Boss seeking improvement

JUST 90 minutes stands between Ian Chandler’s Whitley Bay team and a third successive trip to Wembley in the FA Carlsberg Vase.

But given it took until the 89th minute on Saturday for Bay to make an impression in the semi-final first leg at Poole, Chandler knows his team still have work to do.

Speaking after Saturday’s 2-1 win, he said: “This was the biggest smash and grab, we did not play well at all.

“There were a lot of people who had off days, but thanks to Paul Chow, who didn’t have a good game and knows that, he had the presence to drill the ball across the goal for Damon Robson to tap in.”

With more than 2,000 supporters expected to fill Hillheads on Saturday, it is hoped there will be a marked improvement on the team performance and Bay can become the first team in Vase history to reach three consecutive finals.

Chandler added: “The first 15 minutes we maybe got a little bit over confident because we were expecting big things from Poole that did not materialise at first.

“We struggled for about 70 or 80 per cent of the game, but we have this thing with the Vase and everybody wants to go back to Wembley.

“It’s half-time and we have got to concentrate on the 90 minutes, but, we are only 90 minutes away now.

“If we can get a couple of goals and battle like we did on Saturday then we have a good chance.”

Despite the 700-mile round trip, Poole’s Tatnam ground had around 250 Whitley Bay supporters cheering on their team, and Chandler praised the fans who made the journey.

“We had fantastic support, as always,” he said.

We didn’t want to go over the top, but we had to go and celebrate with the fans, they have travelled a long way and you have got to go and give them the respect and the gratitude they deserve.”

n Match report on page 86