Blues boss refuses to blame injury crisis for ‘disappointing’ result

Whitby Town's players are left stunned as 10-man Nantwich go 3-2 up in Saturday's draw at the Turnbull Ground. Pictures: Brian Murfield
Whitby Town's players are left stunned as 10-man Nantwich go 3-2 up in Saturday's draw at the Turnbull Ground. Pictures: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town manager Darren Williams believes a poor second-half showing cost his side as they were held to a 3-3 draw by 10-man Nantwich.

The Blues lost left-back Liam Shepherd in the warm-up and then three centre-halves were forced off the pitch during Saturday’s game, but Williams refused to use the freak spate of injuries as an excuse for his side’s failure to pick up three points.

Debutant Ben Askins was one of three central defenders who got injured during Saturday's draw with Nantwich

Debutant Ben Askins was one of three central defenders who got injured during Saturday's draw with Nantwich

“Obviously losing four defenders to injury didn’t help, but I don’t think we can say that’s the reason we didn’t win the game,” he told the Whitby Gazette.

“We were poor in the second half, our passing was atrocious and once again we’ve gifted the opposition goals with poor defending.

“In the first period we were well on top, we were looking good against 11 men, nevermind 10, but we didn’t play with the same tempo after the break.

“Players going off injured made things much more difficult for us, but we just didn’t do enough in the second half.”

Whitby's Scott McCarthy holds off two Nantwich defenders

Whitby's Scott McCarthy holds off two Nantwich defenders

Town took a 10th-minute lead when Mikey Roberts netted his sixth goal of the season, but the visitors levelled through Lewis Short just two minutes later.

With the hosts well on top, Nantwich’s Jon Moran was sent off for a poor challenge on Matty Waters, before the latter curled home a long-range effort to put the Blues ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Whitby failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and a goal from Sam Hall in the 69th minute saw the visitors level things up before they moved in front six minutes later when Matty Kosylo struck.

Fortunately for the Blues, Adam Gell popped up with a leveller two minutes from time to earn his side a share of the spoils.

Dave McTiernan celebrates with Matty Waters (no. 10) after the latter put Whitby 2-1 up

Dave McTiernan celebrates with Matty Waters (no. 10) after the latter put Whitby 2-1 up

“Maybe we thought we’d already won the game as we were 2-1 up and they’d had a man sent off,” Williams added.

“But you can’t afford to take that kind of attitude against any team in this division as it will cost you, as was proven on Saturday.

“Given the position we were in at half-time I’m disappointed with a draw, but in the end, I was actually relieved when Gelly scored the equaliser as we could easily have ended up losing the game.”

The Blues are back in EvoStik Premier Division action tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Ashton United for a 7.45pm kick off.

A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground at 2.30pm. To book a place call 07966241344.

Full match report, reaction and more of Brian Murfield’s pictures in Friday’s Gazette.