WHITLEY Bay’s hopes of a lucrative FA Cup run came to an end when they were well beaten by a strong Bedlington Terriers side at Hillheads on Saturday.
The visitors included several summer signings and their quality shone through.
Craig McFarlane returned to the Bay side following suspension but Jack Palmer missed out through injury.
Meanwhile Chris Moore played his last game in Bay colours before joining Blue Square Premier side Barrow.
Whitley almost made the perfect start when straight from the kick-off Chris Reid played a long ball forward to Paul Chow who got ahead of his opponent but miss-hit his shot and the ball went wide.
But the visitors responded and were soon imposing themselves on the game.
A cross from the left clipped the top of the bar and after a period of pressure, they went ahead in the sixth minute when an excellent passing move saw Phil Bannister play the ball into the path of Terriers captain Mark Convery who struck an excellent low shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
Whitley replied with Lee Kerr seeing a free kick blocked then Moore played the ball to LeePaul Scroggins whose shot was quickly closed down by the Terriers defence.
Bedlington were attacking quickly and finding space and when Convery put Craig Baxter clear, Kyle Hayes did well to push the ball wide.
Whitley were struggling to clear their lines and after Kris Gate hit a first time effort wide of goal, the same player struck a post with another attempt.
Paul Brayson then failed to find the target when in front of goal.
Whitley Bay began to stem the tide of visiting attacks and after 27 minutes, Moore’s trickery took him past a defender before crossing into the 18-yard box where Paul Robinson’s diving header flew wide.
Back at the other end, Bannister saw another attempt fail to hit the target before Whitley went close to levelling when Chris Fawcett’s shot was blocked and Chow’s effort from the rebound was deflected wide.
Terriers keeper Kevin Morton dealt confidently with a cross from Moore as Whitley were unable to capitalise on good approach work.
Their task was made e the interval when Bedlington were awarded a penalty for handball when Baxter got on the end of Steven Baptist’s cross and the ball flew across the goalmouth, striking an arm in the Bay defence.
Despite protests from Whitley players, Brayson doubled the Terriers’ lead from the spot, although his kick only just went in, hitting the inside of the post on its way.
A one goal deficit at the interval would have left Whitley with hope of getting back into the game, but their confidence was dealt a blow by the penalty and the second half saw the visitors strengthen their grip on the game.
Twice in the first seven minutes Whitley were saved by the bar as first Gate and then Bannister saw shots hit the woodwork.
Ten minutes into the half, Whitley felt they should have had a penalty themselves when Fawcett crossed from the left and Chow’s shot struck the arm of Stuart Elliott, but their appeals were waved away.
Two efforts from Scroggins, a shot and a header, were kept out, but these were rare Bay attempts on target.
Bedlington ended any doubts as to the outcome of the game when they added a third goal after 70 minutes.
Another good flowing move ended with the ball being played to Brayson some ten yards from goal and he confidently slotted the ball just inside the near post.
Whitley Bay: Hayes, McFarlane, Fawcett (Burns 84 mins), Anzevui (Fairley 58 mins), Reid, Scroggins, Moore, Walker, Kerr, Chow, Robinson. Subs not used: Donnelly, C Smith, Rowe, B Smith.
On Saturday, Bedlington are back at Hillheads for a Ebac Northern League game, kick-off 3pm, before Sunderland RCA visit on the Tuesday evening.