Whitley Bay well beaten as boss is laid low

Robbie Bird scoring the Whitley Bay against Newton Aycliffe. Picture by Martyn Care
Robbie Bird scoring the Whitley Bay against Newton Aycliffe. Picture by Martyn Care

Whitley Bay manager Paddy Atkinson missed his side’s home defeat to Newton Aycliffe on Saturday due to a bout of food poisoning.

Sadly the result at Hillheads will not have helped his cause as the home side were beaten 4-1 by their visitors from County Durham.

Atkinson’s assistant Paul Johnson made two changes from the side that had gone agonisingly close to beating Blyth Spartans in the midweek NFA Senior Cup semi-final, conceding a last minute equaliser and then losing in extra-time.

Dillon Morse came into the centre of defence in place of Andrew White – who returned to Gateshead – while Michael Laws was due to partner Michael Williamson in midfield but the youngster suffered a back injury during the warm-up and Jack Stanger took his place.

Right from the off it seemed that Whitley were unable to maintain the momentum gained from the Blyth game and it was not until the 14th minute that there was any goalmouth action of note from either side when a long free kick attempt from Newton Aycliffe’s Jordan Laidler sailed over the Bay bar.

However, just six minutes later the visitors were on target when Martin Young picked up the ball outside of the box and fired in an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner that had Whitley keeper Sean McCafferty beaten from the moment it left his boot.

And just a couple of minutes later the same player was on hand to double the visitors’ lead when he found the bottom left hand corner of the Bay net.

Stuart Banks then almost added a third for Newton Aycliffe when his shot smacked of a Bay post.

The home side finally had their best chance so far when Robbie Bird flashed a shot just wide of the post.

But Newton Aycliffe did not have to wait too long for their third as the ball was played across the home 18-yard line and skipper Paul Garthwaite was able to tuck his shot between the post and the diving keeper six minutes before the interval to give Newton Aycliffe a comfortable first half advantage.

Paul Chow came on in place of Michael McMullen when the second half got under way, with Bird reverting to his right wing role. And initially Whitley took the game to their visitors.

Chris MacDonald replaced Stanger in the 67th and within three minutes Bay pulled a goal back when Newton Aycliffe failed to clear their lines and Bird curled his effort beyond the keeper.

However, any thoughts of that being the start of a comeback were quickly dispelled when Stuart Banks netted for the away side just two minutes later to put the game beyond Bay’s reach.

Whitley Bay: McCafferty, McFarlane, Cave, McGarr, Morse, McMullen (Chow 45), M Laws, Stanger (McDonald 67), Kempster, Bird, Watling. Subs not used: H Laws, Gladstone, Williamson.