This can only be described as the game of two halves! Moors started the better side and took the game to Whitley, but had to wait until the 14th minute for their reward. A 60yd diagonal ball from Gareth Waite into the path of Craig Ruddy saw the little winger pull the ball back for Jamie Clarke to lash it into the net off the underside of the bar for his 31st league goal of the season. Three minutes later and the lead was extended when Bay keeper Terry Burke dallied on a back pass and after losing the ball, Karl Richards had the simple task of running the ball into the empty net to shock the visitors and send the home crowd into raptures. Whitley were on the back foot and were forced to make their first substitution with Lee Picton replacing Mark Taylor in defence. Moors still dominated with Anthony Peacock causing havoc, meanwhile Richards send three corners over which Whitley struggled to cope with but cleared. Whitley were handed a lifeline two minutes before the break when former Spennymoor striker Adam Johnston volleyed the ball from outside the area into the bottom corner of the net for what was their first shot on target.
Whitley were a different side in the second period, and more so when Peter Crouch look-alike, striker Phil Bell was introduced to the field. The former Blyth striker was a constant thorn in Spennymoor's side with Picton's long throws and the leveller came when Moors' Clarke challenged Bell to a high ball in the area but his flick saw the ball land in the top corner of the net past a static Niki Lawson and Bay celebrated. Bay were enjoying long spells of possession, especially with the driving rain behind them, and Johnston had strong appeals for a penalty turned down, before Bell headed wide after out jumping the home defence. Bell then sent a 20yd dipping drive at goal which Lawson saved well but collided with the post and had to receive treatment for a back injury. Peacock then saw Burke tip over his shot after he once again tormented the Whitley defence, however, the winner came with less than fifteen minuted on the clock when another former Spennymoor player, David Coulson, headed the ball home from close range after Chris Moore's teasing cross. Moors huffed and puffed with Richards probably having the best chance when Burke saved his tame shot. Clarke saw an acrobatic effort go wide and Peacock then fired wide after excellent determined work.
The final whistle came to end an excellent afternoon of football between two sides giving the 438 crowd plenty to cheer about and Spennymoor must have been disappointed to throw a two goal lead away but in the end Whitley just about deserved their win to keep their slim homes up of completing the double. This has to have been one of the best matches I have seen all season and the atmosphere generated by both sets of supporters was marvellous to experience.
- el Queso Grande
- Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
- I am a Northern League supporter without a club to favour and double as a sometime genealogist who has researched his family tree back to the early 1600's, compiling a file of individual relatives totalling just over 3,000 names. I have been happily married to Maureen for 49 years. We have 1 son, 3 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and absolutely no money!
- ▼ April (4)