Tyne extend their unbeaten run to nine games

Whitley Bay & Tyne Men’s hockey first team were looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine games when they faced local rivals Gateshead.

Playing conditions were very tough with a strong wind and a shockingly sandy pitch.

Gateshead got off to the perfect start, when a slow back pass was intercepted and fired into the bottom left corner with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

Tyne, to their credit re-grouped and created plenty of chances forcing Gateshead to defend deep in numbers and look to counter with long crashed passes.

Eventually the pressure told when Stoddart finished from close range at the back post to level the game.

In the second half both teams struggled to find any telling possession and Tyne found it difficult to play their usual passing game on the slow surface.

The Gateshead keeper kept his side in the game when he made two smothering challenges from breaks by Lockey and Titmus but on another such attack he could only foul Titmus out of the circle, giving away a penalty corner and being sent to the sin bin.

Traynor stepped up to punish his old club and Tyne took the lead. Soon Traynor had his second and the game was over when he deflected home from close range after a good move down the right.

In the final play of the game, Tyne flooded forward and Heppel looked to have scored his first goal of the season only to be denied by the inside of the far post.

A terrible game of hockey in difficult conditions, but Tyne got the job done despite missing four key players to make it four wins on the bounce.