Whitley Bay 2-0 Penrith
Two goals inside the opening ten minutes proved decisive as Whitley cruised to a third consecutive victory at the expense of Penrith on Tuesday and continued their climb up the Northern League table.
For the first time this season Marc Nash had no injury concerns and was able to field a virtually full strength side, with defender Jack Walker, signed the previous day, making his return debut after five years away from Hillheads.
The game started at a blistering pace with Whitley taking the lead after just 83 seconds. The goal came when Tom Potter crossed from the right to Alex Kempster on the opposite flank and his ball across the face of goal was slotted home by Thibault Charmey.
Six minutes later Kempster made a tremendous run down the left, setting up Robertson, who poked it home from close range.
Josh Nearney then brought a low save from Copland before the visitors threatened for the first time when Shaun Gardner drove the ball just over the bar. Whitley had penalty claims waved away when Scott Jasper went down in the box but with Penrith gradually coming more into the game, half time arrived with no further addition to the score.
The Cumbrians battled hard to get back in the game in the second half but with Wilkinson and Anderson back together at the heart of the defence, Whitley looked a more solid unit. Brandon Robertson was not far off target for the visitors on the hour but three minutes later Charmey made a tremendous surging run from midfield before desperate defending forced the ball behind for a corner. Kempster was played clear on goal by a pinpoint through ball but Copland raced out to block his shot. Six minutes later another effort by Kempster was pushed wide while at the other end, Wraighte was denied by Flynn’s diving save.
Six minutes from time, Liam Brooks saw his goalbound header brilliantly pushed wide by Copland then two minutes later the lively Bay substitute was denied by the woodwork when he cut in and powered a tremendous shot against the crossbar.
An excellent midweek crowd of 303 fans witnessed an entertaining game, only Whitley’s second home league game of the season.
On Saturday they begin their FA Vase campaign with a visit to Billingham Synthonia, who they defeated 3-2 in a league fixture last week.