The Northern Football League
Published 25th April 2012
....them in control at the top of the STL Northern League First Division table.
The match was pretty cagey, until the half-hour mark when Whitley midfielder Craig MacFarlane was red carded for a late challenge on West full-back Matthew Coad, but undeterred Whitley took the lead when Paul Chow converted a penalty for a foul by Ross Preston.
Whitley were then reduced to nine-men before half-time when Chris Reid was dismissed for tripping Mattie Moffat.
But Campbell’s introduction off the bench changed the game. When Stuart Banks was tripped by Callum Anderson, he converted the spot-kick to equalise, and then he put them in the lead with a clever free-kick that beat Karl Hayes at his near post.
Campbell then turned and crossed deep from the right to the far post for Micky Rae to head in at the far post, then he completed his hat-trick with a volley from a right wing cross.
He got a fifth from the penalty spot after he was brought down, and in the last minute Mattie Moffat scored from 15 yards.
West still need to win on Saturday to lift the title, because nearest challengers Spennymoor Town and Dunston UTS both won.
Whitley Bay manager Ian Chandler said: "Nine men for over 55 minutes, two penalties against us - one given for a tackle a yard outside the box, the other for a West player bumping into Lee Kerr off the ball. I was happy to see an FA assessor in the stand and his reaction at the end was a sight to be seen. The referee had a poor game, and I am being particularly kind with that statement. Respect is earned not given away. I was disappointed for our fans who watched us outplay West for 35 minutes, taking the lead but in the end, 9 v 11 can only end in defeat."
West manager Peter Dixon said: "That was a huge result for us. Some people thought that we would bottle it, but we didn't."
Moors won 2-0 at Bedlington Terriers. Gavin Cogdon gave Moors the lead from the spot after 41 minutes after Steve Richardson was fouled, and he then converted another spot-kick in the second half after he was brought down by the Bedlington keeper.
Spennymoor manager Jason Ainsley said: "It was a very professional performance. We scored goals at the right times and could have scored a couple more. Fair play to Bedlington they made us work hard and fought for the full 90 minutes so you have to give them credit for that."
Dunston can still win the league after they won 1-0 at Guisborough Town - Terry Galbraith firing the winner after 34 minutes.
Dunston manager Billy Irwin said: "It was a good result. Three games left, and we just keep going."
West Auckland will win the title if they beat Ashington on Saturday, regardless of how Dunston and Spennymoor fare in their games. However, if Dunston win on Thursday at Sunderland RCA and again on Saturday at Shildon and Spennymoor beat Billingham Synthonia on Saturday, the winner of Monday's game between Spennymoor and Dunston will lift the title.
Tow Law Town said farewell to the First Division with a 2-0 win over Penrith.
Lee Dial put them in front after 30 minutes with a shot from outside the box into the bottom corner, and four minutes from the end Marc Nixon set him up to score from ten yards.
Billingham Synthonia lost 2-1 at Ashington, and assistant-manager Lee Tucker said: "After giving them two early goals, we played some good football up to half time without creating any clear cut chances. We lost David Abel early in the second half with a straight red and thereafter played some outstanding football, created some brilliant chances and had three strong penalty claims turned down. A superb performance that at deserved at least a point."
Northallerton Town won 2-1 at neighbours Darlington RA to reach the Ernest Armstrong Cup final.
Colin Anderson headed Northallerton in the lead after 9 minutes, and then the game turned on two penalties. RA’s Fred Huscroft hit the post from the spot on 55 minutes, and 5 minutes later Danny Shoulder converted one for Northallerton. James Evison pulled a late goal back for the RA.
Northallerton manager Mark Fanning said: "I'm really pleased for the players, committee and fans. We have had to work hard in the end after not killing them off in the first half. After they missed a penalty and we scored one, we just knew it was going to be our night."
Team Northumbria reached their second Cup final of the season when they pipped Gillford Park 4-2 on penalties in the other semi-final.
They are already in the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup, and play Spennymoor in the semi-finals of the League Cup on Thursday night.