The Anchors were involved in yet another exciting game full of goals and action and lots of quality football from both sides. Whitley’s first ever visit to Stockton Town was a fruitful one for them and their young talented side enjoyed the perfect surface and produced some slick football. With Kev Hayes and Nathan Mulligan suspended, Alan Cossavella and Jimmy Ward were restored to the side, Adam Nicholson still rebuilding his fitness, made way for Dale Mulligan.
The game started at a good pace and The Anchors had the first effort when after good work by Risbrough, a Jimmy Ward cross saw Jamie Owens’ send a powerful header goalwards but the effort was saved at full stretch by Flynn. Four minutes later, in Bay’s first real attack of the game, Stockton sloppily allowed a break from their own free kick and gave Potter time and space down the right, his cross was turned in neatly with a side footed volley by CORNISH. Only 8 minutes later it was Potter again in far too much space, with the assist, a perfect defence splitting ball which Callum JOHNSTON latched onto and slotted the ball past Jordan to make it 2-0.
Stockton suddenly woke up and Craggs spurned a chance from 12 yards, shortly after Chris Stockton who was causing problems for Bay shot over when he should have hit the target. A long throw in caused a little confusion in the Bay defence and the ball found its way to RISBROUGH at the far post who tapped home for 2-1 on 21 mins for his first goal for the Anchors since his return. Chris Stockton met a flick by Owens on the Volley but couldn’t beat Flynn, then 2 minutes later he outstripped Salmon yet again but agonisingly dragged his shot wide of the far post as they pushed for the equaliser, the game had flowed with some lovely football being played at times.
It took the Anchors just 3 minutes of the second half to equalise and it was leading scorer OWENS again heading home an inch perfect Garbutt cross after good play to work the space.Then both keepers made cracking saves, Flynn dived to his left and tipped away a goalbound Woodhouse shot on 60 minutes and Bay’s Cornish brought a solid save from Jordan at his near post. The turning point came on 68 minutes as Jordan inexplicably took a short goal kick to Mulligan who had turned away. Kyle PATTON reacted the quickest and fired it into the corner for the easiest goal he’ll get all season. Stockton had the wind firmly taken out of their sails by that and the opposite could be said of Whitley Bay, who’s exciting mobile forwards pounced on the indecisions and confusion. Patton breezed past Garbutt and pulled the ball back from the bye line to JOHNSTON who chipped Jordan superbly from 20 yards. The Anchors were shell shocked and they were punished further by a rampant Bay side when NEARNEY fired home from 15 yards with Patton involved again.
Bay deserved the victory, you cant say not, they looked as good going forward as anyone we’ve seen at Bishopton Road this season. But Stockton had plenty of chances especially in the first half and to capitulate in that way was disappointing for everyone particularly as when they levelled the scores at 2-2 you fancied them to go on and win it based on the last 2 months performances. End of the League winning run had to come sometime and its no disgrace to lose to this excellent young Whitley Bay team. Lets hope we can go on another one now. Just a small negative in the last few months of positives.
Man of Match probably Chris Stockton he was a constant thorn in Bays side.