An injury and illness ravished Whitley Bay and Tynemouth men’s first team fought hard against an in-form Brooklands but were beaten 5-3.
They travelled to Manchester with only 11 players due to a bout of injuries and last minute illness, to face a team who had won their last five games in a row and were unbeaten in 11.
The first half was evenly contested, although Brooklands had the majority of possession as Whitley Bay conserved energy while creating the majority of the chances on the counter attack.
Brooklands opened the scoring with a penalty flick after play had been allowed to continue after a foul was given, along with two free shots at goal.
They doubled their lead shortly after as hesitation let the Brooklands forwards seize onto a free ball and take full advantage.
Whitley Bay grew in confidence as the game wore on and capitalised on poor control in the Brooklands midfield and back line. Twice they were able to steal a loose ball and turn it into a goal. Phil Ithurralde scoring their opener and Chris Traynor levelling.
Whitley Bay ended the first half with a chance to take the lead but captain Jervis Fleming could not find the back of the net as his chance was well saved.
The second half was a much more open as Whitley tired. Brooklands were soon two goals ahead from well worked short corners as they made their 16-man squad pay dividends.
Whitley Bay tried to get back in the game and Alex Flynn went close but his back post dive was just inches away from Fleming’s cross.
With nine minutes remaining they finally found a way back into the game as Fleming and Traynor combined at a short corner and Traynor scored his second of the game, making it 4-3.
James Talbot nearly levelled the scores only a couple of minutes later but like Flynn earlier he too just could not find contact at the back post as another cross flashed past Brooklands’ back post.
With only two minutes remaining Brooklands put the game out of sight and made it 5-3, again from penalty flick decision.
With only three games remaining in the season, Whitley Bay will hope they can have a few returns to fitness.
Other results: Ladies’ 1sts 1 Fylde 3 - Bay needed to win this game against top of the league Fylde and win all their remaining matches in order to be promoted back into National League; Ladies’ 2nds 2 Leeds 4; Ladies’ 3rds 0 Morpeth 2nds 8; Ladies’ 4ths 0 Newcastle Ladies’ 2nds 11; Men’s 2nds 3 Newcastle University 3rds 2; Men’s 3rds 5 Marton Furness 3rds 1.