Ben Rhydding 3, Whitley Bay 1

Ben Rhydding continued their winning streak with a fourth Men's North League victory, and another fine performance.

A well-executed game-plan meant that saw Kieran Borrett won the ball repeatedly in midfield and set up many counter-attacks.

Also well-constructed connections going forwards put Whitley Bay on the back foot from the start.

Rhydding remained very patient and solid, Dave Exley taking firm control at the back and Danny Foster playing a fluid and confident role at half-back.

Meanwhile, Connor Dowley found some exceptional aerial opportunities, and Harry Sherlock enjoyed getting on the end of them.

Big Callum Connor was ruthless with his marking and denied any traction for the Bay forwards, while, at the other end, it was inevitable that Rhydding would convert.

Sherlock’s clever attempt on goal was saved but Callum Franks jumped on the chance to mop up and slammed the ball home to put the home side ahead.

Rhydding continued to dominate the game, and Callum Connor caused havoc on the right, eating up good ball from Neil Sugden and serving the front half of the pitch selflessly.

Superb work from the forwards also gave excellent shape to all the penetrations that Rhydding delivered, and they thoroughly deserved to convert a well-earned corner.

From it, Will Musgrave made no mistake and put Rhydding two goals clear with a searing drag flick.

The game was all Rhydding’s until a loose back-pass went astray, and the ensuing long corner saw Whitley Bay seize on the unexpected chance to narrow the gap.

Rhydding came out hard in the second half and looked composed and confident, with Connor Dowley and Exley stroking the ball around the back patiently.

Andy Clemerson had an immaculate game in mid-field and broke lines with both excellent passes and ball-carrying, while superb, sharp defending from Danny Foster, Neil Sugden and Callum Connor kept Rhydding tight.

However, the performance of David Carter in goal was sensational, and he made many outstanding saves to deny the quality goal attempts that Whitley Bay had.

Rhydding stepped up again, and Sherlock was on hand to slam home a rebound from a corner.

At 3-1 up, the game looked safe as Rhydding began to tear Bay apart time and again going forwards, with some stunning connections.

However, the home side had to ride out a period of strong Whitley Bay possession and count the clock down.

This was a very pleasing performance from a Rhydding side that are just getting better each week.