For their third pre-season friendly, Whitley Bay visited Perth Green in Jarrow for the second time in nine days.
But on this occasion their opponents were Ryhope CW, whose own ground was unavailable.
On a warm and sunny afternoon, the hosts, promoted back to the Northern League for the coming season, included two former Bay FA Vase winners in their side, Richard Hodgson and David Pounder.
The Bay starting 11 included Peter Watling, Ryan Redford and former player Lee Mason, who was at Whitby Town last season. Paul Chow and Marc Ellison were on the bench, while a number of other players were unavailable, leaving opportunities for several reserves to stake their claim for a place in the side.
Ryhope made the perfect start, going ahead after barely two minutes when Andy Appleby capitalised after Bay keeper Daniel Gladstone failed to hold the ball.
Appleby, an experienced striker who has played for a host of north east sides, poked the ball over the line despite the efforts of a Bay defender to keep it out.
Ryhope were proving to be strong and determined opponents and it took Whitley until the 12th minute to get an attempt on goal when Alex Kempster nodded on Chris McDonald’s long throw-in and the Ryhope keeper had to palm the ball away from danger.
Play became rather scrappy at times but towards half-time Whitley did pose more of a threat with Watling seeing an attempt blocked from a cross by Robbie Bird.
Five minutes before the interval, Kempster’s ball in from the left deceived the keeper and rebounded off the bar.
Moments later Whitley were back on level terms after Bird was tripped inside the box and Watling confidently fired home the penalty to leave the scores level at half-time.
As is the norm in pre-season games, both sides made a series of substitutions as the game progressed and there was little to choose between the sides.
But the introduction of Chow in the latter stages made all the difference for Whitley.
With virtually his first touch of the ball he drove a shot over the bar, and after Gladstone made a good save at the other end, Watling had a shot pushed just over the bar.
The corner that followed saw Kempster’s ball in from the right headed home by Chow to put Whitley ahead.
Two minutes later it was 3-1 after Chow stole in between two defenders to head home David Berry’s cross.
The game looked all over but three minutes from time a misunderstanding in the Bay defence resulted in Michael Laws being penalised for a foul inside the box and Jack Pounder fired the penalty past Gladstone to reduce the arrears.
Whitley Bay: Gladstone, Brooking, McDonald, Anderson, Reid, Laws, Mason, Bird, Redford, Watling, Kempster. Second half substitutes included: Ellison, Day, Chow, Berry, Harris.