|Will the pot of gold be in Hillheads once more?|
Yet again the modest crowd looked just over 200, which was a shame, given the improved form and standard of play. There was a surprise change in goal, with McCafferty replacing Flynn (a response to Saturday's flap-gate?). Also Robinson returned to the starting line-up for the first time since being injured: a reward for his part in a late fightback against Guisborough? Despite the error for the Guisborough winner, Flynn had performed heroics at times to keep the Bay in the game so it looked a bit harsh if that was the reason he found himself on the bench.
|Bob and the Boy Mark go crazy after Robo's wonder strike!|
|Take it like a man and|
drink your bovril!
It was cold comfort that our brave group had avoided the shorts rebellion by wearing multiple layers as we supped our purchases from Tommy's Tavern. We were still freezing and West had been let back into the match. We were joined for the second half by Newly Neal, who I hadn't seen since our excursion to Blyth: hopefully a last minute opposition goal wouldn't by signalled by his arrival.
The second half looked ominous as West pushed forward with renewed energy but Whitley held firm and soaked up the pressure. McBride could have put us back into the lead when Robo played him in but his effort flashed over. It was at this point that the need for a new set of strips became obvious as Bob pointed out the size of Birdie's shorts in relation to the rest of his body. The drag factor alone was enough to stop him scoring and a new set of strips would mean an end to the legacy hanging over the club since visiting Wembley: four long years ago!
Food for the Big Coat Crew there?
|And Farrell scores!|
This was still plenty of heart-in-mouth stuff, including McCafferty clearing the ball straight at a visiting striker without him capitalising but Andy Farrell personified the new spirit with his tackling and was rewarded with a friendly punch from a blue striped shirt after typically battling to retain the ball deep into injury time.
The final whistle was welcomed and there was a warm fuzzy feeling around NE25 as the Paddy revolution gained momentum!
Getting home and tucked up in bed reading the programme with a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of cake, it was sad to read that the loyal face of Whitley David Hall would not be a feature of any more Bay games as he is moving to Malta. A big fan of everything Whitley and not a fan of my own past with Newcastle's Ice Hockey scene, it is sad to see such a loyal fan leaving. It must have been a good way to end his supporting career. He bid everyone farewell standing by the car park gate and I am sure we all wish him a safe journey and good luck in his new life: it will certainly be warmer!