Bay hold leaders in six-goal thriller
Consett 3-3 Whitley Bay
On an emotional day for all associated with the club, Whitley Bay paid tribute to former fans’ favourite Robbie Livermore before holding league leaders Consett to a highly creditable draw in a six goal thriller.
With the Belle View Stadium shrouded in fog, players from both sides lined up for an impeccably observed one minute silence in memory of the hugely popular player, winner of Northern League championship and FA Vase winners medals during his career at Hillheads, who tragically died two days earlier.
There were early chances at both ends before Whitley took the lead after 15 minutes when Craig McFarlane burst forward down the right, cut in unchallenged and from 20 yards delivered a swerving shot that deceived former Bay keeper Kyle Hayes as it flew just inside the far post.
It was perhaps appropriate that McFarlane should open the scoring as he was the one player on the pitch who, earlier in his career, had played alongside Robbie Livermore. His celebrations as he looked skywards after scoring showed the emotion of the occasion as he dedicated the goal to his former team mate.
With chances continuing to fall at both ends, Consett drew level when Michael Sweet drilled a low shot across goal from the left, beyond the reach of Hunter.
Both side went close before the break, but at half-time it remained 1-1.
The fog was thickening and when play resumed it was difficult to see the full length of the pitch.
Consett took the lead after 65 minutes with a shot from Luke Carr which was impossible to see from just beyond the half way line but the cheers of the home fans indicated that their side scored.
Whitley battled back on terms in the 76th minute when a corner was not cleared by the Steelmen and Olly Martin nipped in to poke the ball home from close range.
With visibility deteriorating further, Consett regained the lead just three minutes later thanks to a half volley from captain Danny Craggs.
The action continued unabated and with less than two minutes of the 90 remaining, Peter Glen-Ravenhill capped a tremendous battling display from Whitley with a fierce shot from the edge of the box that flew past Hayes into the net to the delight of the Bay fans.