Marske officials did a superb job in ensuring the pitch was playable after it cut up badly following the victory against Jarrow Roofing two days earlier. Facing their third game in 6 days with another to follow 2 days later, Marske manager Carl Jarrett opted to make 3 changes with Connor Hood, Nathan Mulligan and Ryan Grier selected in place of Jamie Owens and Reece Kelly, who dropped to the bench, and Glen Butterworth, who was injured in the Jarrow Roofing game. Danny Brunskill returned to the substitute’s bench after being unavailable on Tuesday.
The first chance of the game fell to Marske on 5 minutes when an error from Callum Anderson allowed Mulligan to be one on one with Bay keeper Daniel Gladstone but Mulligan didn’t connect properly with his shot from just inside the area and it went wide. Moments later, the away side had a chance of their own when Liam O’Sullivan failed to deal with a long ball forward from Aiden Haley and a shot from 20 yards from Callum Munro went just over the bar. On 9 minutes, a long free kick was punted forward and the ball fell to Ash Davis, but the striker shot over the bar. Marske had an escape on 12 minutes when great wing play from Alex Kempster ended with Adam Wheatley headed the ball from off the line. The ensuing corner from Jake Fowler was headed over by Haley. Two minutes later Anderson was penalised for a foul on Nathan Mulligan following a pass from Luke Bythway but Mulligan saw his free kick and follow up effort blocked by the Whitley Bay wall. However, Mulligan wasn’t to be denied and he put Marske in front on 17 minutes following some poor Whitley Bay defending. A long free kick forward from Lee Brockbank caused chaos in the Bay box and Hood made a nuisance of himself which allowed the ball to drop to the unmarked Mulligan, just inside the 6 yard box, and he finished with ease from a tight angle. On 20 minutes referee Daniel Woodward should have shown the first yellow card of the evening when Bythway, trying to break clear, was dragged back by Anderson but the referee only warned the Bay player. Referee Woodward was again generous to the away side on 23 minutes when great skill from Bythway drew a cynical foul from ex-Marske player Stephen Gibson but again no yellow card was shown. From the resulting free kick, Adam Wheatley was just unable to get on the end of Mulligan’s free kick. On 27 minutes, a very generous decision from the referee to award Marske a free kick for a push on Mulligan by Anderson resulted in Mulligan’s free kick going comfortably over the bar. A minute later, Bythway was caught late by Anderson but managed to get the ball away to Mulligan who saw his shot well saved by Gladstone. At the other end, only a superb sliding tackle from Austin Johnston prevented Fowler getting a shot away. On 37 minutes Whitley Bay were denied an equaliser by a quite stunning save from Robert Dean. A cross from the left from Munro saw Kempster meet the ball with a firm header and Dean had to change direction to magnificently tip over the winger’s effort. Marske were unhappy that play had been allowed to continue as Adam Preston was down injured and O’Sullivan appeared to be fouled by Davis in the build-up. Marske ended the half strongly and only a succession of goal-line clearances and saves prevented them from increasing their lead. On 38 minutes, Mulligan broke the offside trap but collided with keeper Gladstone; the loose ball broke to Bythway but with the keeper out of the action his shot was cleared off the line by Stuart Bramley. Just a minute later, Hood set up Preston who saw his shot saved by Gladstone. Marske were piling on the pressure and a fantastic move involving Mulligan, Bythway and Hood ended with Hood pulling the ball back to Preston who saw his shot deflected for a corner.
Half Time: Marske United 1 Whitley Bay 0
At the start of the second half, Dean had to be alert to rush off his line and get to the ball before Kempster could have a shot. On 52 minutes, the away side made their first change with Scott Prosser replacing Haley and moments later Bay had a shout for a penalty for a foul on Shanks by Grier but referee Woodward waved away the appeals as Dean had already claimed the ball. On 55 minutes, the tricky Kempster shot wide from the edge of the box before Shanks was cautioned for a poor challenge on Mulligan near the touchline. On 63 minutes, Bay made their second change with Craig McFarlane replaced by Josh Day. Mulligan became the first Marske player to be booked on 69 minutes for a foul on Davis though the referee didn’t help matters missing a clear foul on Mulligan seconds earlier. Marske then made two changes in quick succession with Dan Newby replacing John Seaton on 69 minutes and Reece Kelly taking the place of Mulligan 3 minutes later. This necessitated a change to a 4-5-1 formation as Marske looked to pack the midfield with Preston moving in the central striking role and Bythway dropping back into the centre of midfield. With 11 minutes left, Munro and Davis combined to set up Kempster but Dean saved brilliantly with his feet. A minute later, Hood showed great vision to set up Kelly with a superb cross field pass but Kelly, after beating his marker, shot over. With 8 minutes left, Marske made their final change with Brunskill replacing Hood, with Preston switching to left midfield to allow Brunskill to play up front. On 85 minutes, Marske sealed the game when Brunskill won the ball 20 yards from goal, played in Kelly who got to the by-line and pulled the ball back to the unmarked Bythway who slotted past Gladstone.
Full Time: Marske United 2 Whitley Bay 0
Marske: Dean, Brockbank, O’Sullivan, Johnston, Grier, Wheatley, Preston, Seaton (Newby), Mulligan (Kelly), Bythway, Hood (Brunskill)
Subs (not used): Owens, Briggs
Whitley Bay: Gladstone, McFarlane (Day), Munro, Anderson, Gibson, Bramley (Youldon), Haley (Prosser), Fowler, Shanks, Davis, Kempster
Sub (not used): Flynn