WHITLEY BAY 2 CROOK TOWN 1
Saturday 7th October
Report by Harry Salkeld
The Bay steal the show as Crook leave empty handed
After losing their last two games, the Bay were back at Hillheads looking for their first win since the Tow Law game. Three changes were made to the side that lost 3-0 midweek. Hall, Storr and Gilchrist all started as Richardson, Page and Davison dropped to the bench. Scott Lowery made a return to the matchday squad, as he had been injured for the last few games. Our opponents, Crook Town, came into this game after losing 2-0 to Carlisle City last week. Before the game commenced, there was a minute silence for life-long Crook fan and committee member, Eric Gibson.
The Bay had the first real chance of the game when Gilchrist put in a cross which was narrowly missed by Eddie Thomas in front of goal. However, in the 6th minute the visitors took the lead when Archie Leonard scored after a peach of a cross was whipped in.
The game continued with a higher intensity from both sides, but no chances were being created. In the 18th minute, Craig Moody put in a delectable cross which was thankfully not met by a Crook Town player. The Bay started to play free flowing football down the left-hand side which was causing a lot of problems for the opposition’s defence. Although opportunities to score were proving to be at a premium.
In the 34th minute, the Bay’s pressure finally paid off when Jos Storr received the ball on the edge of the box, chested it, and had a shot that soared like a missile into the top left corner. It was an absolute screamer which will probably end up being goal of the season. If you have not seen the goal please watch it on the Bay Watch TV Youtube channel. You can thank me later as many fans were overheard saying it was worth the admission price alone.
Just before the stroke of half-time, Storr had a shot that went just wide to the frustration of the Bay. Seconds before half time Elliott Day was sin binned for his reaction towards one of the referee’s decisions. The referee’s whistle sent the Bay into the break level after an entertaining first half.
The away side had a great chance in the first few seconds of the second half when Leonard’s one-on-one effort was brilliantly saved by Harrison Bond. In the 53rd minute, Neary went on a charging run but his shot was saved by Alexander Curran. Minutes later, Elliott Day came back on after he served his short suspension.
In the 57th minute, Crook had a shot that went across goal but went just wide. The first change of the game was made by Crook, Paul Gardiner came off for Reece Havelock-Brown. Minutes later, they made another change when Leonard came off for Reece Brown.
In the 68th minute, the Bay had a shot which went just wide of the far post. In the 69th minute, the Bay made their first substitution of the game when Cameron Brewis came off for Ben Richardson. Minutes later, Crook had a shot which was tipped athletically over the bar by Harrison Bond.
The Bay then made a double change when Scott Lowery and Noah Millington came on for Storr and Day. In the 77th minute, Eddie Thomas had a shot blocked to his frustration. The The Bay were creating more chances. You could sense and smell a winner within Hillheads Park. Another change was made by the Bay when Ellison made way for Mark Davison.
In the 89th minute, Thomas had a long range shot which went wide. The board was held up and it said that there would be 6 minutes of added time. It was welcome relief to those in blue and white as it appeared a generous number. In the 92nd minute, Hillheads went wild when a penalty was given for handball. As the Crook player lay strewn on the floor nursing what appeared to be a head injury, the referee’s point to the spot sparked wild emotion from both sets of fans. Eddie Thomas took the huge responsibility of stepping up to take to the penalty… AND HE SCORED! With minutes to go, the Bay were winning!
With seconds to go, Bond saved a free-kick and seconds later the referee blew his whistle for full-time. It was a much-needed win for the Bay and it was thoroughly deserved. We now sit 2nd in the league with 12 games played. Man of the Match was Harvey Neary and he was presented with his prize by Jay Weldon. Thank you for everyone’s support and HOWAY THE BAY!
WHITLEY BAY: Bond, Neary, Day(Lowery 77mins), Turnbull, Hall, Cartwright, Gilchrist, Ellison(Davison 82mins), Thomas, Brewis(Richardson 68mins), Storr(Millington 77mins)
Man of the Match: Harvey Neary
Referee: Tyler Dutton