A poor performance in challenging conditions left much to be desired for the Steelmen, who drew a blank for the first time this season on the road against Whickham.
It was a late first half double from the hosts, spearheaded by new signing Dibbs-Fuller, which sealed the disappointing defeat for Redcar, with an off-colour strike force producing a mere two efforts at goal in 90 minutes of football.
Athletic’s forward line appeared blunt across the course of the contest, summarised perfectly by an early opportunity for Isaac Walker in behind the defence, where he failed to bring the ball under his control, taking an uncharacteristic bad touch.
Whickham sported the lion’s share of possession, linking up neatly to create chances at goal, forcing Jacob Bulmer into making a catalogue of good saves.
The young shot-stopper produced his first stop after just 9 minutes, diving towards his bottom right corner to deny Robson from distance, repeating the feat just inside half an hour as the forward fired a low effort straight into his grateful grasp.
Another ‘nearly’ moment for Redcar came after 35 minutes, with a clever, quick free kick from Rivis looping over the defence and into the path of Walker, who couldn’t quite reach the pass, leaving it to trickle behind for a goal kick.
Moments later, Whickham found their deserved opener. Jamie Dunn was man to beat Bulmer, striking the ball back across goal after Dibbs-Fuller’s delicate pullback and picking out the bottom right corner.
Dibbs-Fuller soon turned goalscorer for the hosts, beating McGuckin with an inventive flick before lashing a volleyed effort into the far-right side netting to double the deficit before the break.
The Steelmen’s woes continued after the interval, with the Lang Jacks first to every ball, dominating possession and defending deep into Redcar’s half.
Scott Robson twice came close to extending the home side’s advantage early in the second half, first firing over the bar from a tight angle, before seeing an effort blocked at close-range by a quick-thinking Jacob Bulmer.
The Redcar number one came up with two more brilliant saves to prevent the scoreline from getting ugly, showing quick reflexes to stop a corner from swerving into the net, before reaching out an arm to block Dibbs-Fuller’s effort from a tight angle soon after.
Athletic finally worked an opportunity at goal with just three minutes left on the clock, with Isaac Walker playing an inviting, low cross into the area, which was fired well over the bar by substitute Sam Conway.
Two minutes later, Nathan Guru became the only player in red to manage a shot on target, his deflected effort from the edge of the area rolling comfortably into the arms of Nathan Harker.
With rain lashing down from the off, and the Steelmen failing to produce enough offensive pressure for even a consolation goal, the afternoon ended in bitter disappointment, and a trip back to Redcar empty-handed.
|05/11/2022||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|