Suspensions deprive Whitley Bay of two key players

Whitley Bay FC's Alex Kempster.

Whitley Bay FC's Alex Kempster.

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The entire Northern League programme was washed out on Saturday as heavy rain left grounds across the region waterlogged.

Whitley Bay’s scheduled game away to Newcastle Benfield was called off at 11.30am, leaving Paddy Atkinson’s side without a game for the second successive weekend.

The knock-on effect was that Tuesday night’s Northumberland Senior Cup quarter-final was postponed as opponents Morpeth Town had their FA Vase tie at South Shields rescheduled for midweek.

The County Cup game has now been rearranged for Tuesday, January 19, with a 7.30pm kick-off at Hillheads.

Along with every other local side, Whitley will be keeping their fingers crossed for better weather this weekend when they are due to face Bedlington Terriers at Hillheads on Saturday for what will be their first game in three weeks.

There will be two enforced changes to the Bay side for this game, with Alex Kempster, an ever present in the side this season, starting a three-match ban following his red card in their last match at Washington, while Michael Laws faces a one match suspension after picking up his fifth caution, also at Washington.

On the plus side, new signing Chris Youldon will be in line to make his debut after recovering from an ear infection while defender Richard Flynn will also be back in the squad.

This will be Whitley’s last game before Christmas and the club shop will be open throughout the afternoon for the sale of merchandise and a variety of special Christmas gifts.

In the event of the game being called off, the club shop will still be open but from the earlier time of midday until 2pm. Outside these hours, enquiries may be made to whitleybayfcclubshop@yahoo.co.uk or by calling 07761 976892.

Over the holiday period, Whitley Bay have one game scheduled, a Boxing Day local derby at home to West Allotment Celtic with the kick-off at midday.