Whitley Bay completed their pre-season preparations with a 9-1 win at Horden CW on Monday night. Viva Northern League’s David Jameson was there:
8th August 2011
Welfare Park, Horden
Horden CW 1 Whitley Bay 9
Whitley Bay’s final preparations for the new season saw them at Horden Colliery’s Welfare Park on a dry, later showery, chilly summer’s evening in County Durham. Bay named only two substitutes for this friendly encounter with some of the Hillheads contingent, including manager Ian Chandler, preferring to take in the clash between Dunston UTS and Blyth Spartans ahead of Whitley’s season opener against the former.
As the Tynesiders warm up they seem relaxed. Happy to curl practise shots over the bar, out of the ground and halfway down Eden Street, and happy to chat with the fans. Speaking to Bay’s new signing Robbie Dale before kick off, it’s clear he’s relaxed and looking forward to embarking on a chapter in his career as a Whitley Bay centre forward. “Yeah, I’m happy to be at Whitley Bay. They’re the only team in this league I’d want to play for and recent success shows they’re doing something right. I knew a couple of the lads already, I played with Brian [Rowe] and Cheeks [Gareth Williams] at Blyth, and knew the rest through playing against them – everyone’s been nice and I’m settling in well.”
While he finds his feet amongst his new team mates, Robbie’s not setting himself any goal targets, “I’ll just see how it goes. I haven’t played in the Northern League before so I don’t know what the teams are going to be like. I’m just getting used to playing with everyone, where they’re running and where they want the ball etc. We’ll see how it goes.”
As the team kick off, accompanied by the Bell End Choir, I take up my position behind the goal at the Park Road end and within five minutes it’s Horden who go close to scoring; Williams clearing off the line. Bay soon take a firm hold of the game and, on ten minutes, take the lead through Paul Chow who slides his shot past the goalkeeper and in off the post. Paul Robinson adds a second just minutes later and the floodgates open. It’s tough on Horden who are an industrious side and who pass the ball well, but Whitley Bay establish their dominance on the game; Chow, with his second, and Damon Robson make it 4-0 just after the half hour mark. Robinson continues to torment the home defence, hitting the crossbar twice, but it’s Horden who pull a goal back through Gary Shaw. Bay quickly retort, Christie Elliott latching on to a terrific through ball from Robson to poke the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper. 5-1 to Whitley Bay at half time.
A rain shower greets the players’ return to the field but the slick surface only serves to aid Bay’s slick passing game. Robbie Dale replaces Paul Chow and twice sets up Elliott who completes his hat-trick before new signing Chris Bell grabs Bay’s eighth. Robbie Dale wraps up the scoring for Whitley Bay on an evening which will surely give the Division One side a psychological lift as they head in to the new season.