Watling strike earns Whitley Bay a point at Jarrow

Whitley Bay gained a point at Jarrow Roofing on Saturday, although could have taken all three.

But after conceding a late winner for Sunderland RCA in a 2-1 midweek defeat, most fans were relieved with a point at the weekend.

Manager Paddy Atkinson shuffled his team with Dan Gladstone, Scott Blandford and Jack Stanger all returning to the starting line-up.

One of the main talking points in the lead up to the game had been the possibility of facing Paul Chow, but Bay’s former striker was missing through illness.

Chances in the game were few and far between, with the Roofers having slightly the better of the opening exchanges. Shaun Vipond put a free kick wide, as did Peter Leven before Bay responded with a Paul Robinson shot.

Just before the half hour Robinson found Peter Watling but he shot straight at Andy Hunter in the Roofing goal.

Two minutes later the home side took the lead when Vipond’s cross from the right eluded the Bay central defence and was emphatically finished off by Dan Kirkup, whose physical presence caused the Bay rearguard problems.

Robbie Bird was sent through on goal only to be denied by a fine tackle by Anth Myers before Alex Kempster and Robinson exchanged passed only for the latter’s shot to be deflected for a corner, which was cleared.

Jarrow responded, forcing a corner which was headed just wide by former Bay winger Wayne Phillips.

Kempster picked up an injury and was replaced by Josh Day after 34 minutes, but Bay continued to press with Stanger winning the ball with a good challenge, going forward and shooting just over.

Five minutes before half-time Whitley were level.

Watling picked up the ball from Day with his back to goal on the right. He quickly turned his marker and from just outside the area fired a curling shot into the top corner of the net, giving Hunter no chance.

The second half had even fewer chances with Whitley having more of the ball.

Stanger fired just wide before Blandford sent Bird through and he elected to try to cut the ball back to Robinson when a shot might have been the better option.

Phil Cave and Blandford combined to create a chance for Robinson which he headed just over before Bird forced Hunter into a fine save at the back post, although the striker will feel he should have scored, delaying his effort too long.

Towards the end Roofing substitute Bruno Pilatos fired wide of Gladstone’s goal after a good passage of build up play, but after five consecutive away games Whitley will were glad of a point.

Whitley Bay: Gladstone, Cave, Reid, Blandford, M Laws, McDonald, Bird, Stanger (Norris 71), Watling, Robinson, Kempster (Day 34).

Attendance: 181.

Whitley Bay finish their season on Saturday when bottom side Crook Town visit Hillheads. Kick-off 3pm.