Blues bid to put out Olympic flame

WHITBY Town manager Tommy Cassidy says his side will travel to Rushall Olympic for the first time this weekend, with a new attacking attitude after the weekend’s dramatic FA Cup win, writes Andrew Snaith.

The Blues beat rivals North Ferriby United in the second qualifying round, after an 87th minute Jake Faichney winner, to book a date with more old adversaries in Blyth Spartans, at the Turnbull Ground on Saturday 15 October.

The Ulsterman was reasonably happy with his side’s display but warned: “We can play a lot better than that.

“We had a great training session (on Wednesday), there was lots of laughter and everyone’s together.

“If we can bring that onto the pitch, we will definitely progress.”

The former Apoel Nicosia and Gateshead boss remains keen to concentrate only on his own side, adding: “I don’t go along with a lot of managers ringing up about every team they play.

“I’m just concerned about my own team, I’ve told them time and time again, if we play well we will win the game.

“That might not sound professional to some people, but that’s the attitude I have.

“I need to get my team right, select the right players, play the right way, everybody give everything they have and we’ll beat the majority of teams in this league.”

But Cassidy still has plenty of respect for their Walsall-based hosts, newly-promoted from the Evo-Stik First Division South and still unbeaten on home soil.

“They’ve come up into our league this season, it’s new to them, they’ll be very enthusiastic and keen.

“They’ve had some good results and they’re in the top ten.

“We’ve got to get some consistency. I’ve not seen them play, but I’m sure if we play well, we’ll make it very hard for Rushall.”

On Saturday, Cassidy replaced long-serving keeper Dave Campbell with Tom Courtney, 17 years his junior. Courtney revealed he didn’t know of the decision until the teams were read out in the dressing room, in order to avoid nerves the night before.

Cassidy says Courtney’s cup display, including a vital penalty save, shows the importance of having competition for places all over the pitch.

“Cam knows he was a wee bit under confident, so I brought Tom in to give him a chance, he’s a lot of enthusiasm and he did very very well indeed.

“It’s up to Tom to stay in and Cam to get back in and if you’re getting two players pulling that way, you’re onto a winner.

“If Cam gets in and does well, he will stay in. He’s done very very well for me, but he’s 41 and we can’t get away from that fact.

“Long-term and even short-term, let’s be honest, we do need a younger goalkeeper.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of Andy Campbell’s month-long loan to Northern League Norton & Stockton, Cassidy has challenged his other forwards to establish themselves in the first team.

He added: “Matty Tymon’s worked reasonably hard and Jake came on and scored the winning goal.

“These two lads now have got a chance to impose themselves, as well as Rob McDermid and Matty Dunford - that’s what competition’s all about.

“Get in, do well and stay in - and they will stay in, if they do well.”

A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground at 8.30am on Saturday, with seats just £10 each. Kick-off at Dales Lane is 3pm and admission as follows: adults £7.50, concessions £4 and juniors under 12 free of charge, with a paying adult.