WHITLEY Bay will be looking to bounce back in Saturday’s FA Cup game with Bedlington Terriers following a dismal defeat at home to Ashington in the league on Tuesday night.
After a fairly even opening 45 minutes the contest was all square at 1-1 going into the break.
But it was the Colliers who took control after the break to ruin out 3-1 winners.
The visitors were the first to attack when inside the opening minute centre forward Marc Walton got possession and let fly with a vicious 20 yarder which was tipped over by Kyle Hayes at the last moment.
Ashington then forced four successive corners and from the last, a ball played in by Louis Storey saw Gray’s header pushed to safety by Hayes.
Bay had their first effort in the 13th minute when a shot by Paul Robinson was parried by Karl Dryden, then a deflected effort by Paul Chow was held by the visiting keeper.
The opening goal came in the 34th minute when Craig Scott was penalised for a handball 20 yards out and Kerr stepped up to give Dryden no chance with a right footer struck with pace which dipped and flew into the net.
Ashington had paid the penalty for not scoring when they were firmly in the driving seat, and Kerr almost doubled the tally four minutes later with a near identical strike – on this occasion from 25 yards – which went narrowly over the bar.
The Colliers got back on level terms three minutes before the break though with a breathtaking equaliser right out of the top drawer from Walton.
There appeared to be no danger for Bay when skipper Liam Atkin knocked a long ball down the right flank to Walton, but the number nine caught everyone unawares as he turned a defender just outside the area and struck a venomous right footed half volley which screamed past Hayes and nestled inside the far corner.
Whitley were rocked int he second half, with Ashington appearing more determined to get a result, and in the 55th minute the visitors went 2-1 up through Walton, and with just under 20 minutes remaining Bay were 3-1 down when Callum Little put his name on the score sheet.
Former Bay player Phill Bell was in the starting 11 for Ashington, but left the pitch early in the first half with an ankle injury and was taken to hospital for checks.
Early reports indicate the striker suffered a broken ankle.
Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Bedlington Terriers at Hillheads kicks-off at 3pm.