Whitley Bay battle back to see off Jarrow Roofing
All the action in this game came in an entertaining second half with Whitley Bay coming from behind to claim the points and complete the double over Jarrow Roofing.
Before kick-off there was a presentation to Paul Chow, who was making his first appearance at Hillheads since leaving Whitley for his home town club just over a year ago.
The hugely popular player, who scored 270 goals in 404 appearances for Whitley Bay and won three FA Vase winners’ medals, scoring on all three appearances at Wembley, received a specially engraved trophy from club chairman Paul McIlduff.
In marked contrast to the fine and sunny spring evening, it was a dull first half with few chances created at either end.
Nikolay Ivanov drove a shot into the side-netting for Whitley in the 16th minute, then Lee Maitland fired over the bar for the visitors after cutting through the Bay defence.
The only other action of note came on the half hour when Chow uncharacteristically headed wide.
Whitley made a double substitution at half-time, with the introduction of Scott Prosser and Callum Munro, but almost immediately Roofing took the lead.
Experienced former Consett striker Michael Mackay seized his opportunity, cleverly lobbing the ball over Tom Flynn from out on the right edge of the 18-yard box.
Just over 60 seconds had been played and the goal injected some much needed life into the game, which now opened with Whitley responding in positive fashion.
Callum Patton had a shot saved by keeper Lee Burrell, but eight minutes into the half defender Chris McDonald levelled in fine style, receiving the ball from Josh Day before cutting in from the left and unleashing a right-footed shot from 15 yards that flew past Burrell and into the net.
Whitley continued to push forward and Roofing defender Alex White came to his side’s rescue, cutting out a cross from Munro when Kempster was poised to capitalise.
Whitley were well on top and took the lead in the 59th minute when McDonald exchanged passes as he cut through the visiting defence before rounding the keeper and slotting home his second goal of the game.
Patton twice went close to extending the lead, firstly when his ball across goal just flew beyond the far post with Burrell beaten, then minutes later he saw his close range effort pushed just round the post.
The visitors were pushing defenders forward when Whitley attacked and both Patton and Shanks were caught offside several times, but with 20 minutes to go the tactics backfired when Whitley got a third goal with Adam Shanks outpacing former teammate and now Roofing defender Michael Laws before poking the ball past Burrell.
The game looked to be won but seven minutes from time Roofing pulled a goal back, and it was Chow who reminded the Bay fans that he still retains his predatory instinct, glancing home a cross from another former Bay man, midfielder James Fairley.
The goal drew warm applause from the Whitley faithful, but there was to be no fairytale ending for the former Bay legend, as with just two minutes remaining, Whitley sealed victory when Patton burst clear of a tiring Roofing defence.
His shot was blocked by Burrell but Alex Kempster drilled home the rebound to the delight of the home fans.
Whitley Bay: T Flynn, McFarlane, McDonald, Gibson, Day, Berry(Prosser 46), Ivanov(Munro 46), Fowler, Shanks(Haley 79mins), Patton, Kempster.