|STL League Division One||223|
|Tuesday 15th March 2011||Dunston UTS V Whitley Bay||1-2|
Match Report By Julian Tyley
In more ways than one, this was an action replay of the FA Vase game ten days earlier, with Whitley again coming from behind to claim a 2-1 victory. As in the Vase game, Andrew Bulford put Dunston ahead only for Paul Chow, on his 200th appearance, to get the equaliser. The difference this time was that the Bay winner came from the head of David Coulson, with both of Whitley’s goals coming very late in the game, the winner in stoppage time.
While Whitley welcomed back captain Coulson for what was his first full game since recovering from his cruciate injury at Barwell almost a year ago, Dunston were missing their skipper Ben Cattanach who was injured in the warm up.
Although there was plenty of effort from both sides, the first half was a virtual non event in terms of scoring opportunities, Whitley’s only attempts being two attempts from David Pounder both of which flew over the bar and a rare break when McFarlane was clear on goal but was denied by Connell. The home side’s closest effort came shortly before the interval when Lee McAndrew fired a low ball across the face of goal and beyond the far post.
A double substitution at half time saw Lee Mason and Chris Fawcett replaced by Lee Kerr and Gary Ormston and it was Kerr who helped bring Whitley’s play to life. After Robinson had brought a save from Liam Connell, the Dunston keeper saved his side when Kerr was put clear on goal, bravely blocking the shot.
Dunston opened the scoring just before the hour when Bulford sent a glancing header into the far corner of the net from a right wing corner, giving Hayes no chance. Straight from the restart Whitley fought back and Connell did well to palm away a cross from McFarlane. The keeper was having more to do than in the first half and on more than one occasion, his confident handling of high balls into the goalmouth denied Whitley.
Ten minutes from time, a corner from Gareth Williams was half cleared to the edge of the penalty area where Chow turned and struck a low shot that Connell saved well.
It was looking more and more likely that Whitley’s long unbeaten run was coming to an end as they struggled to break down a strong and determined Dunston defence. However, this Whitley team just don't know when they are beaten and with less than three minutes left, Chow seized his chance when the ball was played into the penalty area. He escaped his marker and from about 12 yards out poked the ball into the bottom corner of the net with Connell stranded.
Not content to settle for a point, Whitley pushed forward and with the game in stoppage time, they won a free kick on the right, about 25 yards out. Williams floated the ball towards goal and David Coulson capped an excellent return to the side by leaping to send a towering header beyond Connell into the top corner of the net. The Whitley players and fans went wild with delight at this amazing turn around in fortunes while there was stunned disbelief in the Dunston team.
This never-say-die attitude has now brought three narrow victories away from home against tough opponents and this latest success extended Whitley’s winning run to 12 games and lifted them into fourth place above Newcastle Benfield.
WHITLEY BAY: Hayes, McFarlane, Pounder, Timmons, Coulson, Williams, Fawcett(Ormston 45mins), Robson, Mason(Kerr 45mins), Chow, Robinson(Gibson 64mins)
Substitutes not used: Rowe, Smith
Referee: D Markham (Washington)