FA Vase: Whitley Bay 2, Lowestoft 1
Michael Bailey A late Jamie Godbold volley for 10-man Lowestoft Town kept their FA Vase semi-final nicely poised after a stern first-leg test at Whitley Bay.In control for the first half an astute tactical change from home manager Ian Chandler turned the game, as they grabbed two second half goals.
A late Jamie Godbold volley for 10-man Lowestoft Town kept their FA Vase semi-final nicely poised after a stern first-leg test at Whitley Bay.
In control for the first half an astute tactical change from home manager Ian Chandler turned the game, as they grabbed two second half goals.
Carl Poppy's red card seconds later looked to have put Town in serious trouble but Godbold's cracking strike quietened the majority of the 2,907 crowd at Hillheads and gave Lowestoft an excellent boost ahead of the second leg in seven days.
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Lowestoft joint managers Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher recalled Jack Marsden at left-back for Matty Potter and had seven of their own starters from last year's tie at kick-off, including keeper Andy Reynolds who dislocated his hip three times during last year's second leg at Hillheads, as Town matched the home side's 4-4-2 formation.
Bay named nine of their 11 starters from last year's semi-final this afternoon but it was Lowestoft who made the first clear chance on six minutes.
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Gary McGee's pass set Dale Cockrill clear but Whitley keeper Terry Burke denied the midfielder.
Moments later Poppy hit a sweet free-kick from 30 yards flush against an upright as Town continued their bright start, aided by the strong freezing gale.
The Blues were also making easy work of the uphill slope as Bay struggled to find their feet. The 20th minute saw Burke punch a dangerous Hunn cross clear as Lowestoft continued to dominate - Town were already 3-0 down at the same point last season.
A slick counter gave Hunn some room on the left but he could only drag wide on 26 minutes. It took half an hour for the home side to get their first effort on goal, Chris Moore striking from long range to force an excellent tip over from Andy Reynolds.
Jamie Godbold was shown yellow for a strong challenge as Bay finally started to string some passes together and Lee Kerr missed with his head from a matter of yards as the offside flag partially spared his blushes.
A Richard Woodrow effort from distance fizzed over as Lowestoft
finished the half on top.
Half time: Whitley Bay 0, Lowestoft town 0.
A Godbold snap-shot opened the second half with Burke doing well to get down.
Bay boss Ian Chandler made a double substitution on 56 minutes putting on a third striker to try and force the issue.
And it did the trick as four minutes later Lowestoft failed to clear their lines from a Whitley corner and substitute Adam Johnston's drive was turned past Reynolds by PAUL CHOW'S head.
It got worse for Town on 73 minutes as a swift break from the home side saw Jack Marsden bring down Chow, who was booked for the challenge as the striker bore down on goal.
KERR calmly tucked away the spot kick low to Reynolds' right.
Frustration from that decision saw Poppy's full-blooded tackle on Johnston incense the home side and referee Karl Evans produced a straight red for the right-back, reducing the Blues to 10 men.
But the jubilant atmosphere of Hillheads was tempered with six minutes remaining as Godbold made the most of a Lowestoft break down the right and he superbly volleyed a right foot strike into the far top
corner to give Town a lifeline.
With two minutes left the referee waved away good Whitley claims for a second penalty as the ball looked to hit substitute Marcus Saunders on the arm, while two corners during the five minutes of injury time saw Town's nerves jangle, but they held on to keep the tie alive.
Full-time: Whitley Bay 2, Lowestoft 1.
Whitley Bay: Burke, Taylor, Picton, McFarlane, Coulson (c), Ryan, Moore, Robson, Kerr, Chow, Robinson.
Subs: Reid, McLean, Reay, Bell, Johnston.
Lowestoft: Reynolds, Poppy, Marsden, Woodrow, Plaskett, D Cockrill (c) Godbold, Dale Cockrill, Stock, McGee, Hunn.
Subs: King, Saunders, Potter, McKenna, Attridge.
Referee: K Evans, Manchester.