalty area after he danced past a couple defenders. Jamie Holmes stepped up and smashed it into the top left corner leaving the keeper no chance. It was a deserved reward for all of the innovative and pressing play that the Bay had offered throughout the game. It was complimentary football at its finest, both defensively and offensively. In the 83rd minute Brewis came off for Ben Richardson.
In the 88th minute, Jamie Holmes came off for James McGeorge. In the 90th minute Pickering kept us ahead with a great save. Minutes later and Josh Gilchrist came off for Finlay Neary. The last action of the game came when Elliott Day went on a charging run and then had a shot which went wide. Despite his effort not going in, it felt like a goal as he had ran down the clock, and denied any Stannington efforts towards Pickering.
The full-time whistle went, and the Bay had won all three points. It was thoroughly deserved, they played great football, had better chances and controlled most of the game. It was a game which many didn’t expect us to win so the result felt massive to everyone involved. Elliott Day won Man of the Match and his award was presented by Danielle Mills. The attendance was 546 which is brilliant, thanks to everyone who came along. Michael Hall seemed very pleased with the performance although he did say he would rather be out there playing.
Massive three points, great performance and HOWAY THE BAY!!!

WHITLEY BAY: Pickering, Cartwright, Day, Ellison, Almond, Lowery, Geliher(Storr 70mins), H.Neary, Gilchrist(F.Neary 90+2 mins), Brewis(Richardson 83mins), Holmes(McGeorge 88mins)
Cautions: Lowery and Ellison
Attendance: 546
Bay Fencing & Landscaping Man of the Match: Elliott Day
Referee: Michael Moore
Assistant Referees: Ian Carr and Dillon Bloomfield

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