Sunday, 25 February 2018

25th February 2018 - Seaham Red Star (h)


The events of Tuesday night have dominated everyone's conversations yet very little information was coming out from our illustrous leader: Mr McIlduff. The fans of various clubs chipped in with their own thrupenny bit on how the Bay fans should react but none of it was surprisingly helpful. 
Thanks to the miracles of social media I learnt several things:

1. Whitley Bay fans are too meek for their own good
2. Being the social media officer is a doddle.
3. I can @£$% off to France.

As the night wore on, things went from bad to worse. First of all we lost our complete management team to our friends in North Shields. Nashy's frustration at the lack of incoming players to replace Alex Kempster, Robo and Thibault along with issues such as the state of the pitch finally came to a head. Mr and Mrs Twitter followed, although both were at the game today filling in their roles along with Mr Video. 
I have nothing but respect for all the above parties as I do for all those who give up their time for the club that we all hold so dear.
Nashy and co had given us hope when we had little and the team they built is full of potential and only lacking in size and experience. 
Mr Twitter has made our social media the best in the league, IMHO, but all this takes time and can only be done on love for the club for so long. Both he and Mrs Twitter have a young daughter to think of, who regularly gets dragged to games and is a credit to them both, allowing them to help the club they love. This can only be done for so long and while good friends have been entertaining her, Hillheads isn't exactly the most exciting place for the young. It is to their credit that both were still at their posts yesterday, with Little Twitter in tow. 
Mr Video has found it tough to maintain the high standards of coverage he has set himself and the pressures of university coursework has meant the bay highlights have had to give way.

My own call was for the volunteers to go on strike until we were presented with information by the powers-that-be but then it was easy for me to say...I'm not a volunteer. Entering the ground, it was obvious that the response from the volunteers was to stand by the club in their time of need and with hindsight, that was the best thing to do. However, it was disappointing to see the planned supporters forum was cancelled. It would have been the perfect opportunity for McIlduff to come out and be straight with the fans. If he expects people to support him, he needs to be honest. It is no secret that the club is struggling with a big debt but if he came out and levelled with people then they would feel valued and a part of the club. As it is, all the fans who travel every week, the volunteers who give up their time are forever reliant on rumours and titbits. Not the way to bring togetherness! 

McIlduff: be honest!
We want to support! 
We care!

As it was, the second best attendance in the Northern League (267 compared to Consett's 376) turned out to see if there was life after Nash. Even our illustrious neighbours, with their management team couldn't beat us on this Sunny but cold afternoon. 
Smile, even though you're heart is breaking!
The celebrity couple of Bob and Moira joined me behind the goal as did Pogo Patterson, who was the only member of flag club to erect his flags. A fine effort, sir! The rumours that Barry was to be named up front turned out to be false, thankfully. Instead, we were delighted to see the Juracell Bunny, Scott Jasper had been recalled from his exile in Ryton. 
The pitch itself looked in good condition, thanks to a rolling that had flattened things down. Maybe it had been the lack of rain towards the end of the week and the drying effect of the cold winds but had it really been so hard to roll it before? 
Looking okay, actually!

Sadly, the lads started slowly and with four minutes gone, Flynn was beaten by the head of Codie Howe. Not the start that Gavin Hattrick and Gareth Wiliams, in charge of the Bay for the day, wanted.  things got worse when Matty Cornish had to go off, to be replaced by kyle Patton. There was also bad news for one of the members of the crowd, rumoured to be Bay legend Andy Gowens, as his windscreen was smashed by an off-target ball. The rumours that it was payback for having been assistant manager of North Shields were way off the mark and unhelpful.
Despite plenty of posssesion, there were few chances. The first two came from the boot of Peter 'the Raven' Hill. His first slamming just wide and his second forcing giant keeper Jordan Harkess into a super one-handed save. 

There was a flat atmosphere as the first half ended so I decided to ask for the help of the Wise Worm of Whitley. He promised to make sure his army of fellow worms would do their best to make sure the ball bounced favourably for the Bay boys. 
The Wise Worm of Whitley!
Into the second half and whether it was the Wise Worm or the wise words of Gavin and Gareth, we may never know but there was an extra step in the Bay players. Every 50-50 ball went the Bay way and there was great effort from all over the pitch. Ross Wilkinson was on form and kept popping up to close down the Seaham forwards whenever they threatened. It was arguably the Prof who came up with the best attack of the second half when he charged out of defence to win another 50-50 before beating two players. Unfortunately, his shot flew over the crossbar.

For all the pressure the Bay had, the visiting defence was well marshalled and kept them at bay. There were few clear cut chances and when they managed to break through, Harkess was there. With all the action around the visiting goal, it was inevitable that the visitors would get a chance on the break and so it proved, Seaham scoring in the 93rd minute to seal the three points. Thomas Scott, a second half substitute, the scorer. 
2-0 at the final whistle was no disgrace and the lads had deserved so much more. They had battled but simply failed to get that vital touch to score. The Wise Worm of Whitley had not been much help, sadly.
To rub salt into Whitley wounds, Nash and Co's Shields team had recovered from 5-2 down to win 
6-5 in the 93rd minute. Jarrow Roofing were the recipiants. 

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