Early Chow strike settles forgetable contest at Consett

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A PAUL Chow goal early in the game enabled Whitley Bay to return home from Consett with three hard earned points after a largely forgettable game played in difficult conditions.

Consett have been hoping to move to a new stadium in the town for some time and now expect to make the move next season.

That will certainly be good news for the Steelmen and it is doubtful if any Bay players or fans will be sorry if this was their last visit to the crumbling Belle Vue ground.

Recent wet weather and heavy usage of the pitch contributed to a poor playing surface which made constructive football difficult with goalscoring chances at a premium.

With Lee Kerr and Paul Robinson both on the bench, LeePaul Scroggins captained the side, which saw David Pounder line up against his former club.

Whitley started much the better of the sides and with just six minutes played, Chow was tripped on the edge of the penalty area but James Fairley’s free kick was off target.

Keeping up the pressure, Whitley took the lead in the 11th minute when Ash Davis raced away on the right, went past two players then did well to keep the ball in play before cutting it back across goal where Chow volleyed past keeper Chris Elliott from four yards.

It was a well worked goal with a typically clinical Chow finish and it gave Whitley a crucial advantage.

Chris Fawcett then played a similar ball across goal from the left but this time Elliott made the save.

Gradually Consett came into the game and enjoyed a period of possession without posing much threat.

However, with 28 minutes played, Steve Aiston’s shot brought an excellent save from Kyle Hayes, with the Bay keeper diving to his left to palm the ball away from goal.

Whitley were defending well with Scroggins playing an influential role, and even though much of the game was being played in the Whitley half, Consett were finding it difficult to make a real impact.

The second half followed a similar pattern, but as the condition of the pitch deteriorated further, it became increasingly difficult to distribute the ball accurately so passes frequently went astray.

Calvin Smith drove a shot across the Bay goal and beyond the far post in what was a rare threat on goal by the home side.

After a foul on Fawcett just outside the penalty area, James Novak fired the free kick over the bar, then Davis was given an opportunity to break clear by Kerr, who had just been brought on, but his control on the poor surface let him down and the chance was gone.

Scorer headed wide as Consett pressed for the equaliser, but then Davis saw an effort to seal the game denied when Lund deflected his shot just wide of goal.

Consett continued to enjoy territorial advantage but with Whitley continuing to defend well, the home side were running out of ideas and becoming steadily more desperate with long range efforts failing to trouble Hayes.

The final whistle came as something of a relief on a typically cold afternoon in north west Durham, but the Bay team left the field to warm applause from their fans after a job well done.

Whitley Bay: Hayes, Brooking, Novak, McFarlane, Anderson, Scroggins, Fawcett, Davis (McMullen 89 mins), Fairley (C Smith 82 mins), Chow, Pounder (Kerr 62 mins).

On Saturday Whitley Bay are due to travel to Ryhope to play Sunderland RCA, who are currently lying in mid table.

Then the club has a free midweek ahead of their FA Vase third round tie against Causeway United on December 8.