Missed chances prove costly for Bay


Tuesday 12th March

Report by Julian Tyley

Whitley have yet to record a victory after four visits to West Allotment’s new home at East Palmersville but they had ample opportunities to end that unwanted record in this latest meeting of the North Tyneside rivals.

In the only change to the Bay side that overcame Guisborough on Saturday, captain Michael Hall returned with Andrew Cartwright dropping to the bench, where he was joined by Jamie Holmes, back from a spell working away, and Lewis Ritson, who was signed 24 hours earlier.

Whitley showed their intentions right from the first whistle and with barely a minute on the clock, Cameron Brewis found himself clear on goal but somehow struck his shot against the underside of the bar before it bounced off the line and was cleared to safety.

Maintaining the pressure, they quickly won a free kick some 30 yards from goal out on the left. When Josh Gilchrist played the ball into the box, Elliott Day rose above the Celtic defence to head beyond Dan Gladstone into the top corner of the net to put Whitley ahead inside the third minute.

For some of the older Bay fans in the crowd, it was a goal reminiscent of many scored by Neal Walton, the Whitley Bay legend of the 1960’s, who scored over 100 goals for the club, many with his head, and whose sad passing was announced earlier in the day.

The positive start for Whitley continued as they looked quicker to the ball and pegged back the home side, whose first attempt was comfortably saved by Pickering after nine minutes.

Back at the other end another promising attack resulted in Brewis getting his shot on target but Gladstone, a former Bay keeper, made a good save.

Harvey Neary then made an excellent diagonal run, bursting forward from midfield, resisting several challenges before crossing to Gilchrist who was just offside.

With 17 minutes played Lewis Suddick fired in a shot from distance and the ball was deflected just wide for a corner.

Allotment gradually began to force their way back into the game and in the 26th minute, Callum Larmouth, who recently returned to the club from Blue Star, failed to make the most of his chance, drilling the ball straight at Pickering.

Just past the half hour, Harvey Neary played a good ball down the right touchline to James McGeorge who advanced towards the corner flag before sending in a tantalising cross that was put over the bar when an effort on target could well have brought reward.

Two minutes later Whitley were made to pay for their missed chances when Allotment drew level. There was a scramble in the six yard box following a corner and Mechak Kanda poked the ball over the line despite Whitley’s best efforts to keep it out.

Another Bay attack shortly after the equaliser saw a shot well blocked by Gladstone but the resultant corner was dealt with safely by the Allotment defence.

At the interval, it remained 1-1 but Whitley had created enough chances to have put the result beyond doubt.

Just four minutes into the second half Whitley had a scare when Larmouth broke clear on the right and looked set to put the hosts ahead but he wasted his opportunity, putting the ball well beyond the far post.

The pattern of the game continued with Whitley creating but unable to capitalise on their chances. Suddick saw a close range shot well saved while a header from Day was superbly kept out by Gladstone.

Substitute Jamie Holmes raced clear down the left wing and crossed perfectly for Suddick whose first time effort back across goal agonisingly flew narrowly wide of the far post.

Allotment were frustrating Whitley with strong and disciplined defending inside their own box, denying them time and space and the hosts remained a threat on the break.

With ten minutes left, Pickering had to be alert to thwart a dangerous looking attack from the home side but when Whitley pressed forward again, Harvey Neary’s cross was inches ahead of Gilchrist and flew just wide.

This move summed up the contest, Whitley dominating large periods of the game with good approach work but unable to apply the finishing touch that would have earned them all three points.

WHITLEY BAY: Pickering, F Neary, Day, Ellison, Hall, Almond, McGeorge(Holmes 57mins) H Neary, Gilchrist, Brewis(Cartwright 70mins), Suddick

Substitutes not used: Ritson, Storr, Law

Cautions; None

Referee: Barry Tones

Attendance: 120

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