It was an elated Bay squad that boarded the coach for the long return journey after their 5-2 Emirates FA Cup replay victory at North Ferriby and on the way back, the management team discussed the performance that swept aside the challenge from the Humberside team.
Tony began “I think it was a really professional performance. The lads have put on a really good show. I thought we were excellent apart from a couple of lapses which we’re a bit disappointed with but as a whole it was a proper Whitley Bay team that Derek & I want to put out.”
Derek reflected on the excellent start with Henry Dorward getting the opening goal on his full debut. “It’s a great start for Henry, I’m really pleased and then his performance grows and grows from there. We were ahead so early, then conceded a goal that can be avoided, but we’re chasing balls down now and getting rewards with Jason scoring our second.”
The dramatic start to the second half had fans wondering what had been said during the interval. Forrest explained, “At half time we said to the lads, ‘they’re going to come after you’, but look what we did. We could hardly believe what we were seeing. That’s why football’s a wonderful game Sometimes you nip yourself in disbelief. We started both halves so well. It was a minute and a half first half then it was less than a minute second half!”
Tony continued “We wanted to get after them and put them in areas where they couldn’t defend and we did that really well. We knew that their weakness was if we could get behind them and we exploited that really well I thought. When it goes from 2-1 to 4-1 so quickly the game’s finished there’s no coming back from that!”
Derek praised the players’ energy levels. “Jason chasing the second one down, Richie chasing that fourth one down, it’s just a shame we couldn’t have put on that performance on Saturday. The lads really took things on board and performed. We wanted a performance and it was a fabulous cup tie.”
Adam Shanks scored twice, taking his goal tally for the club to 69 from 101 games and Tony was delighted with the striker. “The fifth goal was a good finish; I’m really pleased for the lad. He’s not had a great pre-season because of Covid. But tonight you could see the difference with him, the first goal was a real sniffer’s goal and then his second is him to a tee, real quality and then he’s running, chasing them all over. We’re delighted!”
Derek continued “Then we took a couple of people off, we protected two of them, they had bookings and you’re looking at the big picture all the time. You don’t want to lose players with suspensions. We’d got a comfortable lead. We were in a position where you can’t mess with it, but you need a good solid finish. The performance was really special; we couldn’t believe it at times! But it’s what we like to be! I think the only regret was that it wasn’t in front of our own people, those we see at home every week. We’ll try and replicate that but it’s a shame this was when we’re away and a lot of people couldn’t watch it, but we do appreciate how many have come to the game today.
“It was a team performance, it’s been a fantastic day but I want to mention Luke Taylor, he’s broke his nose, he’s put in a performance. He’s another one who’s had a difficult pre-season, Covid related, but he’s come through that. That’s the sort of togetherness that’s in the squad. There’s a lot of trust, a lot of care and consideration that goes into making all the decisions and it’s nice when it all comes off, it’s wonderful. We’ve talked about expectation and we’ve just raised the bar again. Last season it was at Garforth, a great overhead kick and we went on a cup run and here we go again, it’s the rollercoaster again!”
Whitley did not have a full strength squad available and they could only name four substitutes for this game. Tony commented “There’s a couple missing. This is what it’s going to be like this year, people are going to miss out because of Covid, it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable and it’s how you react to that and persevere with it. We’ve got a really good group of lads who are close and you can see that in their performance and when people are missing there are other people ready to step up and take their chance and that’s how it has to be, competition will be fierce. People have to know that if they don’t play well and perform they’ll have to wait in the wings for their chance.
The management duo ended by praising the travelling fans. “This is miles away but there were loads there again tonight. It’s phenomenal, a Tuesday night in the middle of the summer and to come that far down to Humberside it’s huge! We really appreciate every single person who was there, every single clap that was given to us, we appreciate it. Something that’s bowled us over from the start is the support from the fans. ”