|FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round||348|
|Saturday 15th August 2009||Whitley Bay V Dunston UTS||2-2|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
A late comeback by Whitley Bay earned them a replay after they were 2-0 down and seemed to be going out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle. Two goals in a four minute spell soon after the interval appeared to put Dunston on their way to victory but they were made to pay for missed chances with Paul Chow getting Whitley’s equaliser with just over a minute remaining.Ian Chandler was forced to reshuffle his side from the one that beat Dunston in Tuesday’s league game following the departure of winger Chris Moore to Unibond Premier Division side Durham City during the week. Moore had been a key member of the Bay side over the past three years and made 112 appearances, scoring 17 goals.
The starting line up was the subject of debate among many Bay fans before kick off, with Paul Chow, Paul Robinson and Richard Hodgson only making the substitutes bench.
Whitley started the game promisingly and with 12 minutes played, Chris Reid went close with a free kick that whistled inches past the post. The visitors were quick to break after a long throw from Picton was cleared, and David Potts won a free kick just outside the Bay area when McFarlane was penalised for his challenge on the Dunston man. Lee Picton then drove a dangerous ball across the face of the Dunston goal just ahead of Adam Johnston. Midway through the half Whitley created several excellent opportunities in front of goal which if taken would have changed the course of the game. As it was, Phil Bell sent a glancing header just beyond the far post then following good build up play, Fawcett, Johnston and Bell all failed to get the finishing touch with the Dunston defence in disarray.
After an opening half hour when they held the upper hand, Whitley rather lost their way during the next quarter and on 38 minutes, Galbraith set up Michael Dixon, whose close range header was well saved by Tom Kindley, deputising for the injured Terry Burke. Dixon then had another effort deflected wide by Phil Bell, back helping out in defence. The half ended with Dunston looking the stronger but with neither side having managed to break the deadlock.
Kindley made an excellent one handed save to deny Mark O’Bern, pushing the defender’s shot over the bar soon after the resumption. Dunston kept up the pressure and three minutes later they were rewarded when a cross from the left was not cut out, leaving Jack Burns unmarked some eight yard out with the opening he needed to fire the ball past Kindley. Moments later, the dangerous Dixon headed wide as the visitors visibly grew in confidence. Four minutes after taking the lead, Dunston went further ahead when experienced striker Steve Preen quickly turned on the ball and fired past the unsighted Kindley into the corner of the net from ten yards out.
The situation was looking bleak for Whitley, and Ian Chandler responded by making a double substitution on the hour mark, Chow and Robinson replacing Bell and Anderson. Still the visitors threatened and substitute Andrew Bulford tested Kindley with a shot that the young keeper pushed wide.
With 72 minutes gone, Whitley finally got back in the game when Leon Ryan headed Richard Hodgson’s left wing corner firmly past Connell to set up a potentially exciting finale. Five minutes later in what was almost an action replay, Ryan again got above the visitors’ defence but this time his header from Hodgson’s corner crashed off the top of bar. At the other end Bulford might have settled the game after hesitation in the Bay defence allowed the Dunston man a clear run on goal but Kindley got back to make a crucial save. Four minutes from time another sub, Patrick Collins fired in a spectacular long range shot that hit the angle of post and bar but to Whitley’s relief the ball cannoned away to safety.
Then with just over a minute of normal time remaining, another Bay corner was punched away by Connell but only as far as Paul Robinson who from the edge of the penalty area drove a powerful shot towards goal. Whether Connell had the shot covered is debatable but Paul Chow cleverly diverted the ball past the keeper to level the score amidst celebrations on and off the pitch. In the remaining time, Whitley might even have snatched a winner when Fawcett broke away and crossed into the area but Kerr’s shot was off target. In truth Dunston would rightly have felt aggrieved had they conceded another goal as they had created enough second half chances to have won the game.
However, the teams will have to replay on Tuesday evening for the right to visit Newcastle Benfield in the next round, a tough tie for which ever side emerges successful.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, McFarlane, Picton(Hodgson 50mins), Robson, Reid, Ryan, Fawcett, Kerr, Johnston, Bell(Chow 60mins), Anderson(Robinson 60mins)