Kerr hat-trick helps set Bay up for big win

Whitley Bay v Team Northumbria.

Whitley Bay v Team Northumbria.

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A CONVINCING 6-0 victory over Team Northumbria extended Whitley Bay’s winning run to four games, during which time they have scored 16 and conceded just one.

A hat-trick from Lee Kerr and two from Paul Robinson after Paul Chow had given them an early lead proved too much for the Students.

Whitley fielded the same starting 11 that demolished Marske 4-0 in midweek and they were quickly into their stride.

As on Tuesday, they took an early lead through Paul Chow.

With less than four minutes played, Denver Morris raced through on the right and played the ball across the face of goal and Chow came in unnoticed at the back post to slide the ball home from barely two yards out.

It was the perfect start, but they did not have things all their own way and a few minutes later the visitors went close when John Redhead’s shot from ten yards skimmed the top of the bar.

Another good move by Team North saw Redhead fire over the bar from Ben Sayer’s cross. Callum Anderson then denied Redhead.

James Fairley, who had an impressive game in the centre of midfield, burst through on 22 minutes and drove a shot just wide.

Whitley were gradually getting back on top and on the half hour, they increased their lead.

A ball played out of defence by Callum Anderson was collected by Kerr who advanced before firing a shot from 25 yards that seemed to take Jennison in the visitors goal by surprise as it flew past him into the net, just inside the near post.

Ten minutes later, Kerr went past an opponent before beating Jennison with another powerful 25 yarder from a similar position to put Whitley into a commanding three-goal lead at the interval.

Paul Robinson, who was unwell in midweek and missed the Marske game, came off the bench after half-time, replacing Andy Robertson, and was soon involved in the action.

Closing in on goal he was tripped about four yards inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.

Chow took the kick but this time he placed his shot too close to Jennison, who dived the right way and made a good save.

The visitors quickly broke up field and Daniel Riley fired wide, but two minutes later Kyle Hayes had to push a good effort from John Jury over the bar.

Team Northumbria were showing plenty of spirit, but if they harboured any hopes of getting back in the game, they were extinguished when Whitley got their fourth goal in the 64th minute.

A right wing corner from James Novak should have been held by Jennison but under pressure from Chow he let the ball slip through his hands and it fell for Robinson six yards out near the back post to rifle the ball into the net.

Six minutes later the Students conceded a second penalty when Fairley was tripped inside the box.

This time, Kerr took responsibility for the spot kick but he too saw his shot saved by Jennison.

However, on this occasion the keeper could only parry the ball and as it ran loose, Kerr quickly reacted to score.

The goal completed Kerr’s first hat-trick for more than three years and it took his goals tally for the club to 179, six more than Chow.

Eleven minutes from time a long kick from Hayes was headed on by Chow into the path of Chris Fawcett whose cross fell perfectly for Robinson to slot home from close range.

The applause had barely died down when former Bay striker Mark Fenwick, whose appearance from the bench seemed to lift the spirits of the visitors, produced a great shot only to be denied by a superb fingertip save by Hayes, who made two further excellent saves in the closing stages to ensure a third consecutive clean sheet.

The win moved Bay up into fifth in the table and unbeaten now in seven games.

After the game Robinson was full of praise for Kerr, saying that he had been outstanding, and as captain on the day “he led from the front and took his goals well in an excellent team performance”.

Whitley Bay: Hayes, Brooking, Novak, Anderson, Reid, Fairley, Fawcett, Robertson (Robinson 46 mins), Kerr (C Smith 82 mins), Chow, Morris (McMullen 71 mins).