Whitley Bay 2-1 Whickham FC: A goal in each half seals Lang Jacks opening day defeat

Whickham fall short on the opening day of the Northern League 2021/22 season after defeat to Whitley Bay at Hillheads Park.

The home side took the lead after twelve minutes when Richard Coulson rounded Jack Norton and tapped home.

Bay doubled their lead with 20 minutes left courtesy of a long ranged effort from Joseph Malone.

Whickham were then handed a lifeline when a low drilled cross was sliced into the net by Scott Lowery with five minutes remaining.

A late handball claim was turned down by the referee after mass appeals by the Lang Jacks.

Almost a full squad were available for the opening day besides Jack Robson who was unavailable for the fixture.

Early pressure from the hosts paid off when Jon Weirs dispossessed Michael Hoganson before slipping Coulson through on goal where the forward took the ball around Norton before tapping the ball into an empty net.

Three minutes later Zak Atkinson nearly equalised after a long ball beat the backline allowing the striker a chance one-on-one but the onrushing goalkeeper was able to smother the ball after a scuffed effort.

Another chance came and went as Conor Newton powered a header over the top of the bar from a corner in the 18th minute.

Only one more clear cut chance came in the first half when Matty Weirs was able to work his way into the area before his shot was saved by the legs of Norton.

Norton also denied Jon Weirs with his feet when he broke inside the box down the right hand side and drilled an effort goalwards.

After more Whickham pressure the home side doubled their advantage when Norton chased down a long ball but his clearance landed straight to the feet of Malone who lobbed the ‘keeper from 35-yards out.

However, the deficit was halved with five minutes left of normal time as Atkinson’s drilled cross was sliced into his own net by Lowery, lobbing Daniel Lister in the Bay goal.

Late appeals for a penalty were turned down as The Lang Jacks pushed for a late goal to snatch a point.

Man of the match for Whickham went to Kieran Galbraith after a solid defensive display, denying several chances for the hosts.

Kieran Galbraith’s post-match interview:

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