WHITBY Town are on the FA Trophy trail this Saturday when reformed Ilkeston FC visit the Turnbull Ground, with £3,250 up for grabs.
The Derbyshire side are bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier, but Blues boss Darren Williams admitted he knows “not much at the moment”, about the Robins.
Talking to the Whitby Gazette after Wednesday’s 3-2 league win over Stocksbridge, he said: “I’ve got two days to do my homework.
“When you get a win, you want to have back-to-back wins in the league, but we’ll play Ilkeston hoping to progress.”
Nathan Mulligan notched his 13th and 14th goals this season against Stocksbridge and Williams paid tribute, stating: “He’s working really hard as well, so is Graeme Armstrong, but unfortunately for Graeme, hes doing everything but find the net.
“It’s just not going in for him at the moment, but he’s in the right areas.
“We’re just happy with him to keep doing that, we know it’ll come right.”
Ilkeston, who were promoted from the Evo-Stik First Division South last season, lost out by a single-goal to high-flyers AFC Fylde in midweek at the final qualifying stage of the FA Cup. The Lancastrians have a plum derby with League Two Accrington Stanley next month in the First Round proper as reward.
In the league, things are much less impressive, with just one win since August for the Midlanders.
There were some negatives for Whitby despite the midweek Turnbull win, as Jamie Clarke exchanged words with a home supporter and Alex White missed out through injury.
Williams revealed: “I’ll be having a word with Jamie and we’ll take it from there, as a player, you just have to rise above it and get on with it really, I’m not sure exactly what’s been said.
“Alex is struggling with a knee problem at the moment, so obviously it was precautionary to keep him out, to give him the rest of the week to see if he’s available for Saturday, or not.”
It will be a first-ever meeting between the new Ilkeston club and the Seasiders, who beat the old Ilkeston Town outfit in four out of five home games.
They’ll be keen not to go to a midweek replay, which would be this Monday, as Whitby failed to win in four trips to their New Manor Ground.
Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground on Saturday is 3pm, with admission £9 adults, £5 concessions and £2 under 16s.
There will be a pre-match presentation from fans who walked the 26 cross-moorland miles from Whitby to Pickering, over the summer, as well as Mike McNichol, who took part in a sponsored cycle to Scarborough and back.
If there is no replay, The Blues travel to the Lake District on Tuesday to face another struggling side in Kendal Town.
Lee Ashcroft’s men are without a league win in seven and sit just one place above the Blues in 17th, on goal difference, with two games in hand.
Meetings of the sides have been hugely one-sided in recent years, with just one Whitby win in 12 matches, since the Cumbrians’ name change from Netherfield.
Town did manage a 6-2 victory in the 1997-98 FA Cup, against the team named after a local shoe shop and enjoyed a sole 1-0 win thanks to Andy Toman’s goal in the same season, their only success at the Lakeland Radio Stadium.
If results go their way, the Blues can climb level on points with North East rivals Blyth in 15th, if they beat the Black and Whites.
Anyone wishing to travel with the club midweek on the official supporters’ coach should contact chairman Graham Manser at Saturday’s game. The bus leaves Whitby at 3.15pm, assuming there is no FA Trophy replay.
There is a dominoes drive in the Whitby Town club house Friday night, 8pm.