REPORT: Whitley Bay 3-3 Matlock Town (Bay win 4-2 on pens)

Joel Purkiss, pictured during the first tie on Saturday, netted for Matlock in the replay.
Joel Purkiss, pictured during the first tie on Saturday, netted for Matlock in the replay.

As far as Matlock Town defeats in the FA Cup go, if this one at Hillheads Park does not surpass all others, it is definitely right up there with the worst.

The Gladiators had fought back from a two-goal half-time deficit to level and force extra-time, but by then the Bay had been reduced to nine men.

They went in front in extra-time only to inexplicably surrender control by allowing a gung-ho Bay team on to them and conceded an 119th minute equaliser.

Once that went in the crowd could sense a famous Whitley win was on the cards as all of their penalties were converted while Matlock failed with two of theirs.

There can be no excuses, Matlock continued their recent habit of shooting themselves in the foot with their promising start to the campaign in August turning into a miserable and expensive September.

Perhaps Bay’s opener on six minutes was a sign of things to come. Birthday boy Oscar Radford gave the hosts a present by giving Adam Shanks possession on the right. The centre-forward cut in to drill a low effort inside the far post. Radford had at least two opportunities to clear his lines.

Matlock responded with a 12th minute corner with which Adam Yates made contact but not quite enough and the ball was hoofed off the line.

Shanks again dispossessed Radford on the half hour to find Adam Kempster whose low effort was pushed aside by George Willis before at the other end Harry Coates’ header was blocked at the expense of a corner.

But Bay doubled their lead four minutes from the break. A long throw from the left was flicked across the six yard box and Sam Norris finished emphatically from close range.

It was nearly three moments after the break but Willis was down quickly to parry another Norris strike.

Joel Purkiss halved the deficit in the 55th minute. A beautifully-constructed move down the left saw Ben Algar cross clinically for Purkiss to crack home a superb 20-yard shot.

A minute later Shanks received a second yellow card and then a red for kicking the ball away, with Radford nearly atoning for past misdemeanors on the hour as his header struck the junction of bar and post.

A sliced Holland attempt, a fiercely struck Yates shot and a Niall McManus glancing header were all wide before reserve team striker Jack Siddall came on for his debut.

This feisty clash then produced a straight red for substitute Robbie Williamson for a horrific challenge on Radford on 77 minutes.

Yates flicked a header past Andrew Jennison’s right hand post before the visitors levelled on 83 minutes. Ted Cribley’s shot looked to be going in but Holland seemed to make sure although doubt still exists as to who should be claiming the credit.

Travis nearly won it on 89 minutes when his cracking 25 yarder was finger-tipped magnificently over the bar by Jennison before Purkiss drove wide from distance.

Extra-time saw Matlock dominate the first period and got in front when Siddall turned in a loose ball from ten yards and surely now Matlock were home and dry.

But then it all went wrong, and Matlock brought about their own downfall by conceding needless free-kicks and surrendering possession.

All they had to do was retain possession against nine men , but Whitley threw caution to the wind, pumping direct balls forward which had Matlock in all sorts of trouble.

Willis saved well from Kris Hughes and from the last of three corners, Reid got the vital impact and the hosts were level.

Then through all of their own making, Matlock had the nerves of the penalty shoot-out.

Opening taker Travis saw his effort saved and Holland also missed, Bay’s penalties all finding the net with Hughes scoring the winner to leave Matlock embarrassed and the Northern Leaguers beside themselves with sheer delight.

WHITLEY BAY: Andrew Jennison, Stephen Gibson (Aristotte Guerrin 103), ChrisMcDonald, Richard Flynn, Michael Laws, Chris Reid, Sam Norris (Robbie Williamson 62), Callum Anderson (Josh Day 46), Adam Shanks, Kris Hughes, Alex Kempster. Subs not used: Daniel Gladstone,Stephen Young, John Redhead.

MATLOCK: George Willis, Adam Yates, Ben Algar, Nicky Travis, Harry Coates (Jack Siddall 73), Oscar Radford, Ted Cribley, Liam Needham (Scott Maxfield 110), Joel Purkiss, Danny Holland, Niall McManus. Subs not used: Mark Hume, Ryan Pugh

REF: D Markham (Washington) ATT: 338 BEST GLADIATOR: Adam Yates