Wednesday, 17 February 2016

16th February 2016 - Newton Aycliffe L (h)

Everyone under the stand!
Having raced back from Brighton,
where my eldest had been having a University interview, I was pleased to see that the Bay game was still on. We hadn't seen a drop of rain as we drove up the country but as kick off neared, sure enough, the bane of football's life at the moment reared its damp head. Suitably layered up, the Boy Mark and I set off for a pre-match drink at the Seahorse. Disappointed to have to drink Strongbow (not the tastiest cider for a cider connoisseur), I was brave and drank it all before taking our place under the permanent roof of the stand; rather than our portable ones behind the goal. As it turned out everyone else, virtually, had had the same thought. We were well hard. Even Woodie and Ian Mac had taken the soft option so we enjoyed informing the linesman that we were nice and dry if he wanted to join us.
Safe under here...
Bit of a damp one.
In midfield, new boy Jake (Robbie?) Fowler was in the starting line-up. It was disappointing not to see Callum Anderson taking his usual spot in midfield; remembering how couldn't play midweek for Chan in his previous reign but managed to appear for Paddy. His battling style was sorely missed). Next to Fowler was Kempster, who found it hard to get things started in the boggy midfield. As the rest of the players slipped around on the pitch there was little goalmouth action - despite plenty of huff and puff. Unfortunately, the visitors started to make quicker and more accurate attacks. On a quarter of an hour, Jennison was called upon to dive and save one handed, then his outstretched foot denied another visiting assault.
At the other end there had been little of real note for the foghorn-like James Winter in the visiting goal to save: thankfully he wasn't as loud as the Morpeth keeper who could have sold fruit or Chronicles to any part of the world from his Hillheads goalmouth. However there were moments of hope and the Bay were unlucky when good combination play from Youlden, McFarlane and Kempster came to nothing. A lucky Aycliffe clearance missed the goal narrowly and there was a great save from a shot by Gibson that gave us hope but in true fashion, just when things looked on the up John Campbell popped with a cracking strike across Jennison into the far corner of the Whitley goal to put the visitors ahead. Not what you want a minute before half time.
Luckily it had stopped raining as we queued at Tommy's Tea Tavern. The highlight of the night came when I tried dunking my giant cola bottle into my tea and it proved to be an extremely rewarding experience. Great recommendation Boy Mark!
The second half carried on in the same vain, although there was more of an attacking Bay presence. Alas, the crosses that came in lacked height and rarely found a Bay player. Despite some great build-up play, the final ball was lacking. The best opportunity was a great chip from Shanks which just passed over the crossbar with Mr Foghorn beaten. Kempster tried a similar trick a little later but this drifted over too. With the Bay pushing forward, Jennison was having to play further away from his goal-line and he too was lobbed, however the home faithful were relieved to see the shot bounce off the crossbar.
The final whistle brought an end to our suffering as we headed home. Chan still has a lot to do to lift these boys. Next game at Consett's 3g pitch should be a break from the dire pitches we have had to endure recently so fingers crossed the Bay players enjoy it too.

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