McMullen goal secures win at Whitby for Whitley

Michael Mullen (left, number 15) scoring the only goal of the game at Whitby.
Michael Mullen (left, number 15) scoring the only goal of the game at Whitby.
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WHITLEY Bay FC emerged victorious from the second of their three pre-season games against former FA Vase winners thanks to a late winner from substitute Michael McMullen at Whitby.

Saturday’s game saw Whitley take on a side two divisions above them but on the evidence of this display, they would have little difficulty in holding their own at this level and were good value for their victory.

Playing against a strong northerly wind in the first half, Whitley comfortably withstood early pressure.

Triallist Declan McEvoy looked a threat as he troubled the home defence with surging runs down the left wing while Lee Scroggins looked impressive in midfield.

Lee Kerr seized on a loose pass to set Paul Chow clear on the left, but the Bay striker, returning following an injury sustained at Crook, saw his shot fly a foot wide of the post.

Kyle Hayes miss-hit a clearance straight to Andy Campbell some 20 yards out but with the goal at his mercy, the former Middlesbrough man lobbed the ball wide.

The second half saw both sides make a series of substitutions, with Whitley using all of their 19-man squad. Despite the disruption of the changes, Whitley continued to look comfortable, with Callum Anderson outstanding in defence.

An incident near the touchline involving substitute Dean Deagle and Whitby’s Dave McTiernan resulted in both players being substituted in order to avoid punishment.

Five minutes from time came the only goal of the game when a misunderstanding in the home defence saw McMullen score.

In the closing moments, Whitby launched an attack which ended with the ball being fired wide of goal but in reality, neither Hayes or sub keeper Graham Pickering had a significant save to make all game.

Ian Chandler was happy with the Whitley performance, especially the defence and midfield, with the side now beginning to gel after four pre-season outings.

Promising performances by a number of young players on trial and others aiming to make the move up from the reserves were reasons for optimism among the 100 or more travelling Bay fans on a day when the likes of Paul Robinson, Christie Elliott, Phill Bell and Damon Robson were all unavailable for selection.

Whitley Bay: Hayes, Anderson, McEvoy, Timmons, Scroggins, Williams, Ormston, Downey, Kerr, Chow, Hughes. Subs used during second half: McFarlane, McMullen, Pounder, Gibson, Deagle, Lee, Rowe, Pickering.