Redcar hold out to deny Bay victory


Saturday 6th April

Report by Harry Salkeld

After claiming local bragging rights once again on Easter Monday, the Bay were back at Hillheads Park for a game against mid-table Redcar Athletic. This was our first home game in four weeks. You could feel a sense of anticipation and eagerness around the ground.  

Our opponents came into this game with relatively decent form, three wins, one draw and one loss in their last five games. Only one change was made to the squad that completed the double over Shields. Captain, Michael Hall couldn’t make the game, so Scott Lowery took over his role as centre-back and captain for the day.  

The game began with neither side establishing an advantage, both were enjoying equal amounts of the ball but creating no opportunities to write home about. The wind was proving a huge factor in the game, many passes were going astray, and it was hindering attacking opportunities! 

The first real chance of the game came in the 18th minute when Elliott Day took a shot, which flew like a rocket, but was unfortunately blocked by the head of Nathan Guru in heroic fashion. Bay pressure continued as Day had another shot denied only thirty seconds later, which led to another corner. The corner originally didn’t lead to anything, but a loose ball fell to Almond in the penalty area, who took two quick touches to bamboozle the Redcar defence, and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner. It was a thoroughly deserved lead as the Bay had countless efforts and scrambles in the box before the deadlock was broken. 

Unsurprisingly, with a need to reach equilibrium, Redcar started to grow into the game and tried to create opportunities. In the 30th minute, a through ball over the top was played into Adam Boyes who set up Curtis Round for an easy open goal. There was clear frustration from the Bay defence, as they believed there was an offside from either Boyes or Round, both looked extremely likely, but neither were given.  

In the 35th minute, the Bay looked to re-establish their advantage as Jos Storr had a shot blocked by a Redcar defender.  

No chances were conjured in the remaining minutes of the first half, sending the Bay into the break on level terms.  

The Bay continued to play attacking football and creating lots of chances as Lewis Suddick had a header fly over the bar in the 52nd minute. Minutes later and another chance fell the Bay’s way as Jos Storr had a long-range effort spear just over the bar.  

In the 63rd minute, a huge moment in the game occurred, one that many thought would completely change the game. Bailey Geliher went on a charging run and was pulled to the ground by Bradley Mills who was booked for the second time and forced to leave the field of play with immediate effect. The free kick, from that tackle, was deflected wide. 

In the 66th minute, Elliott Day continued to show his attacking process as his quick footwork took the Redcar defender completely out the equation and Day’s shot was superbly saved by Lee Roberts at the near post. 

In the 72nd minute, Adam Boyes had a powerless effort dragged wide off the post. Minutes later and the Bay made their first change of the game as Gilchrist came on for Jos Storr. In the 77th minute, Suddick had another effort fly over the bar, this time a volley from a Day cross.  

The crowd were starting to get behind the players as there were fans shouting ‘shoot’ at every given moment. In the 83rd minute, Cartwright gave what the crowd and his congregation of young fans wanted, but his long range effort smacked of a vibrating bar much to the frustration of those in blue and white, on and off the pitch.   

With minutes left on the clock, it was one way traffic as the Bay were looking for a winner. However, the opposition were understandably putting nine men behind the ball due to their numerical disadvantage.  

In the 90th minute, the Bay won a free kick in an extremely promising opportunity. Up stepped Suddick, who aimed for the bottom right corner, but Roberts once again kept his team on level terms. In the 93rd minute, constant Bay pressure looked like it might have paid off, but Harvey Neary’s effort crashed off the far post. The Bay fans couldn’t believe it, how many times were we going to hit the bar? 

One last chance, that’s all we needed and that’s all we were going to get as the clock struck 95. Day cut into the penalty area, but his shot was denied by the keeper with his hands, Ellison then had a shot denied by the keeper’s hands and then other shot was flying in, this time denied by a different pair of hands! The Redcar defender had denied what looked like a shot destined for goal with his hands. Controversially, no penalty was given, and the whistle was instantly blown for full time to the confusion and frustration to most in Hillheads Park.  

Despite, the Bay not coming away with all three points, there were at least some positives to take out from the game. We showed great attacking threat and ability, as we always do, and we gave the fans something to get excited and cheer about. We may not have won but we definitely showed that next year could be a very promising year for those at Hillheads Park.

WHITLEY BAY: Lister, Cartwright, Day, Ellison, Almond, Lowery, Storr(Gilchrist 76mins), H.Neary, Suddick, F.Neary, Geliher 

Subs not used: Law, Ritson, Valbuena, Benedetti 

Bay cautions: Cartwright, Ellison, H Neary 

Referee: Matthew Davidson 

Man of the Match: Scott Lowery

Matchball sponsor: HFR Safety Ltd

Attendance: 402 

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