Monday, 7 September 2015

5th September FA vase - Willington (a)

I hadn't been a very loyal fan so far this season - apart from a trip to Durham to see the Bay fight back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw - I hadn't seen any Bay games - my other footballing love, Racing Club de Lens had been receiving my extra attention (see

My first ever wbayblogger article had covered the trip to Bedlington, the previous year, and an undeserved 4-1 win, so it was only fitting that I wrote about our return to the competition that had brought us so much glory.
Our journey to County Durham went swimmingly until we entered Willington and at that point both the postcode on the satnav and the directions from the bay website failed us...maybe we were just being thick...We finally asked directions from a strange bod dressed from head to foot in camouflage clothing and carrying a mug of what we assumed was tea or coffee but couldn't quite be sure. Thankfully his directions proved to be just the job and with five minutes to kick off we each parted with our five pounds and entered Willington's field of dreams.
Panoramic Willington....
Not impressed with Barry's behaviour!
Barry - players and officials only!
There was a faint whiff of coal or coke fires on what was a sunny but disappointingly cold day. The woolly Whitley hats made their early debut - what was that all about? Me and the Boy Mark are soft...? No: of course not - it was cold and windy! If only we could have lived the dream...and sat in the area reserved for players and officials....Barry thought he was one or the other and blatantly marched past the sign that said "Players and Officials only!" Anarchy! The man would do anything to read the team sheet...crazy stuff.
Upset at the lack of respect shown to our hosts by the programmed one, there was worse to follow when the smallest player on the pitch rose like a salmon (or cod) to head Willington into the lead.
The Bay were soon level when Shanks levelled when he found himself unmarked on the far side of the penalty area and finished smartly.
Next, the referee came to our assistance when he took exception to the home defenders trying to hug the Whitley attackers and awarded the Bay a welcome penalty...
Shanks stepped up and coolly slotted home to send the Bay delirious with polite applause.
The half time whistle arrived with the Bay lucky to be 2-1 up after an extremely shaky start.
The sun came out and it was nice to see both the home and away fans making the most of Willington's European-style cafe culture.
Cafe-culture hits Willington: living the life!
What a slope!
Into the second half and Whitley fans had hopes that their heroes would take full advantage of the massive slope of the pitch. That is exactly what they did. A Shanksy screamer couldn't be held by the keeper, who threw it instead into his own net. Next Kempster, who had been fairly quiet, bulleted a header past the keeper.
This proved to be too much for the rotund home keeper and he decided to hold everything up by changing his boots -  preferring a rather nice pair of pinkies instead: what was all that about?

The old boots didn't work....


 The new, natty pinkies didn't improve things for him as a scramble in the box was turned in by Young. There was more to finish off when new speedster, Williamson (arriving from Bristol City), sprinted in on goal and was brought down. Another penalty and the young man took his opportunity to score on his debut.
By the final whistle, the away faithful were extremely aware that their team had been flattered by the score. A trip to West Allotment Celtic in the next round would have to see a much improved performance but for today we were just relieved to be into the next round.

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