Bishop Auckland 5-1 Whitley Bay
Title chasing Bishop Auckland ended up comfortable winners but Whitley played their part in this entertaining game, especially during the first half when there were numerous chances created at both ends.
Bishops went ahead in the fourth minute with a shot from Shaun Ryder into the bottom corner but Whitley responded quickly and less than three minutes later Olly Martin headed home at the back post from Luke Salmon’s well flighted free kick.
In the 11th minute Bay’s teenage keeper Ross Logan raced out to block an effort from Winn as the striker closed in on goal. Four minutes later a promising Whitley attack down the right wing was ended when Martin was tripped in full flight by Ryder who escaped without a caution.
Neat accurate passing in midfield was creating opportunities at both ends and the home side regained the lead with 22 minutes played when Richardson climbed above the Bay defence to head home a right wing corner from Hoganson.
A mistake at the back cost Whitley a crucial third goal in the 28th minute when a back pass from McFarlane was intercepted and amid confusion in the Bay defence, Kyle Fryatt was allowed to weave his way unchallenged into the six yard box before tapping home to put Bishops in control.
Play continued to switch from end to end and Logan saved well from Andrew Johnson. With the game approaching half time, Whitley twice went close to reducing the deficit. In the 44th minute, Martin saw a looping header crash off the top of the bar, then in stoppage time, Ben Christensen had a close range shot palmed away by the Bishops keeper.
After the interval, Whitley fought hard to get back in the game but they were unable to trouble the home defence as they had in the first half.
A defensive mistake midway through the half put Glen-Ravenhill under pressure and in an attempt to recover the situation, he brought down Fryatt inside the box and the home side were awarded a penalty which Johnson converted, giving Logan no chance.
Two minutes over, Johnson beat the offside trap and ran on unchallenged to slot the ball past Logan for a fifth goal, which meant Whitley Bay suffered their heaviest defeat since before Christmas.