|FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay||251|
|Tuesday 18th August 2009||Dunston UTS V Whitley Bay||0-2|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley kept their excellent start to the season on track with a well deserved victory in a pulsating FA Cup replay at Dunston on Tuesday evening.David Coulson, just back from holiday, returned to the side, playing alongside central defender Chris Reid, who has performed so well in the last three games. In an attacking line up, Wembley goalscorers Paul Chow and Lee Kerr were named as strikers while Paul Robinson and Richard Hodgson were also in the starting line up.
On a calm and mild evening, with the sides meeting for the third time in a week, Whitley started positively and early on Lee Kerr, seeing Connell off his line, tested the Dunston keeper with a 25 yard effort which he saved at the second attempt. Then Leon Ryan brought a save from Connell with a header from Hodgson’s cross. Whitley kept up the pressure and when Fawcett crossed from the left, Dunston defender Ben Cattanach cleared only as far as Hodgson who volleyed the ball just wide of goal.
Whitley were on top and another attack down the left saw Fawcett put Chow clear near the corner flag. His cross into the goalmouth was put behind for a corner by Lee Bell, under pressure from Kerr. The resulting corner from Robinson saw Coulson volley the ball just wide of the target.
A few minutes later a superb move involving inter passing between Robinson and Kerr cut through the Dunston defence but Hodgson’s low shot was well saved by Connell.
At the other end Galbraith fired the ball across the face of Whitley’s goal with no one on hand to apply the finishing touch. Then Harkin drove a speculative long range effort just wide of goal. Another good move from the home side was thwarted when Kindley made a great save with his feet. An entertaining half ended with the sides still level although Whitley were looking the more likely to score.
After the break the game continued in the same vein with Whitley showing the greater threat. However, it was Dunston who almost took the lead after 59 minutes when Steve Preen turned quickly and drilled a low shot towards the bottom corner of the net but Kindley dived and at full stretch pushed the ball round the post for a corner.
As so often happens, a near miss at one end is followed by a goal at the other and so it was on this occasion. Within seconds of the corner being cleared, Whitley were on the attack and when Lee Kerr received the ball some 25 yards out he powered a tremendous shot towards goal. Connell was beaten but the ball crashed off the far post, rebounded across goal, hit the unlucky keeper and flew into the net. The goal was credited to Kerr although technically it might have been considered an own goal. Four minutes later, Whitley could and should have scored again when Fawcett played Chow clear in a position similar to his Wembley goal but with only the keeper to beat the normally clinical striker put his shot well over the bar. Whitley were still looking to make the game safe but Ryan headed over from Robinson’s corner.
Inevitably Whitley were pushed back as Dunston pressed forward in a bid to rescue the game during the later stages. A corner from the left was hooked clear by Reid as for the first time in the game Whitley’s defence was really tested. By pushing forward however, Dunston left gaps at the back and with substitutes Bell and Johnston brought on Whitley were in a position the exploit the situation with counter attacks. Craig McFarlane also used his pace down the right wing to trouble the Dunston defence. For a while though, pressure from Dunston, although being repelled, appeared relentless, with the ball only being cleared as far as the half way line. With time running out, Adam Johnston hit the post with a shot for Whitley then with the game entering stoppage time, Cattanach fired in a great 25 yard shot that looked destined for the top corner until Kindley made a magnificent and crucial save, pushing the ball over the bar.
Anxiety for the Bay fans soon turned to jubilation when in the fourth minute of added time, Johnston broke away down the right and crossed for the unmarked Paul Robinson to fire a great shot past Connell to make the game safe and round off a great cup tie.
WHITLEY BAY: Kindley, McFarlane, Reid, Robson(Anderson 46mins), Coulson, Ryan, Fawcett, Hodgson(Johnston 78mins), Kerr, Chow(Bell 71mins), Robinson