Tuesday, 1 August 2017

29th July 2017 - Hartlepool (h)

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Photo courtesy: Julian and Whitley Bay FC

embroidered logo.
More embroidery.....oh yes!
It has finally happened. For the first time since the Bay's adventures in the FA Vase reinvigorated my love for football, the Bay has a strip to be proud of. The embroidered club badge and Joma maker's logo was enough to sell it to me but added to that the big blue square on the back so that Bob and Moira can stop whingeing about not being able to make out the numbers...it all adds up to near perfection...without getting anywhere near personal fantasies.
The shirts that were produced for the FA Vase victories 2009-11 in their tens of thousands and lingered around longer than was hygienically sensible were screen-printed throughout, as were the ones that replaced them two years, or so, ago. I'm not talking about a desire for a new shirt every season or two, rather a good shirt that fans would be proud to wear. For me, an entirely printed shirt doesn't have that impact. So thanks Ann and all at H20 bathrooms for providing us with a shirt to be admired! Look forward to wearing this far and near (as long as the journeys are less than 45 minutes...ish).
NB it is also stylish enough to be worn in many of the establishments on Grand Parade!
Also exciting is the arrival of the cafe culture once again to the Bay. After witnessing other clubs efforts at the beginning of the previous season (Willington et al), some of the Bay fanatics have taken the official renaming of Tommy's Hut a step further and in conjunction with Charmey's Construction Club have gone for a themed approach. I'm sure it will catch on, shame they had to knock down the Aldi but I think it is an innovative and original design. Thibault likes it...
A forgotten corner of the Car Park Terrace no more!

For the final home friendly, it was another toughie. After destroying Toon United in the previous 0-0 draw, I had a feeling that today might be a match too soon. After all, these were a National League team, that had only last season been in League 2 so they weren't going to be pushovers. The size of them was marked from the outset as some were a good few inches taller than our tallest boys and they certainly looked strong! Having said that, the likes of Tom Potter, Peter Ravenhill and Callum Anderson look as if they have been visiting the fitness shop on Whitley Road as well as the gym at Waves Leisure Centre. They aren't going to be knocked over easily. Callum certainly looks to have turned a corner from the determined but sleight figure who couldn't decide whether he wanted to play or not a few years ago. He and Prof Wilkinson were up against it but with Flynn on top form, the defence only conceded once.
The goal that equalised Hartlepool's sixth minute lead came from more determined play from Potter, who had the confidence to take on his man and was brought down in the penalty area (an act confirmed by Julian's eagle-eyed camera work).

The man that is the heartbeat of the Bay team, Callum Patton, hit the resulting penalty with accuracy and confidence and the Bay seemed to grow in stature. Tom. Kyle and Peter chased forward at every opportunity and could have in fact earned the Bay a win but a 1-1 draw was nothing to be sniffed at. A 2-1 win away to Bedlington Terriers meant the Bay were unbeaten throughout the pre-season.For the first time in a long while, we were looking forward to the following week's FA Cup game at Seaham with some confidence. Fingers crossed! #htb

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