Bridlington Town 1
Whitley Bay 2
Extra Preliminary Round
A GUTSY second-half display by Bridlington was not quite enough to earn them a second crack at a strong Whitley Bay outfit.
Having been handed one of the toughest draws at this stage of the competition, Town went into the game in the unusual role of underdogs.
Finding themselves 2-0 down after half-an-hour against a Northern League team whose second home has been Wembley in recent years, the Seasiders could easily have collapsed.
But they took the game to the visitors in the second half and on another day, they may have done enough to earn a replay.
Bay looked confident in the early stages and Town were facing the prospect of a long afternoon chasing the ball.
When they did get possession, the hosts manage to create a chance for the returning Billy Logan, whose low stinging shot was fielded by Kyle Hayes at he second attempt.
At the other end, Tom Lee deflected a shot just over his own crossbar before Bay took the lead on 17 minutes.
A delightful goal it was too. The impressive Chris Moore weaved his way into the box, twisting past two defenders and firing a low shot across Mark Wilberforce and into the far corner.
Prolific Paul Chow could have added a second, while he drilled a shot past Wilberforce but against his near post and Town scrambled the rebound clear.
His strike partner Lee Kerr showed great technique with a volley over his shoulder but it was just off target.
Scott Phillips lashed an effort wide after Craig Hogg had harried Brian Smith off the ball, but moments later the visitors doubled their advantage.
Chow tapped in at the back post after Lee-Paul Scroggins had headed a left wing cross back across goal.
Town fans feared the worst, and although Wilberforce’s only action during the remainder of the half was to smartly claw a cross away from the waiting Chow, Bay were clearly in control.
What a difference half time made. Mark Barber replace Tom Richardson and Nathan Cook was pushed further forward, a tactic which altered the game.
He should have pulled a goal back straight away, finding himself one-on-one with Hayes and as the keeper committed himself early, the midfielder rolled his shot wide.
Logan’s shot was defelected wide and from the resulting corner Tom Fleming’s close range header was saved.
Bay still looked comfortable but it was Brid creating the chances. Once Wilberforce had tipped Kerr’s dipping cross on to the bar, all the action was down the other end.
Only the linesman and referee Geoffrey Liddle failed to spot Cook having his shirt not so much pulled, as almost yanked off him. And another penalty appeal was waved away when Hogg tumbled under Smith’s challenge.
Perhaps justice was served when from the corner, Greening’s delivery was nodded home by Cook on 66 minutes.
Cook was revelling in his more advanced position and Phillips then forced a good save after a nice pass from Josh Greening.
Bay paid a big complement, and acknowledged how worried they were, by sacrificing a striker for an extra defender, and changing from 3-5-2 to 4-5-1.
Greening’s 25-yarder was fiercely struck but straight at Hayes as Bridlington drove forward in the last 10 minutes.
Hogg had another penalty appeal waved away and it was inevitable that Bay would get a chance on the break, but Wilberforce thwarted Chow with his feet.
In the end, a 2-1 home defeat for the second Saturday running, but this one felt very different to last week’s league setback against Tadcaster.
The Seasiders showed great character not to buckle after going 2-0 behind and have they found the position to get the best out of Cook?