Whitley Bay assistant boss delighted with derby success

Robbie Williamson on the attack for Whitley Bay is chased down by North Shields defender Jack Donnison.

Robbie Williamson on the attack for Whitley Bay is chased down by North Shields defender Jack Donnison.

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Assistant manager Paul Johnson was delighted with how Whitley Bay’s depleted squad followed the game plan and earned their victory.

First half goals from Alex Kempster and Sam Norris set the visitors on their way to the three points at the Daren Persson Stadium.

And although former Whitley Bay FA Vase winning skipper David Coulson pulled a goal back early in the second period for the Robins, the visitors held on for the win.

A delighted Johnson said: “It was a good win from the squad that we had available after Tuesday night.

“Everyone’s pulled together and we’ve had subs come off the bench and into the side.

“It was a big game for Liam [Hudson], a new player and in a derby, it was a big ask, a must win game for Whitley Bay.

“With the week we’ve had that was a real tough game with the squad in the state we were, fitness wise, so yes, we’re very pleased.

“The plan worked, we said we’d hit them on breaks and we managed to do that, so it was good, very pleasing.

“They’re technically very good, so we had to be really secure.

“We had to be in a position that we could defend what they did. We knew our strengths, where we can hurt teams and it was just a case of finding the right times and it happened twice.”

Sam Norris, who scored for the second consecutive game, came in for praise.

Johnson added: “It was a great finish, a calm finish from Sam, he’s coming to life. His confidence is growing with the two goals so I’m pleased for him.”

As for the goal conceded so soon after half-time, Johnson said: “We were a bit slack after that set-piece, we switched off, but then we got it back together, and we had to because it could have got a bit shaky.

“They got a real lift from the goal, they started passing it around, they changed their shape and we had to deal with the change.

“There’s that belief amongst each other now. It’s a case of everybody believes in everybody else, there’s no weak links in the team now.

“It’s a week to recover now and see that we’re ready for next Saturday.”