Whitley Bay’s new management team celebrated their appointment with an emphatic 5-1 League Cup victory over Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday evening.
Marc Nash was named manager earlier in the day, and with assistant Anthony Woodhouse and coach Chris Moore also in the Bay dugout, the players responded in style.
Terriers, now managed by former Bay boss Paddy Atkinson, defended strongly in a pacy and entertaining first half, but Whitley broke the deadlock just before half-time when Andy Robertson headed home a perfectly placed cross from the right by Callum Munro.
After the interval the second division visitors battled back into the game with Tom Flynn making a vital save ten minutes in, pushing the ball round the post.
However, he was helpless from the resultant corner when Paul Wardle was allowed space to head home the equaliser.
The response from the home side was rapid and devastating as they scored three times in the space of eight minutes to leave Bedlington shell shocked.
Callum Patton produced a superb volley into the roof of the net from Tom Potter’s cross to put Whitley back in front on the hour, then just two minutes later, captain on the night Alex Kempster celebrated his 150th appearance with a stunning header from Chris McDonald’s free kick to make it 3-1.
With the Bedlington defence in disarray, McDonald got in on the act himself in the 68th minute to add the fourth, firing a superb shot past Wells and into the top corner from fully 25 yards.
Terriers had been on a fine run of form, with just one defeat in 12 games, but they had no answer to Whitley’s attacking style of play.
Seventeen-year-old substitute Kyle Patton went close only to be denied by the keeper, but the pressure eventually told when Bedlington conceded a fifth in the 89th minute.
Another teenage substitute, Jack Cooper, on his first team debut, let fly a tremendous 20-yard shot that swerved viciously as it flew past Wells, leaving the keeper helpless and bemused.
After disappointing early exits from the other cup competitions this season, the Bay fans gave the players and management team a well deserved standing ovation after an impressive League Cup victory.
Whitley Bay: Flynn, Munro, McDonald, Allen (Hall 79), Anderson, Keltie, Potter (K Patton 75), C Patton, Robertson, Kempster, Fryatt (Cooper 76). Subs not used: Haley, Wilkinson.