Injury time goal knocks Whitley Bay out of FA Cup
There will be no repeat of last season's FA Cup heroics for Whitley Bay as they crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle.
They were beaten in agonising fashion through a goal four minutes into stoppage time in their replay at Norton on Wednesday evening.
Whitley dominated the first half but failed to make the most of their chances and paid the price as the hosts finished the game the stronger.
Richard Flynn missed the game due to the knee injury suffered when the side’s drew 2-2 on Saturday, while and Aiden Haley was unavailable. But Steve Gibson returned while Adam Shanks also made the starting line-up.
Bay started promisingly and in the third minute Shanks clipped the ball just over the bar.
The game was being played largely in the Norton half and with ten minutes on the clock, Whitley again went close as Shanks and Robertson were both denied in rapid succession by determined defending.
A 20-yard effort from Chris McDonald then flew just wide of the target.
Just past the midway point of the half, Norton broke away and had the ball in the net but an offside flag had been raised.
The closest either side came in the first half was in the 33rd minute when McDonald’s 25-yard free kick crashed off the angle of bar and post.
Shanks tried an audacious long range effort when he spotted the keeper off his line but the ball dipped just over the bar.
Just before the interval, a good ball from Patton to the far post was headed back across goal by Munro with no one on hand to apply the vital touch.
Having failed to capitalise on their first half dominance, Bay came under pressure on the resumption with a piledriver from Wilson bringing a good save from Tom Flynn.
Norton were looking much more lively but it was Whitley who took the lead after 57 minutes when Callum Patton fired home a low shot from 25 yards, the ball skidding off the increasingly wet surface past keeper Philip Pentony.
With the travelling fans hoping Whitley would now press home their advantage, a lack of concentration in defence saw the lead cancelled out just three minutes later when a cross from near the right byline was not cut out and Dale Elgie was left unmarked to side-foot the ball home at the back post.
Lifted by their equaliser, Norton threatened again seven minutes later but Flynn saved high above his head from Nicky Martin.
Patton latched onto a ball over the home defence from Fowler but could not get his shot on target as Whitley struggled to break through a resilient home rearguard.
The longer the game went on, the more Norton grew in confidence and the best Whitley could produce was when Munro raced away down the wing and drove the ball low across goal.
Extra time was looming when Flynn pushed a goalbound effort from Mitchell away from danger, and in the fourth minute of added time, the Bay keeper made another excellent save, palming the ball round the post for a corner.
But as happened on Saturday for the Norton equaliser at Hillheads, Whitley failed to defend the ball as it curled into the goalmouth, and it was ruled by the assistant to have crossed the line before being cleared. It looked like an own goal but was later credited to Norton’s Jim Wilson.
Seconds later the final whistle was blown, ending Whitley Bay’s hopes of a lucrative FA Cup run.
Whitley Bay: T Flynn, Munro, Allen, Wilkinson, Gibson, Anderson, Shanks (Fryatt 71) Fowler, Robertson, Patton(Blake 90mins), McDonald(Potter 81). Subs not used: Cooper, Mitchell, Hammond.