WHITLEY BAY 3 CROOK TOWN 1
Saturday 4th February
Report by Harry Salkeld
Decisive play down the wing returned to Whitley’s game to earn all three points against Crook Town on a day to remember for the team in blue and white.
After a disappointing game away at Redcar, the Bay were looking to change their fortune with a win in front of the Bay supporters.
Three changes were made from the side that played against Redcar. Pat Nash was giving back the gloves, Elliott Day replaced Scott Lowery and Bailey Geliher came in for Cameron Brewis in attack.
Before the game, Scott Lowery received a trophy to mark 100 appearances for the Bay. He has been instrumental in the Bay’s upward trajectory during those 100 appearances.
The game started with the Bay struggling to maintain possession off the ball for long periods and due to this, chances at goal were restricted. The Crook striker, Burnicle, was making darting runs off the ball to create opportunities for his side and Crook were slightly on top initially.
The first foul of the game was committed by Bailey Geliher on Crook striker, Nash, in the 9th minute.
In the 12th minute, Ben Richardson’s attempted pass to Michael Hall was intercepted by Burnicle, who went on a run with the ball at his feet. He then cut in and passed the ball to Havelock-Brown whose shot was saved by Pat Nash in the bottom left-corner.
The Bay forward line was causing problems for the Crook defence as the game grew. A free kick was won in the 23rd minute due to great attacking play by Elliott Day down the left wing. Stephen Turnbull stepped up to take the free kick and whipped it in to the top left corner. Hillheads burst into rapturous applause for what was a fantastic goal from what looked an impossibly tight angle.
Crook pushed for the leveller and a great chance fell to the feet of Walker, but his effort was blazed over the bar.
In the 37th minute, Luke Porritt and Elliott Day were attacking down the left flank. Day went on a forging run into the penalty area where he was tripped by Walker. There was little doubt regarding the contact as Walker lay injured for some time due to his own challenge. The referee pointed to the penalty spot to send the Hillheads crowd buzzing in anticipation once again.
Malcolm Morien stepped up to take the penalty and with no doubts in his mind, Mr Reliable coolly scored from the spot to the bottom right corner.
The Bay went into the half-time interval with their heads held high after a great first half performance.
After the interval, a double substitution, was made by the visitors, Gardiner came off for Armstrong and Leonard come on for Nash.
The Bay started the second half in the same vein as they ended the first. Harvey Neary made a run with the ball at his feet but his fantastic effort at goal was saved by a strong Makepeace hand.
Minutes later, Harvey Neary caused problems again with the ball at his feet when he got passed two Crook defenders, but Makepeace made another great save to deny his effort at goal.
Crooks first attack in the second half came when Armstrong’s effort from the edge of the box was saved by Pat Nash who parried it out for a corner.
The corner was taken short in the 61st minute to Brown. He whipped in a cross with his left foot which sailed past everybody in the box and found its way into the bottom left corner of Pat Nash’s goal.
After getting the goal, Crook continued to attack the defence and were looking to grab the leveller. The Bay defence was absorbing a lot of pressure. In the 69th minute Pat Nash did extremely well to get down low to stop a drilled ball from finding Leonard, which would have set him up for an open goal.
The Bay won a corner in the 75th minute, with great play by Elliott Day again. The ball was delivered in by Ben Richardson and landed on the head of Malcolm Morien, whose headed effort deflected off Bailey Geliher and into the back of the net.
A minute later, the Bay made their first substitution of the day when Josh Gilchrist came on for Malcolm Morien.
Three late substitutions were made by Nick Gray in the last ten minutes. Geliher, Porritt and Richardson all made way for Orrell, debutant Noah Millington and Lowery.
Four minutes were added on as additional time, which didn’t faze any of the Bay players as they calmly retained possession and saw the game to completion.
The final whistle was greeted with cheers from all the Bay fans who had come to support their team. It was fantastic to get back to winning ways in what could be a pivotal game in our season.
Elliott Day received the Man of the Match presented by Jen Robinson. Elliott had a fantastic game and was key in all the goals scored.
WHITLEY BAY: Nash, Patterson, Hall, Hutchinson, Day, Turnbull, Richardson(Lowery 88mins), Neary, Porritt(Millington 84mins), Geliher(Orrell 81mins), Morien(Gilchrist 75mins)
Cautions: Harvey Neary
Referee: Andrew Bailey
Assistant Referees: Peter Quinn and Rachel Martin