Brooks to the rescue with late equaliser
A last minute equaliser from substitute Liam Brooks rescued a point for Whitley in a 1-1 draw against an improving Bishop Auckland side on Saturday.
Alex Kempster, who had not fully recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in the midweek victory at Jarrow Roofing, missed his first game of the season while three other first team regulars were also out injured.
However there was a welcome return to the starting eleven for Thibault Charmey who had made a quicker than expected recovery from a fractured leg.
Neither side was able to dominate proceedings in the first half and despite a few near misses it remained 0-0 at half-time.
Whitley began the second half in lively and determined fashion, but a rare mistake by Dan Lister gifted Bishops the lead in the 56th minute when the Bay keeper attempted to clear the ball out to the left but there was not sufficient power on the clearance and the ball was seized on by visiting captain Andrew Johnson who calmly slotted it into the unguarded net.
Lister then made amends with a fine save to deny Johnson three minutes later. A second impressive save by the young keeper in the 73rd minute kept Whitley in the game as he pushed a goalbound shot over the bar.
With the visitors looking comfortably in control, it appeared that the game was slipping away but Whitley’s never say die attitude paid off in the 90th minute in a move involving two of their substitutes.
Tom Potter got past his man on the right, played the ball into the box where Glen-Ravenhill’s shot was fumbled by Pocklington and Brooks gleefully slotted home the loose ball from barely two yards.
Deep into stoppage time, the visitors survived a late scare when their keeper dribbled the ball almost to the halfway line leaving his goal unprotected but Whitley were not able to capitalise and so the points were shared.
On Saturday Whitley travel to Teesside to face Thornaby in the second round of the FA Vase.
Then next Tuesday evening, Vase replays permitting, they will be at home to Sunderland RCA in the Northern League Cup, kick off 7.30pm.