Whitley Bay produced an excellent performance in dreadful conditions to pick up all three points in a wet and windy midweek fixture in Carlisle as they beat Celtic Nation 3-1.
They were down to the bare bones with work commitments and injuries leaving them with just 12 players available for a potentially tough game.
Liam Harris, whose first senior appearance was as a late substitute against Benfield two nights earlier, was given his full debut, and along with the other reserve team players drafted into the side in recent games, he played an important role in the victory.
Playing against the wind in the first half, Whitley were defending well in the difficult conditions, with Craig McFarlane outstanding while Harris and Craig Smith battled for every ball.
Dillon Blake, though small in stature, worked hard to deny the home side possession in midfield and it began to look as if Whitley might hold out until half -time.
But seven minutes from the interval they went behind when Stephen Archibald headed home when the ball came into the goalmouth from the left.
With the strong wind at their backs in the second half, Whitley’s main problem looked to be keeping the ball under control.
But after the home side briefly attacked in search of a crucial second goal, Whitley pressed forward and after 57 minutes got the equaliser when Harris played the ball over the defence and Paul Chow raced through to slot it past keeper Dan Lowson.
Whitley kept going and their pressure paid off when Lewis Burns played a perfect pass across field to Paul Robinson who in turn played the ball down the left to Chow and his shot was poked past Lowson by Blake.
Controversy followed six minutes later when a long ball down the Whitley right appeared to drift well into touch before being blown back into play.
The game was allowed to continue and after Lowson had raced out of goal to clear the ball, Blake’s header reached Chow who saw Lowson out of goal and talking full advantage of the wind, fired a spectacular shot beyond the keeper and into the corner of the net from fully 40 yards.
The goal left the Cumbrians deflated, and Whitley comfortably held on to record a well deserved victory.
It was a just reward for their travelling fans, who made up at least three quarters of the crowd and were able to enjoy a happy late night journey back home.
Whitley Bay: Hayes, Blake, McFarlane, C Smith, Fairley, Downey, Fawcett, Harris, Burns, Chow, Robinson.