Rampant Bay hit eight past RCA


Tuesday 23rd January

Report by Harry Salkeld

After great anticipation and speculation, our very important game v Sunderland RCA was given the green light to go ahead. A pitch inspection, due to recent weather conditions, was made at 4.30 and Bay fans were delighted with the outcome.
Four changes were made to the side that lost 5-1 to Birtley Town, Ben Richardson, James McGeorge, Patrick Almond and Mark Davison were replaced by Elliott Day, Bailey Geliher, Cameron Brewis and Harvey Neary.
The Bay started the game the better side, as they won a free kick very early on. Jamie Holmes stepped over the ball, and, from what looked like an impossible angle, curled the ball into the back of the net giving the Bay an extremely early advantage. The Bay’s good start didn’t stop there as Bailey Geliher had a shot in the 3rd minute which rattled off the post, but thankfully the rebound fell to the feet of Josh Gilchrist who easily slotted the ball into the back of an empty net. Two nil after 3 minutes really was a phenomenal start and showed the crowd just what they’d been missing. Minutes later and Marc Ellison, who was being played in a deeper midfield role, had a shot from the edge of the box which had the keeper worried but he ultimately collected it.
RCA were starting to have a little more of the ball despite the Bay still controlling the proceedings. The away side were yet to have a chance at goal. In the 37th minute, a brilliant Bay high press led to Brewis finding the ball in a great position, with some beautiful footwork and a lovely through ball, Bailey Geliher was through on goal. With all the time in the world, Geliher coolly put the Bay 3-0 up.
To dampen the RCA players mood even more, the rain became heavier as it lashed down onto the pitch. Just on the stroke of half-time, Gilchrist played a great ball across the face of goal which was greeted by Cameron Brewis to make it 4-0.
The Bay went into half-time with their heads held high as they walked off with the dizzying heights of a four-goal advantage.
As the players and officials came out for the second half, there was concern about the weather and the effect it could have on the pitch.
The players and officials spoke in the centre circle and the game was given the thumbs up to carry on. This news was accepted with applause and cheer from Bay fans as we didn’t want our celebrations to be put on hold. As you can imagine, the Sunderland RCA players were more than happy for this game to be abandoned as it would have to be restarted from minute one, on a future date. Thankfully the referee made the sensible decision in keeping the game going for the full 90.
The Bay started the second half in the same vein as they ended the first. A loose ball found its way to Harvey Neary who, on the half volley, scored due to a deflection of an RCA defender. Despite the fortunate deflection, you can’t take anything away from the technique which Neary had on his shot, it was brilliant. In the 56th minute, Gilchrist ran down the line and despite an RCA defender grabbing and pushing him, he kept going. He ran and ran and then finally played a ball across goal which was met by Geliher, who glanced the ball into the far corner.
A few minutes later and the visitors scored a consolation goal through Ogidan to make it 6-1. The Bay made their first change of the game in the 60th minute as Scott Lowery made way for Finlay Neary. Minutes later and Elliott Day had a shot that flashed across goal but went just wide, many people in Hillheads, including myself, got very excited when it looked like that ball might bulge the net.
In the 63rd minute, the Bay made a double change as Lewis Suddick and Ben Richardson both came on for Day and Geliher. Suddick made an instant impact as he had a shot that curled just wide off the post after some great build-up play. In the 75th minute, Suddick had another opportunity to stamp his name on the scoresheet, but his shot was tipped over the bar by the RCA keeper.

Would Suddick’s goal finally arrive? The answer to that question was quickly answered in the 79th minute as he got on the end of a Gilchrist cross to score the Bay’s seventh goal of the night!
The night was capped off with some brilliant football that reflected the Bay’s performance in one move. Harvey Neary and Josh Gilchrist played a fast one-two sending Neary through on goal. Neary’s shot was denied by the keeper but Gilchrist, like a proper goal scorer, was there to pounce at the rebound and get his second off the night. The final whistle was blown, and the Bay had won all three points in a magnificent style that belied the torrid conditions.
I just wanted to quickly mention how brilliant the referee and his assistants were at keeping the game going on due to poor weather conditions, it didn’t look like an easy game to referee from a weather perspective.

As for the Bay players, they were phenomenal. They played with intensity right from the get-go and those two early goals were crucial as the game could have been very different had they not gone in.  It was a night that will live long in the memory for anybody who had the pleasure of going to watch.

Come along to watch our home game this Saturday v Heaton Stannington. It should be a real barnstormer of a game featuring two teams who play great football.
As for a windy, rainy Tuesday night however, what a game and what a night HOWAY THE BAY!

WHITLEY BAY: Pickering, Cartwright, Day(Richardson 63mins)Ellison, Hall, Lowery(F.Neary 60mins), Geliher(Suddick 63mins), H Neary, Gilchrist, Brewis, Holmes
Referee: Evan Culling
Attendance: 156
Man of the Match: Josh Gilchrist, presented by Bay Watch TV commentator Richard Stephenson
Cautions: Lowery

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