WHITLEY BAY 4 TOW LAW TOWN 1
Saturday 23rd September
Report by Harry Salkeld
After a fantastic win against Newcastle Benfield last week, Nick Gray and his players were looking to make it two wins in seven days. Many changes were made to the team that won last week, Evan Wilkinson, Michael Hall and Jos Storr were the three new faces to the starting XI. Luke Page and Elliott Day were both back in the matchday squad as they made the bench.
The Bay started with real energy and drive as they attacked the Tow Law defence right from the get-go. The Bay showed greater intent in the 9th minute when Suddick’s shot was brilliantly saved by Kyle Seymour. Gilchrist was pulling the strings in the centre of the park, whether he was driving forward or passing the ball, he was proving to be a huge menace to Tow Law’s defence.
The Bay were dominating the game, Tow Law had hardly strung a pass in the first 15-20 minutes, which was down to the Bay’s great press and desire to win the ball back quickly when they lost it. In the 21st minute, Gilchrist whipped in a beautiful cross but the flying Jos Storr headed it wide. Minutes later, Storr had a shot from the edge of the box but it was saved comfortably by Tow Law’s number 1.
After 39 minutes of great play from the Bay, the deadlock was broken by Josh Gilchrist. It was a sublime finish at the edge of the box, curled beautifully into the bottom right corner. In the 40th minute, Gilchrist caught the keeper in no man’s land, chipped it over him but a Tow Law defender prevented the second of the game. Seconds before the end of what had been an enthralling half, Neary hit the post to the frustration of the fans in blue and white.
The Bay started the second half in the same positive and attacking vein, as Ben Richardson had a shot that went just wide in the 48th minute. In the 51st minute, Marc Ellison ran through on goal, one on one with the keeper, but his shot went millimetres wide. It was easily the best chance of the game so far and most in Hillheads thought it was going to become 2-0. The Bay continued to play exciting football, to the delight of the Bay fans, which Tow Law could not contain.
In the 60th minute, Nick Gray made a double substitution. Evan Wilkinson and goal-scorer, Josh Gilchrist made way for Elliott Day and Luke Page. Minutes later, Davison had a shot saved from close range to keep the Bay’s advantage at just one.
In the 66th minute, Harrison Bond miscalculated the bounce of the ball which led to him pulling Benjamin Urwin down to the ground. He hoped that he wouldn’t be penalised by the ref, but the answer was, ‘Dr No.’ The penalty was then converted by Urwin to the annoyance of our 001.
Minutes later, the Bay showed their great character and resilience as Davison restored the advantage with an easy finish after Storr put in a lovely cross. Minutes later, Storr had a shot blocked by a Tow Law defender. In the 73rd minute, last week’s Man of the Match, Ben Richardson, came off for Andrew Cartwright.
Andrew Cartwright made an early impact when his shot was saved by the Tow Law keeper in the 75th minute. In the 77th minute, the Bay scored their third of the game when Mark Davison found the back of the net once again after some cohesive build up play by Neary. Minutes after the goal, Storr made way for Noah Millington.
In the 85th minute, a lovely through ball was played into Lewis Suddick who calmly dribbled around the keeper and slotted it home, to remove any lingering doubts about the outcome. The last chance of the game fell to Noah Millington whose shot was saved by Seymour.
The game ended 4-1, putting the Bay in a very promising league position. Next week, we travel to Shildon who are top of the league currently. If we win that game then we are top of the league with 11 games played. The lads played brilliantly today. They played with great energy and intensity and that’s why we came out as comfortable winners in the end. Congratulations to Harvey Neary who received the Man of the Match award from Club Chairman, Paul McIlduff. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the lads today in what was a great spectacle. HOWAY THE BAY!
WHITLEY BAY: Bond, Neary, Wilkinson(Day 60mins), Turnbull, Hall, Richardson(Cartwright 73mins), Suddick, Ellison, Davison, Storr(Millington 82mins), Gilchrist(Page 60mins)
Substitute not used: Lister
Man of the Match: Harvey Neary
Cautions: Gilchrist and Wilkinson
Referee: David Carr
Assistant Referees: William Carter and Ben Higgott