Whitley Bay take derby bragging rights in win at Shields

North Shields' Dean Holmes runs at the Whitley Bay defence in Saturday's derby encounter. Picture by Craig McVay
North Shields' Dean Holmes runs at the Whitley Bay defence in Saturday's derby encounter. Picture by Craig McVay

A drab coast derby in front of 861 fans saw Whitley Bay conjure up a smash and grab raid against North Shields with a resilient defensive display.

The 90 minutes lacked the passion and intensity of last season’s encounters but no one could deny that the visitors grafted hard for the points.

Gareth Bainbridge heads over the bart as North Shields press the Whitley Bay goal in Saturday's derby game. Picture by Craig McVay

Gareth Bainbridge heads over the bart as North Shields press the Whitley Bay goal in Saturday's derby game. Picture by Craig McVay

The sides had met last season in a Northern League clash for the first time in years at Hillheads with Shields relishing a 4-2 success but only five men who started that night for the Robins - Chris Bannon John Parker Adam Forster Ben Richardson and James Luccock -began at the Daren Persson Stadium this time round.

Both teams had played midweek with Shields having advanced their league position following wins at Bedlington then a nap hand at Norton before going down at home to Sunderland RCA 2-1 in midweek.

Against RCA, Luccock and centre forward Dan Wilson again shone for the Shieldsmen, but they fell behind after a Richardson penalty was kept out by outstanding Wearsiders keeper James Talbot, a Northern Ireland youth international.

Wilson levelled in the second period and there looked to be only one winner as the Tynesiders pressed relentlessly, but with the last meaningful attack of the night a shot crept through a crowd of players and Martin Swales, a former Robin from their Wearside League days, was able to find the target to take the victory.

There is a chance of revenge on Tuesday when the sides meet at Meadow Park in a League Cup clash.

Onto Saturday, the Robins lined up without injured skipper Kevin Hughes whilst Whitley Bay, who kept their FA Cup adventure going courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win over Matlock Town, were without unavailable striker Adam Shanks and former Spennymoor defender Michael Laws.

Shields, still searching for that first home win of the campaign, pressed from the off but could not find the finish to a succession of flowing moves.

Former Team Northumbria keeper Andrew Jennison, now sporting Bay colours, was kept busy and proved competent throughout.

It was largely one way traffic but on 21 minutes a long throw from Chris McDonald eluded Robins keeper Chris Bannon and Alex Kempster was left with the simple tap in.

When a home attack then broke down a crisp break saw Sam Norris coolly increase the Bay lead.

The Robins, though, were right back in it on the resumption with goal talisman Gareth Bainbridge introduced. A Richardson free kick was powerfully headed home by former Bay captain David Coulson.

It was game on with Whitley restricted to one second half break that saw Norris thwarted by Bannon.

At the other end Richardson was twice denied by Jennison and both Wilson and Bainbridge were only inches off target.

There was controversy on 79 minutes as a Ryan Carr effort found the net but the assistant stuck up a flag for an apparent offside to leave the Shieldsmen aggrieved.

With both outfits anticipating a lengthy stoppage time, referee Shane Sugden blew early and Bay went back down the road with the points.

North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Summerly, McKeown, Parker, Coulson, Luccock (McGorrigan), Forster (Carr), Wilson, Richardson, Holmes (Bainbridge). Subs not used: Coppen, Walker.

Whitley Bay: Jennison, Gibson, McDonald, Anderson (Williamson), Day, Reid, Norris (Guerin), Richardson, Hudson, Hughes, Kempster. Subs not sued: Lumsden, Young, Gladstone.

Highlights from the game can be viewed on North Shields TV.

On Saturday North Shields are at Morpeth, kick-off 3pm.