|STL League Division One||434|
|Tuesday 26th October 2010||Whitley Bay V Dunston UTS||2-1|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
Whitley responded to Saturday’s disappointing defeat in the best possible way, with an excellent victory over Dunston at Hillheads on Tuesday evening.
The game marked a welcome return to form for Adam Johnston, who scored both goals with superb strikes from outside the penalty area.Dunston, who before kick off were level on points and goal difference with Whitley, are always tough opponents, and within four minutes Michael Dixon found himself unmarked 10 yards out but his header did not trouble Kyle Hayes. Nevertheless it was a warning for Whitley that they would have to be alert to the threat posed by the visitors.
The game soon developed into a fast flowing contest between two good sides, with both intent on playing attacking football, providing plenty of entertainment for the fans.
Whitley took the lead with a spectacular goal after 24 minutes, when the ball was cleared by the Dunston defence only as far as Gareth Williams, who played it forward to Lee Kerr on the left. Looking up he saw Adam Johnston unmarked wide on the right, about 20 yards from goal. Kerr floated the perfect ball over the Dunston defence and it was met by Johnston whose superbly timed volley flashed across Connell in the Dunston goal and into the far corner of the net, a quite outstanding goal and mentioned by several fans as a contender for goal of the season.
Dunston came back quickly and it took a goal line clearance from Brian Rowe to keep Whitley in front.
Lee McAndrew was proving something of a handful for the Bay defence, showing excellent pace on the wing but it was Whitley who came close to increasing their lead six minutes before half time when David Pounder smashed a shot from fully 35 yards just inches past then post with Connell a grateful spectator.
Whether Whitley were under instructions to shoot on sight after recent criticism of rather slow, patient approach work, their attacking policy was paying off and they doubled their lead three minutes later. Again it was Johnston but this time he brought the ball forward himself before unleashing a drive from 25 yards out that looked for many fans to be drifting wide of the far post. Connell may have thought the same, or possibly he was unsighted, but the ball flew into the net without the keeper moving to give Whitley a crucial two goal cushion at the interval.
The second half began with Whitley seemingly determined to finish the game quickly as they went in search of a third goal. Glen Taylor went close after 47 minutes when his looping header drifted just wide of goal. Then a minute later he crashed a tremendous volley against the bar from the edge of the area, with Connell well beaten. A goal then would have put the game beyond Dunston but they remained in with a chance and when Andrew Bulford intercepted a defensive header he fired a shot across goal and beyond the far post when he should perhaps have done better. Dixon fired a long range shot just over the bar but Whitley were in general, containing Dunston well. Substitute Paul Chow might have added a third late on but his shot was blocked, but not held, by Connell, the ball eventually being cleared.
Five minutes from time, a free kick on the left edge of the Bay area was drilled low into the goal mouth by McAndrew. The ball deflected of a defender and went in off the far post to set up a tense last few minutes as the visitors battled to get what in truth would have been a fortunate point. Another free kick conceded by Whitley was cleared to safety and the majority of the excellent 434 crowd were soon able to celebrate a well deserved victory.
WHITLEY BAY: Hayes, Gibson, Pounder, Rowe, Taylor(Smith 74mins), Williams, Ormston(Chow 61mins), Robson, Kerr, Johnston(Robinson 79mins), Fawcett
Substitutes not used: Cornforth, McFarlane
Referee: T Rogers(Darlington)
Bookings: Fawcett, Johnston