Whickham edged past Redcar Athletic at the First Mortgage Glebe for their fourth win in a row as the 10-men visitors nearly pulled off a late comeback WRITES BEN ROBINSON.
Nathan Greenwood netted on his debut for the hosts, giving them the lead just past the half-hour mark.
Max McGuckin was then sent off for the away side as put in a heavy challenge on Jack Moody.
Two goals came in quick succession after the break for the Glebemen as Zak Atkinson and Jack Robson found the net within the first five minutes of the restart.
Isaac Walker and Jordan Rivis pulled the Steelmen back into the game out of nowhere, with the former and latter scoring in the remaining 10 minutes.
Whickham held on for the three points and their fourth win on the trot.
Tony Fawcett made three changes to the starting XI with Jack Robson, Nathan Greenwood and loanee Dom Agnew slotting straight into the starting lineup.
Despite an uneventful start, the visitors had the best chance early on through Walker who rounded James Anderson in the Whickham goal but Agnew got back on the line to make a block on his debut.
Tony Fawcett’s men then began to control the possession, with Declan Bisset and Robson trading passes before the latter switched the ball to Greenwood where the winger’s cross was spilled by the goalkeeper but no one was able to get the rebound.
Greenwood then got his goal minutes later after Dale Burrell dinked a cross into the area with the forward lurking who was able to get the ball down and fire it into the net.
Five minutes before the break Athletic were reduced to 10-men when McGuckin followed through on a tackle on Moody.
A goal three minutes after the break followed for the hosts when Bisset’s looped free-kick found its way to Atkinson who was able to finish his opportunity.
Two minutes later and the opening goalscorer became provider as Greenwood beat the offside trap and slid the ball across the box to Robson where the forward was able to tap the ball into the empty net.
With nine minutes remaining Walker handed Redcar a lifeline as he latched onto a through ball before his effort was deflected in past Anderson at the near post.
Rivis then made it a nervy few minutes for the hosts as he finished off a slick move from the visiting side from the edge of the area.
Despite late pressure for an equaliser, Redcar Athletic could not find a way through as the Lang Jacks held on for the three points.
After the game Ben Robinson and Adam Tones caught up with the debutant and man of the match, Nathan Greenwood.
He said: “I think the first-half we started really well, I don’t think they could really get into the game but then when we went three-nil up I think we got a bit sloppy because they managed to get two goals back but overall it’s a good three points.”
“On a personal level it’s great just to be back, enjoying football but it was really good to get that goal and assist, I wasn’t expecting it because I was just going in to try my best for the team.”
When asked about the two goals for their opponents at the end, Greenwood summed up his manager’s thoughts.
He said: “Tony (Fawcett) wasn’t very happy and rightly so, at the end of a game like that we should just be seeing out the result but we had to dig it out for the three points but we move onto the next game and at the end of the day we got the three points and that’s all that matters.”
Whickham Starting XI: J. Anderson, T. Howard, J. Moody, K. Galbraith, D. Agnew, R. Peareth (c), D. Burrell (M. Fitzpatrick, 77′), J. Robson (K. Russell, 72′), N. Greenwood, Z. Atkinson