After Whitley Bay’s 4-0 victory over West Auckland, which extended their unbeaten run to nine games, manager Marc Nash highlighted the performances of two 17-year-olds in the side.
He said: “I thought we passed another test in this game. We made four changes from midweek and three of them were forced upon us.
“The opposition’s intentions were clear from the start and that was to get in our faces and try to intimidate our youngsters.
“Combine that with a terrible pitch and we were on the back foot for most of the first half.
“In fact it was that poor if the dugout had curtains I’d have pulled them shut!
“It was not the way we would have wanted to end our season at home, nor to lose our unbeaten run.
“I was pleased to get into half-time still level so we could change things because we had to alter the course in which the game was heading.
“We went three at the back to try and give Andy Robertson more support up front, and to get Alex Kempster out wide with more space to run at defenders.
“We put Aiden Haley on also to give us aggression and physicality because we were getting bullied a little bit.
It really was a transformation as we totally controlled the second half and Kyle Patton took his goals brilliantly.
“His pace is such a threat but he can finish as well, so everyone is delighted for him getting a hat-trick and the match-ball (literally as he put it in his bag).
“I was also pleased for Peter Glen-Ravenhill who got his first goal; he’s such a hard working, honest lad who’s been desperate to get off the mark.
“The squad was a little thin and we got Jack Byerley on for his debut after coming in from the reserves for the past few games. He didn’t put a foot wrong either.
“A mention also for Dan Lister, at just 17 he’s kept a clean sheet on his debut and it’s great to see both 17-year-olds having such an influence in a tough game.”