A SECOND half goal from Paul Robinson gave Whitley Bay a deserved victory against relegation threatened Jarrow Roofing on Saturday at Hillheads.
Bay manager Ian Chandler gave a debut to Fabio Zanelli while Lee Kerr and Gary Ormston returned to the starting line-up with Damon Robson and David Pounder dropping down to the bench.
Bay started the stronger and Chris Fawcett’s looping header from Robinson’s cross was pushed over the bar by keeper Carmichael after 15 minutes in what proved to be the closest either side came during the opening half.
Efforts from Allen and Carson for the visitors were woefully off target while Paul Chow battled his way through the Jarrow defence before seeing his shot blocked by the keeper.
Meanwhile Robinson’s free kick shortly before the interval was held high above his head by Carmichael.
The game livened up considerably after the interval, with Chris Reid almost giving Whitley the lead within a minute of the restart when his header from Robinson’s left wing corner was kept out by Dixon.
A few minutes later, a stinging shot from Kerr was only parried by Carmichael and fortunately for Jarrow, the ball rolled away from danger and was cleared.
Pacy winger Kris Hughes, who spent the pre-season at Hillheads, was for the most part kept quiet by Craig McFarlane and Reid, who played their part in ensuring that after recent lapses, Whitley kept a clean sheet, their first in five games.
Veteran striker David Southern was also restricted to a few half chances as Jarrow’s chances on goal were kept to a minimum.
Just past the hour, a snap shot from McFarlane, spotting his chance from 20 yards out, caught out the Jarrow defence and flew just inches past the post.
At this stage the home side were getting on top and forcing the visitors to defend in depth.
The breakthrough almost came when Kerr played the ball through to Chow on the right. After taking the ball to the by-line, his cross to the back post reached McFarlane but his header from close range went the wrong side of the post and into the side-netting.
The warning signs were there for Jarrow and Carmichael had to react quickly to deny Chow after he latched onto a ball over the Roofing defence.
Eventually, with 14 minutes remaining, Whitley took the lead their play deserved and the goal came from a well worked move started by Reid.
When Fawcett played Robinson clear he clipped the ball over Carmichael from about ten yards out for what was his 12th goal of the season – an excellent record for the consistent midfielder whose tally for the club is now 63 goals.
As Whitley tried to press home their advantage, a long range effort from Pounder, who had replaced Michael McMullen, was kept out, as was a header from Kerr a few minutes later.
With time running out, Jarrow pushed men forward in an attempt to rescue a point, and after Hedley was off target with a header, Kyle Hayes kept Whitley in front with a diving save late on, but it was a relatively rare moment of activity for the Bay keeper.
The victory keeps Whitley in fifth, ahead of Ashington on goal difference, but the Colliers have three games in hand.
Whitley Bay: Hayes, Zanelli (Williams 59 mins), McFarlane, Reid, Ormston, Fawcett, McMullen (Pounder 64 mins), Anderson, Kerr, Chow, Robinson (Rowe 84 mins). Subs not used: Robson, Smith.