Whitley Bay 3-1 Billingham Synthonia
Whitley recorded their first win for two months with a comfortable victory over bottom of the table Billingham Synthonia.
Whitley went close when Chris Salmon headed over the bar from Liam Brooks’ cross. Rhys Groves then headed wide from Tom Potter’s ball into the box. At the other end, Synthonia’s captain, Foster Garton nearly broke through on goal but was dispossessed by Jack Walker as he was about to shoot. Chris Salmon, playing against his former club, gave Whitley a 17th minute lead with a shot from eight yards after good work from Peter Glen-Ravenhill. The goal gave Whitley a boost and they nearly added a second five minutes later but Tom Potter’s shot from Josh Nearney’s right wing cross crashed off the near post. Synners were struggling to get the ball out of their half and in the 28th minute, Groves used his height well to produce a towering header from Potter’s left wing corner but the ball cleared the bar. Clever ball control by Liam Brooks took him past two defenders on the by-line but his ball across goal was cleared.
Synners came out battling in the second half and a speculative cross from the left nearly caught out Tom Flynn as the ball struck the top of the bar and rebounded to safety. With 58 minutes played, Glen-Ravenhill forced a fine save from Michael Algie, with the teenage keeper pushing the fiercely struck shot over the bar. The resultant corner from Potter produced Whitley’s second goal with Glen-Ravenhill’s attempt on goal falling for Jack Walker who slotted home his second goal in as many games.
It was looking comfortable for Whitley and during the final half hour, Andy Gowens took the opportunity to give game time to some of the younger players from the Reserves. Teenagers Regan Paterson and Kieran Brannen along with recent signing Tom Bramley, came off the bench and gave a good account of themselves. Thirteen minutes from time, Potter added Whitley’s third goal when he turned a defender before slotting home a low shot from the left of the 18 yard box, with the ball taking a deflection as it flew into the corner of the net. Walker threatened to add a fourth goal three minutes later but his cross from near the by-line was cut back too far and was cleared by the Synthonia defence.
With just five minutes remaining, Whitley conceded a penalty when Aiden Haley, stretching for the ball, brought down Garton in the box and Ben Jackson converted the spot kick, driving the ball high into the roof of the net.
WHITLEY BAY: Flynn, Nearney, Walker, Haley(Bramley 85mins), Summers, Groves, Salmon, Glen-Ravenhill(Brannen 78mins), Brooks(Paterson 65mins), Bell, Potter
*Whitley are back at Hillheads on Monday evening, 7.30pm, when they face league leaders Morpeth Town, who have already secured promotion.