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Whitley Bay won the Vitamin Water trophy at the Umbro tournament in Manchester over the weekend, despite having drawn with Combination sides Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City in their group.
Whitley had started the day lying second in their group after Saturday wins against Fletcher Moss and Boroughmuir. Early on Sunday morning they played top of the table Bradford City and the game looked like a 0-0 stalemate but Whitley, desperate for the win, threw caution to the wind and went to a 4-3-3 formation with Rachel Kay pushed forward. The move paid dividends almost immediately as Kay was released to beat the offside trap and slot past the keeper for 1-0 to Whitley.
Whitley then faced Crewe knowing that a point would win the group. Donna Brown scored after eight minutes and Whitley then frustrated the Crewe side and saw the game out to win 1-0 and top the group. As it happened, further defeats for Bradford meant that Whitley ended on 12 points with Fletcher Moss runners-up on 7 points.
Rain stopped play and the presentations and Whitley manager Colin Phillips was handed their trophy in a black bin liner in the changing area entrance.
Not the most dignified end to the tournament, but nevertheless Whitley were delighted with their performances over the weekend and manager Phillips was pleased with five wins from their six games. "We played really well," he said, "especially on the Sunday as other teams tired and we were worthy winners."
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