Day at the double in derby victory
Whitley Bay 0-3 North Shields
Two goals from Gary Day and one from Sean McRoberts helped the Robins complete the league double over Whitley Bay at a wet and windy Hillheads Park on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, it took until the 51st minute for McRoberts to give the visitors the lead, following a long-range shot which took a slight deflection on its way in.
Whitley almost replied immediately when Kevin Carr’s shot from the penalty spot was comfortably saved by Greg Purvis.
However, having been brought on in the 68th minute for Callum Johnston, Day then bagged two goals in five minutes at the end of the game to secure the Robins’ second win on the bounce.
Off the back of their brilliant win over Hebburn Town, Shields started the game far stronger than the hosts and in the eighth minute, Ryan Carr’s good play helped release him through on goal before he was tackled by a recovering defender.
As the temperatures began to drop, both teams struggled to put together many realistic chances.
As the game entered the 30th minute, the heavens opened, leaving both players and fans alike drenched. McRoberts almost took everyone’s minds off the weather when his curled effort looked certain to go in, only to see Whitley keeper Tom Flynn acrobatically tip the ball over.
On 33 minutes, Robins were unlucky when Johnston found his way into the penalty area, his effort struck the crossbar and bounced back onto the goalline before being cleared.
As the second half began, the visitors were keeping up their good play from the first half and in the 51st minute, they were rewarded. Having won the ball off an opposing midfielder, McRoberts ran towards the Whitley goal before unleashing one of his trademark thunderbolts at the goal. After a slight deflection, the ball rifled into the back of the net to give the Robins a deserved lead.
Whitley should have drawn level when Kevin Carr collected the ball on the penalty spot, turned his man before striking the ball right down Purvis’ throat. Not happy with the one goal lead, Nash and the rest of the bench urged the Robins forward and McRoberts shot narrowly over.
And just as the game seemed to be ebbing out into a 1-0 win for the Robins, substitute Day was on hand to all but seal the three points for the visitors. Following a sensational run by Jack Donnison, the fullback delivered a perfect cross for the striker to connect with from close range, sending the Robins bench into raptures.
With time running out, Day had all the space in the world to run at the Whitley goal before his delicate shot beat Flynn and put the game to bed.