Whitley Bay secured a vital win over Bedlington Terriers on Saturday, their first in six league games since defeating Seaham Red Star way back on October 17.
While Whitley still have a lot of league games in hand it is becoming increasingly important to take points from these games, especially against the teams around them at the bottom end of the table.
Chris Youldon made his debut following his signing from Benfield last month while Bedlington’s side included three ex-Bay players in Tony Stephenson, Liam Hudson and Andy Ferrell, who is also Bedlington’s manager.
There was not a whole lot to mention in the majority of the first half with Andrew Jennison blocking a Hudson shot which went just wide of the post for a corner.
At the other end Stuart Bramley got a header in from a corner which was easily saved by Terriers keeper Peter Denton.
It looked as though the stalemate was going to last until half-time at least, but a crazy couple of minutes saw three goals scored.
It was Whitley that broke the deadlock after 41 minutes when a poor clearance following a cross broke to Sam Norris around 18 yards out and he drilled the ball home.
If that confounded the Terriers they must have been dumbfounded to find themselves 2-0 down only 20 seconds later when they lost the ball, which was played through for Adam Shanks to go one-on-one with Denton and slot the ball home.
Bedlington came back following this double setback, though.
They won a free kick on the edge of the box and although Jennison got down well to block the initial shot, Hudson was on hand to knock the rebound home and bring to an end a breathless end to the opening 45 minutes.
Whitley nearly increased their lead in the opening minute of the second half when Mark Bertram’s corner was headed just over by Michael Bell, but following this Bedlington had the majority of possession but chances were at a premium as the conditions became increasingly difficult.
It was not until the 87th minute that Whitley secured the result. Norris dispossessed a Bedlington defender and slotted past Denton from a tight angle.
A welcome three points to send Whitley into the Boxing Day derby with West Allotment in good heart. That game is at Hillheads with a noon kick-off.
Whitley Bay: Jennison, Gibson, McDonald (Day 46), Anderson (Williamson 70), Lumsden, Bramley, Norris, Bertram, Shanks, Youldon, Bell. Subs not used: Gladstone, Hughes, McFarlane.