It was certainly a happy new year for Whitley Bay and their fans, thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 victory away to struggling Chester-le-Street Town on Tuesday evening.
In blustery conditions at Chester Moor, there were few chances in the first quarter of the game as both sides battled the conditions.
But the contest burst to life in the 27th minute when Callum Patton crossed low into the goalmouth for younger brother Kyle to slot home from close range.
Lee Mole went close for the hosts after 38 minutes but Alex Kempster doubled Whitley’s lead with an excellent solo goal three minutes later.
The second half saw Whitley in complete control as they created a series of chances.
Tom Potter tried his luck with a 20-yard shot that keeper Jack Wilson saved well.
Kempster had the ball in the Chester net after 70 minutes but a late offside flag meant that the goal was ruled out, then the same player saw a shot deflected wide before Ross Wilkinson, returning from injury, powered a header against the woodwork.
With just ten minutes remaining Potter played a corner short to Callum Patton who drilled home the third goal with a low shot from 18 yards.
Thibault Charmey brought a fine diving save from Wilson five minutes, later but the Frenchman had the final say, making it 4-0 with his first goal in Bay colours, tapping home with the last kick of the game following good work from Kempster.
In a good all-round team performance, Tom Gilbey, a student at Durham University, particularly caught the eye with an impressive debut at right back, but midfielder Callum Patton earned the man of the match nomination, scoring one goal and setting up another.
The victory lifted Whitley two places up the table, level on points with Seaham Red Star, who they welcome to Hillheads on Saturday in their first home game of 2017. Kick-off 3pm.
Whitley Bay: Flynn, Gilbey, McDonald, Anderson (Glen-Ravenhill 68) Wilkinson, Allen (Keltie 46), Potter, C Patton, K Patton (Brooks 83), Kempster, Charmey.