Whitley Bay 0-2 West Auckland Town
Whitley paid the price for missed chances in a keenly contested game against a West Auckland side who are one the championship favourites.
It was a vastly improved performance from the debacle at Dunston on Tuesday but still not good enough to avoid a second defeat in five days, as two well taken goals from prolific striker Nathan Fisher proved decisive.
n the fifth minute, a ball from Fisher out on the left flew across the face of the Bay goal and out of play. Whitley’s first attempt came three minutes later when Olly Martin ran clear down the right wing and cut in before driving a low shot wide of the target. When Peter Glen-Ravenhill played a corner short to Jack Foalle, his cross into the goalmouth was met by Hassan who headed over the bar.
On 19 minutes Bay played a ball over the Auckland defence which reached Glen-Ravenhill 12 yards from goal but the skipper volleyed high over the bar. Five minutes later it was the turn of the visitors to go close, Adam Mitchell’s shot clipping the top of the bar.
Whitley might have taken a 29th minute lead when Jack Foalle curled his shot inches past the far post. Another Bay attack five minutes before half time saw Luke Salmon make a foraging run from midfield but his shot was saved low down at the near post by keeper Shane Bland.
It looked as if the half would end goal-less but almost two minutes into stoppage time, Whitley conceded possession and they were punished as the ball rebounded into the path of Fisher who took the ball wide of Tom Flynn before slotting it home from close range.
Six minutes after the restart, Mitchell burst through but shot narrowly wide. Martin then volleyed over the bar from Foalle’s cross.
Whitley stepped up the pace in the final quarter of the game and the West goal led a charmed life following a Glen-Ravenhill free kick when twice keeper Bland was forced to punch the ball clear.
With 11 minutes remaining, Whitley were dealt a body blow when they failed to cut out a run by Arran Wearmouth and his through ball reached Fisher who ran clear before calmly slotting past Flynn to give his side a two goal cushion.
Bay had further chances but failed to capitalise.