Atkinson delighted with Whitley Bay’s fighting spirit

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Whitley Bay manager Paddy Atkinson felt his side showed the same attitude at Durham City which almost brought them a shock NFA Senior Cup semi-final win at Blyth Spartans.

On Saturday his side beat the Citizens 4-3, although it was only a late goal from the home side which made the scoreline closer than the game had been.

He said: “It was a very good win, I thought that was the type of performance we played against Blyth with a bit of fighting spirit and energy.

“We’ve started playing Robbie Bird up front with Peter Watling and they’ve got that bit of relationship there now.”

It was Bay’s first game following the departure of Paul Chow, and the manager paid tribute to the striker.

“I’d like to mention Paul Chow, a legend to the club,” said Atkinson.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for him just as the fans have. It’s got to be told he left of his own accord.

“We tried to persuade him to stay but he’s at an age now when he wants to play for his home club before it gets too late, so he made that decision and he went with everybody’s blessing.”

Meanwhile the boss was full of praise for his new signings.

He added: “Paul King’s come in and shown plenty of energy on the right. Young Michael Williamson, just an 18-year-old from Gateshead, well he’s come in and has done a tremendous job today.

“Scott Blandford’s another good signing and we’ve got a few more coming.

“The players today all worked, put the effort in and I think they surprised themselves, they were working for each other, creating chances and their keeper had to pull off three or four good saves.

“It’s certainly a lot happier in that dressing room today.”

Reflecting on the exuberant celebrations after each of the goals, Atkinson said: “I think there’s been a lot of weight, a lot of pressure on everybody, and it showed in the way they celebrated.”