the real fa cup

Kerrtains For Marske

WhitleyBayMarsketeams.jpg After three consecutive Wembley successes in the FA Vase, Whitley Bay can be forgiven for getting starry eyed at the prospect of an FA Cup run. Having overcome Northern League rivals Bishop Auckland in the Extra Preliminary round it was Teesside based Marske United who stood in the way of a place in the First Qualifying round. Bay faced Marske just last Saturday in the league and romped home four goals to the good, but the Tynesiders would do well to expect a different proposition from their repeat visitors in the cup.

Indeed it was Marske who had the best of the first half forcing several fine saves from Kyle Hayes in the Whitley Bay goal. Whitley’s usual fast and fluid passing game was slow to emerge and Bay were lucky not to go in at the interval at least two goals behind. Missing Paul Chow from their starting line-up, the hosts were forced to contain a much improved and more confident Marske side and, as the rain fell, they struggled to make much of an impact on the visitors’ goal leading into the break.

wbinjury.jpg Playmaker Paul Robinson created opportunities for the home side but poor crossing and solid defending combined to maintain a blank score sheet – Bay continuing to leverage the aerial threat of Phil Bell and Robbie Dale up front without dividend. Shortly after the break the Seahorses’ manager Ian Chandler brought on Lee Kerr and it changed the game. Kerr, a former Newcastle United trialist, almost left Hillheads for Blyth Spartans in the summer and Bay fans can be thankful the deal never went through. Kerr turned the game in the previous round, scoring a scorching equaliser, and it was Kerr’s endeavour that provided this game with a much needed goal. Chasing an ambitious through ball on 70 minutes, Kerr forced a catastrophic error from Marske goalkeeper Jonathan McDonald, slotting the fumbled ball into an empty net.

wbkickoff.jpg Terrace talk of a replay quickly subsided and the hosts had an unlikely advantage in a game where the two sides mostly cancelled each other out. The game’s only prior talking point was when play was suspended briefly to treat Marske defender Anthony Roberts. Roberts’ goal line clearance saw him crashing knee first into the advertising boards behind the goal, briefly curtailing his involvement in the game. The incident arguably unsettled an otherwise organised Marske back line and it was Whitley Bay who went on to double their lead minutes after Kerr had broken the deadlock. More calamitous defending allowed Lee Paul Scroggins to pounce on a stray pass and rifle Whitley Bay into the next round from close range.

Whitley Bay, no doubt backed by a large and noisy away following, will travel to Evo-Stik Northern Premier division side Kendal Town in the First Qualifying round on September 16th.

Whitley Bay 2 (Kerr, Scroggins) – Marske United 0
Hillheads Park – Att: 524
Saturday September 3rd 2011 – FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

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