Whitley Bay 2-2 Jarrow Roofing
Two former Whitley Bay legends were at the centre of an action packed game at Hillheads on Tuesday evening. Paul Chow and Lee Kerr who between them scored more than 450 goals for the Bay, including in all three FA Vase Final victories at Wembley, rolled back the years as both scored with spectacular long range shots for visitors Jarrow Roofing to ensure that the points were shared.
In contrast, a youthful Whitley side were indebted to two of their youngest players for their goals as a good size midweek crowd were treated to a thoroughly entertaining contest.
With just two minutes played, Thibault Charmey went close for Whitley with a header from Nicky Allen’s cross from the right but keeper Lewis Brass made a comfortable save. Five minutes later Tom Potter did well down the right, going past a defender before crossing from near the by-line to Liam Brooks whose excellent shot on the volley flew into the net to give Whitley the perfect start.
Brooks, who replaced Andy Robertson in the starting eleven, was causing all sorts of problems for the Roofing defence and might have completed a hat trick inside the first 20 minutes, with a shot on the turn bringing a fingertip save from the keeper before he latched onto a long ball and fired just inches wide of the post.
Roofing’s first attempt came midway through the half when Knight broke down the left and his cross was deflected high over the bar. Kerr then drove a low ball across the face of the Bay goal as the visitors came more into the game. The equaliser after 35 minutes came out of the blue with little apparent danger to the Whitley goal when Paul Chow found space on the right and left Tom Flynn helpless with a tremendous shot from 22 yards. Michael Mackay could have put Roofing in front four minutes later but wasted a glorious close range chance before Wilkinson quickly cleared the ball from danger.
Barely a minute before the interval, Lee Kerr collected the ball some 25 yards from goal and with no one closing him down struck a superb swerving shot that curled past Flynn to give Roofing a half time lead.
Brooks, who had suffered a side injury in a collision with Brass early in the game, was replaced by Robertson after the interval as Whitley looked for a quick response. They were immediately into their stride and Chris McDonald’s fierce short from 20 yards was saved by Brass but he could not hold onto the ball and had to react quickly to hold onto the follow up shot from Kyle Patton. Charmey then beat the keeper with a shot that crashed off the post and this time Kyle Patton made no mistake with the rebound, drilling the ball into an empty net to put Whitley back on level terms just six minutes into the half.
Not long afterwards, Whitley might have gone ahead when McDonald’s long throw bounced over the Roofing defence and Robertson’s back post effort was only fractionally wide of the target.
Knight then saw a free kick crash off the base of the post as Roofing responded. There was barely time to catch breath before Kempster and Charmey combined to set up another chance for Whitley then Robertson was just off target after breaking through on goal.
Both sides were searching for the winner but the defences held firm and while Whitley created the better chances, Roofing always posed a threat and in the end two in-form sides had to settle for a draw, a result that extended Whitley’s unbeaten run to eight games.
Midfielder Thibault Charmey was named h20 Bathrooms man of the match.
WHITLEY BAY: Flynn, Allen, McDonald, Haley, Wilkinson, Anderson, Potter, Charmey, Brooks(Robertson 46mins), Kempster, K Patton(Glen-Ravenhill 86mins)
Substitutes not used: Lister, Byerley, Keltie
Referee: Helen Conley