Potter earns Bay an FA Cup replay

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An injury ravaged Whitley Bay side have a second opportunity to win this FA Cup tie after Tom Potter’s goal eleven minutes from time earned them a replay after a closely contested game at Penrith.

The day started badly for Whitley when their team coach developed a mechanical fault on the A69. Fortunately, a supporters club bus was not far behind and the players transferred to this vehicle to ensure they arrived in good time while club officials and fans waited for a replacement coach to complete their journey to Cumbria.

Injuries and holiday commitments meant that Whitley were without six first team regulars but their replacements gave their all and a spirited final half hour could have seen them claim victory.

Whitley certainly started brightly and looked the better side without managing to capitalise on their possession.

With their first real attempt on goal, Penrith took the lead when a ball was played through the Bay defence to Jonny Murray, who advanced and drove past Tom Flynn into the far corner of the net.

Whitley continued to see plenty of the ball and the only other chance of note for the hosts came in the 34th minute when Murray’s 25 yard free kick was pushed wide by Flynn.

In the second half pPlay became rather niggly as players became frustrated by some of the decisions of the match officials, leading eventually to several cautions being issued.

Just past the hour mark, Tom Potter was brought off the bench and his introduction added impetus to Whitley’s attacks. Matty Cornish was also brought on and the two substitutes began to unsettle the home defence.

However, it was Penrith who should have scored a second goal in the 69th minute following poor defending but Robbie Hebson somehow contrived to miss an open goal, scooping the ball over the bar from inside the six yard box.

The game was opening up with more chances being created and Flynn had to push a close range header from Coleman away from danger. That was the last action for the Bay keeper who was unable to continue after suffering an arm injury, so 17 year old debutant keeper Callum Harley replaced him for the final 15 minutes.

Whitley went on the attack again and Kempster burst forward down the inside left channel where his perfectly placed low cross into the goalmouth was met by Potter who gleefully slotted it into the net from three yards.