BLUE REVIEW: Massive relief at a job well done

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy
Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy

Whitby Town manager Chris Hardy’s weekly column.

There was a sense of pure relief following Tuesday’s victory over Barwell.

The result means that we have achieved our sole aim, which was to ensure that we will play our football in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season.

It’s great that we have secured our place in this league and that we can now look to the future and how we will move the club forwards.

This division is the platform that we need to help us progress things both on and off the pitch.

We went into the Barwell game knowing that a win would keep us up and, as a result, this fixture became our very own cup final and the biggest match of my time at Whitby.

In the opening 45 minutes, regardless of the pressure, the boys went about their business in a productive manner but unfortunately, after an evenly-matched half of football, we went into the interval a goal down.

At half-time we talked about the need to go through the gears in the second period and take the game to our opponents and this proved to be the exact response the lads produced.

Dale Hopson got the scores level before the sending off of one of the Barwell players seemed to add to the already growing momentum and then up stepped Adam Gell with a thunderbolt of a shot to give us the lead.

It was a goal fitting to win any game of football at any level, and it came as no surprise to me to see Gelly score one like that.

I’ve seen him find the net with similar strikes plenty of times in the past during our spell at Guisborough, it’s something that he has in his locker.

On the whole, I thought that the boys were brilliant from one to 11, showing a real togetherness and more importantly a real desire to achieve our objective of survival, which we have not done with two games to spare.

The players deserve a lot of credit for pulling this off because they’ve had a good attitude since I first arrived.

The spirit is good at the club, you’d never know that our changing room here is one that has been battling relegation all season and I think that’s been key in us achieving our goals.

If I said that I was 100 % certain that we could avoid relegation when I first took over, then I would be lying.

There was a lot of work to do, but the players have done brilliantly and we can now look to the future and concentrate on moving this club forwards.