Blues thrashed by Darlington

Ex-Blues striker Graeme Armstrong, left, netted a hat-trick as Darlington beat Whitby Town 7-1
Ex-Blues striker Graeme Armstrong, left, netted a hat-trick as Darlington beat Whitby Town 7-1

Whitby Town suffered a 7-1 mauling at the hands of Darlington 1883 on Thursday evening.

With their Evo-Stik Premier Division safety having been secured two days earlier, the Blues had nothing to play for, but in stark contrast, the game was a must-win affair for the visitors.

More than 1,800 fans packed into the Turnbull Ground, the majority of them in support of the away side, as the Quakers clinched a result which saw them crowned league champions.

Darlo took the lead after just three minutes when Stephen Thompson beat Shane Bland to a flick-on from a long punt out of defence and slid the ball into an empty net.

Former Whitby stalwart Kevin Burgess nodded home the second from a corner, and it was 3-0 with just nine minutes on the clock when another ex-Blue, Graeme Armstrong, powered a header into the top corner.

Armstrong tucked home his second from close range to give the visitors a four-goal cushion in the 16th minute, and the same player completed his hat-trick four minutes later with another header from a corner.

The sixth goal arrived six minutes before half-time, Terry Galbraith converting a penalty shortly after Mikey Roberts’ spot-kick had been superbly saved by Pete Jameson at the other end.

Leon Scott, another of the Quakers’ ex-Whitby contingent, smashed in number seven on 69 minutes before the Seasiders pulled one back with nine minutes remaining when Dale Hopson guided a header past Jameson from Roberts’ left-wing centre.

After the final whistle, Darlo were presented with the league trophy as hundreds of supporters ran on to the Turnbull pitch to celebrate a third promotion in four seasons.

Full match report and action photos in next Friday’s Whitby Gazette.