REDCAR ATHLETIC 1 WHITLEY BAY 1
Saturday 2nd September
Whitley were denied victory by a 90th minute equaliser on a warm and sunny afternoon at Redcar. Josh Gilchrist’s first half goal looked to be enough to ensure a second win in five days until Liam Jarvie poked home a close range effort to give the hosts a share of the points.
Both sides fielded new signings, Redcar bringing in Jarvie, a proven goalscorer from Newton Aycliffe while Whitley completed the signing of 18 year old Jos Storr just hours before kick off.
The attacking midfielder arrives on a dual registration with Whitby Town, for whom he played less than 24 hours earlier in the FA Cup. Having an impressive scoring record in junior football, Storr was signed earlier in the summer by Whitby, whose former Bay manager Nathan Haslam believes experience at Northern League level will benefit the youngster in his development, and his former club was the obvious choice especially as Storr moves to Tyneside this month to begin a course at Newcastle University.
On an excellent playing surface, the game got underway in warm sunshine and the home side were quickly on the attack with Jarvie not far off target in the fourth minute.
Whitley very nearly took the lead three minutes later when Lewis Suddick cut in from the left and fired in a great shot that crashed off the underside of the bar and rebounded on the goal line before being cleared.
The action switched to the other end and in the ninth minute Jarvie tried his luck from distance and his powerful shot hit the bar. The action continued unabated and Evan Wilkinson made an important block to deny the hosts, who were enjoying the greater share of possession at this stage.
The game turned in Whitley’s favour on the half hour following a corner on the right. Richardson played the ball short and when it was returned to him he drove it low into the box where Josh Gilchrist struck it home from just outside the six yard box.
Growing in confidence they won more of the ball and five minutes before the interval, a good cross into the box by Storr almost set up a second goal but the ball was just cut out as Matty Weirs was about to pounce in front of goal. Four minutes later the frame of the goal again came to the rescue for Redcar when Gilchrist saw his 25 yard free kick rattle the bar with Norton beaten. It had been a closely contested first half but Whitley were ahead at the break.
Within seconds of the restart, Whitley and many of the spectators were convinced they had won a penalty when Storr was wrestled down in the box as he tried to apply the finishing touch when perfectly placed. However the officials were unmoved and play was allowed to continue.
At the other end, Bond made a comfortable save from Fletcher but the Bay defence were looking assured with the returning Cartwright and captain for the day Stephen Turnbull giving nothing away, while goalkeeper Bond’s handling of the ball was immaculate.
Whitley continued to search for a second goal and on the hour, Suddick’s cross gave Gilchrist a chance but his effort was blocked. A determined run into the box by Weirs almost brought reward but was eventually blocked at the expense of a corner.
Bond made a good close range save from Jarvie but the young Bay keeper needed treatment after falling awkwardly, having leapt to collect the ball from O’Sullivan, whose long throw-ins had been a threat all afternoon.
Into the final ten minutes Suddick’s attempt on goal was saved by Norton but with only a single goal between the sides Redcar remained in the game but their chances seemed to have slipped away when Bell was sin-binned in the 86th minute.
However, when they were awarded a free kick in the last minute of the 90, the ball was played into the goalmouth, took a deflection and Jarvie was on hand to poke home from close range.
Whitley’s day might have got worse still when in the fifth of six added minutes, Coleman powered a tremendous header goalwards but Bond made a superb save, pushing the ball over the bar to ensure that the points were shared.
Despite the obvious disappointment of conceding an equaliser so late in the game, there were plenty of positives for Whitley, not least the performances of Jos Storr, who was meeting his new team mates for the first time and worked hard throughout, and keeper Harrison Bond who was unfortunate not to complete a second clean sheet and is adding to the competition for places in the side.
WHITLEY BAY: Bond, Neary, Wilkinson, Ellison, Turnbull, Cartwright, Weirs, Richardson, Storr, Gilchrist, Suddick
Substitutes not used: Lister, Brewis, Millington
Referee: Craig Jinks