Blues close in on safety

Victory for Whitby Town over Barwell tonight will see them celebrating survival in the Evo-Stik Premier Division
Victory for Whitby Town over Barwell tonight will see them celebrating survival in the Evo-Stik Premier Division

Whitby Town will be safe from Evo-Stik Premier Division relegation if they beat Barwell at the Turnbull Ground tonight (Tuesday).

Chris Hardy’s men currently sit in 20th place in the league standings, four points ahead of Stamford, with both a game in hand and a significantly better goal difference.

A win for the Blues will send the 22nd-placed Lincolnshire outfit down, while anything but a victory for the Daniels at Skelmersdale tonight will see them slide out of the trap door.

Should Town lose and Stamford win, then the Seasiders’ fate will remain in their own hands, as they can still finish above their relegation rivals providing that they win one of their last two fixtures, against Darlington on Thursday or Skelmersdale on Saturday.

If Whitby draw this evening and Stamford win their final two games, then a single point from the clashes with Darlington and Skelmersdale would almost certainly still prove enough for the Blues whose goal difference (-14) is 17 better than the Daniels’ (-31).

Monday night saw 21st-placed Hyde United lose 4-0 at home to Nantwich, meaning that although they are not mathematically relegated, they are all but down because they now need a 22-goal swing to overtake Town on goal difference, with only one game left to play.

Boss Hardy has a number of injury concerns heading into the crucial meeting with Barwell, who beat Whitby 2-1 on home soil last-month courtesy of a 94th-minute winner.

With Lee Bullock already ruled out for the rest of the season, another centre-half, Kieran Weledji - who limped off at Stourbridge on Saturday - is likely to miss out.

Top-scorer Mikey Roberts and midfielder Adam Gell will also undergo fitness tests ahead of the game, but are expected to be passed fit to play.

Kick-off at the Tunrbull is at 7.45pm.

THE KEY FACTS:

*If Whitby Town win ANY of their three remaining fixtures then they are SAFE, regardless of any other results.

*Stamford HAVE to win BOTH of their last two matches or they are DOWN, and Whitby will stay up.

*If Stamford do manage to win two in a row, then TWO POINTS between now and the end of the season will almost certainly be enough for Whitby, due to their vastly superior goal difference.

*19th-placed Mickleover Sports are not yet safe on 45 points, but just a single point from their remaining two games will mean that Stamford cannot overtake them.