Bay hit six in first half to climb table

Phill Bell scores his second goal v Stokesley SC.
Phill Bell scores his second goal v Stokesley SC.
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WHITLEY Bay FC made it 13 goals in the space of seven days against STL Northern League division one basement side Stokesley SC on Saturday.

Following their 7-2 victory over the same opponents in North Yorkshire the previous weekend, Bay fans were looking forward to another feast of goals and they were not to be disappointed.

The game had been underway for less than a minute when the home side took the lead.

Straight from the kick-off they went on the attack and won a corner on the right.

David Pounder delivered the ball into the goalmouth where Phill Bell rose to head home.

Stokesley tried to get back into the game but Callum Holbrook’s effort flew high and wide of goal.

Whitley enjoyed the majority of possession and Lee Kerr twice went close – one effort was saved by the keeper while a free kick sailed over the bar.

At the other end, a good attempt by Paul Grier drifted wide of the target.

Whitley nearly added to their lead after 20 minutes when Paul Chow’s attempt from Pounder’s free kick was put behind by a defender.

Then a great run and cross from the right by Bell left the visitors defence struggling but Chow somehow scooped the ball over the bar from less than six yards.

Lee Paul Scroggins joined in the attack and sent a shot just past the post, but the pressure told with 26 minutes on the clock with a goal identical to the first, as Bell headed home another Pounder corner.

Two minutes later it was three when Stokesley keeper Paul Hubbard failed to hold a Gareth Williams cross and could only divert the ball into his own net.

It was all, and when Bell was fouled just outside the penalty area it looked the perfect position for Kerr to curl the free kick into the top corner, but Hubbard did well to push the ball over the bar.

With 38 minutes gone, after good approach work, Paul Robinson squared the ball to Scroggins who lashed a fierce shot beyond Hubbard for the fourth.

Two minutes later it was five after Robbie Dale’s cross from the left, following Robinson’s corner, eluded the defence and Scroggins came in at the back post to head the ball home.

At this stage it was looking as if Whitley could score with every attack and when Dale crossed from the right, the ball flew beyond the defenders and Chow had the easiest of tasks in side-footing home to put Whitley six up with the interval still two minutes away.

Stokesley were feeling the heat in more ways than one and the half-time whistle came as a relief to their beleaguered players.

But it was a different game in the second half as the home side failed to add to their tally while Stokesley deserved credit for continuing to battle away and creating several chances themselves.

Following a cross from the left, a downward header from Joseph Melvin was comfortably saved by Kyle Hayes, who had been little more than a spectator in the first half.

Melvin later took the ball past Pounder but fired just over.

Porritt then sent a shot only just beyond the far post as the visitors enjoyed a greater share of possession.

Whitley struggled to maintain their momentum, with passes going astray and instances where they looked to take too many touches and walk the ball into the net.

In fairness, with the game won and in high temperatures, there was an obvious temptation to ease off.

And to give Bell and Chow a breather ahead of some testing games in the coming two weeks, both were substituted midway through the half, along with Brian Smith.

Kerr, still needing one more goal to become the second top scorer in the club’s history, went close on several occasions.

Hubbard got down low to save a powerful shot at the second attempt and when Pounder crashed a shot off the under side of the bar, Kerr’s follow up was saved.

Seven minutes from time, Dale was tripped inside the box and Kerr stepped up to take the penalty, but once again his luck was out as his spot kick hit the post and rebounded away from goal.

A minute from time, Robinson’s cross saw another Kerr effort deflected past the post by the Stokesley defence, who held out to prevent Whitley adding to their tally.

With their goal difference boosted by three big wins in the last week, Whitley moved ahead of Dunston into second place, seven points behind leaders Sunderland RCA but with three games in hand.

Whitley’s next home game on Saturday, October 15, is against Sunderland RCA.

Whitley Bay: Hayes, Williams, Pounder, Rowe, Smith (Anderson 64 mins), Scroggins, Dale, Bell (Robson 64 mins), Kerr, Chow (Ormston 64 mins), Robinson. Subs not used: Timmons, Downey.