WHITLEY BAY 3 NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 1
Saturday 16th September
Match report by Harry Salkeld
After a few weeks away from Hillheads, the Bay were back at home to try and make it two league wins in a row. Only one change was made to the team that beat Seaham last weekend, Michael Hall was replaced by Scott Lowery.
The game started with high intensity, both sets of players were rushing to the ball and were aggressive with their tackles. Benfield then started to enjoy possession of the ball in their own half and were looking for the killer pass to cut open the Bay defence.
The first good chance of the game fell to Andrew Cartwright after he dribbled into a dangerous position but his shot was sent over the bar, to the frustration of the Bay fans.
Minutes later, a lovely ball was played thorough to Jay Errington who found himself one on one with the keeper. To the delight of the home crowd, Harrison Bond pulled of a fantastic save to keep the score level.
In the 28th minute, the Bay received a free kick in a dangerous position. The ball was whipped in by Stephen Turnbull and greeted by the head of Lowery, whose effort was saved by Grainger. Inexplicably, as the ball hung in the air, ex-Whitley player Scorgie sent a bullet header into his own top corner, to give Whitley the advantage.
In the 33rd minute, Colquhoun had a great chance to equalise for Benfield but he made a complete mess of his opportunity. Jay Errington then had an amazing opportunity when he dribbled around Bond leaving him with an open goal. As the bat sign shone in the sky, it was super-hero Lowery who was there to clear his shot off the line and save the day. It was amazing defending by our number 5. In the 42nd minute, Lowery was involved again when he smashed his header onto the bar after a great corner had been sent in by Richardson.
The Bay were starting to dominate proceedings. Benfield were having to sit back and defend as the Bay attacked with poise and purpose. The halftime whistle was blown sending the Bay into the interval with the slender advantage.
The Bay continued playing great football in the first ten minutes of the second half as Benfield’s defence struggled to contain the home sides attack. Despite the Bay starting the second half well, the opponents equalised in the 58th minute. It was a lovely low shot by Connor Walker to level the game at 1-1.
In the 65th minute, Cartwright made way for Noah Millington. In the 74th minute, the Bay re-gained their one goal advantage when Ben Richardson’s free kick sailed through the box and crept its way into the goal due to a deflection off a Benfield defender. Time stood as still as the Benfield keeper’s legs, as he appeared completely confused by the direction of the ball. In the 78th minute, Josh Gilchrist was replaced by Evan Wilkinson.
In the 80th minute, Neary went on a charging run down the right-hand side but his shot was saved by Grainger to keep the score at 2-1. In the 87th minute, Ben Richardson scored again as Grainger stood still once more at the edge of the box expecting a free kick for a 50/50 challenge. As the old adage goes, always play to the whistle and Richardson’s lob into the welcoming arms of the goal, rang this loud and clear. The referee stood firm and brushed away the protestations from the Benfield players. One minute later, Weirs had a shot denied by Grainger.
The game ended 3-1 to the Bay and it was a thoroughly deserved win. The Bay played with fluidity in the final third and created so many chances, they could have easily scored 6,7 or 8 had it not been for some fantastic saves by Grainger. The Bay now sit 2nd in the league with 9 games played, which is absolutely amazing. Next week we are at home to Tow Law and your support would be much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who came to support the lads today. HOWAY THE BAY!
WHITLEY BAY: Bond, Neary Cartwright(Millington 65mins), Turnbull, Lowery, Richardson, Gilchrist(Wilkinson 78mins), Ellison, Davison, Weirs, Suddick
Man of the Match: Ben Richardson
Cautions: Davison, Cartwright
Referee: Alexander Ferriday
Assistant Referees: Paul Youngson and Dylan Ure