On a grim day for the club, manager Mick Mulhern was relieved of his duties after Whitley suffered their heaviest ever defeat, going down 9-0 at home to Hebburn Town.
Several changes to the starting eleven failed to pay off as the defence was cut open with alarming regularity. Four goals in a dreadful seven minute spell just past the half hour left Whitley 6-0 down at the interval. Two changes at the start of the second half came too late to affect the outcome and Whitley’s afternoon was summed up when Olly Martin fired the ball into the net just as the referee was blowing for a penalty. Martin’s spot kick crashed off the bar and Hebburn immediately broke away and scored their eighth goal. Match report online.
The result saw Whitley drop one place and they are now in the bottom three. In previous seasons that would have been a relegation position but with the FA’s reorganisation of leagues at this level, the maximum number of teams going down looks likely to be two, and with Team Northumbria and Blyth AFC both folding after the last Northern League AGM, the situation is complicated further, as they could both be deemed as relegated clubs. In any event, Whitley must improve if they are to climb the table and guarantee safety.
The search now begins for a new manager and it is perhaps fortunate that Whitley do not have a game next weekend, giving them a two week gap until their next fixture, which is at Shildon on Saturday 9th March.
Source: Julian Tyley / http://whitleybayfc.com/