WHITBY manager Tommy Cassidy said his side “let themselves and the club down” after an awful display in Cheshire on Saturday, writes Andrew Snaith.
The Seasiders had given hope after outplaying Stocksbridge on their way to a first win of the season on Wednesday night, but got a “reality check” according to Cassidy, at the weekend.
The Ulsterman fumed: “Too many players didn’t come to the table, it was terrible, I’m just so annoyed.”
Defender Ashley Lyth failed a pre-match fitness test, so with Kev Burgess still suspended, midfielder Sam Hodgson covered at right-back, otherwise the Blues fielded the same side who grabbed that 2-0 midweek win.
And it looked as if the visitors were starting where they left off as Dave McTiernan launched a powerful 20-yard drive that Jon Brain in the Nantwich goal had to tip over at full stretch.
At the other end, Andy Leeson hooked off his own goal line from a free-kick near the byline and keeper Dave Campbell was fouled as he caught the follow-up.
The highly-rated Michael Lennon blasted across the face of the Whitby goal, before Campbell plucked Sean Cooke’s goalbound 25-yard shot out of the air, after diving high to his right.
Alex White then headed another free-kick off his own goal line, this time from Ashley Carter.
As Whitby looked to hit back, Darren Williams sent a snapshot, from just outside the penalty area, narrowly wide and Matty Tymon should’ve done better when collecting Callum Martin’s long ball, but the ex-Hartlepool forward chipped straight to Brain.
Tymon and McTiernan both had shots charged down before Nantwich grabbed the lead two minutes before half-time.
It looked like Hodgson had left Lennon free and the 29-year-old rounded Campbell to slot home.
The Dabbers’ top scorer from last season came close to adding a second moments after the restart after Ibby Hassan played him onside, but he hooked a rushed shot over the top from close range.
Whitby then moved the ball around well with some good passing culminating in Tymon squaring across the six yard box, but no blue shirt in sight to get on the end.
Their hosts then rushed to the other end where Campbell made a double save, finally pawing the ball away while still on the ground.
Centre-half Mat Bailey will wonder how he could only head straight at Campbell when given an eternity to pick his spot from a far post cross on 54 minutes. Soon after, a similiarly unguarded Lennon forced the 40-year-old Campbell to save low to his left.
At the other end, skipper Chris Flynn’s cynical foul enabled Whitby’s captain Mark Robinson to pick out Hassan, who nodded just over the Nantwich bar.
However, most of the action was still taking place in the Blues’ box as Ben Mills poked wide at full stretch and White cleared off his own line again from a left-wing cross.
Bailey could only slam wide, on the turn from close range, before Cassidy threw third forward Jake Faichney on at the expense of a furious Williams, who booted a bottle on his way off the field.
With 20 minutes remaining, Lennon missed yet another glorious opportunity, scuffing across goal and wide when one on one with Campbell.
Bailey nodded past the same post and Flynn shovelled high and handsome as the Blues’ goal was fired on like a Gaddafi stronghold.
There was some respite when the quiet Andy Campbell hooked a first-time shot over the Nantwich bar, before normal service resumed and Lennon twisted and turned past two defenders before lashing wide.
Just as it seemed the Cheshire outfit would be there all afternoon looking for a second goal, they put the game to bed with an amazing strike. Mills picked up the ball at least 25 yards from goal and struck it venomously, on the turn, past a helpless Campbell.
Billy Blackford replaced Martin in a straight swap out wide, but the Nantwich onslaught remained. Bailey’s groundhog day continued as he headed wide once more at the far post.
The final six minutes saw Hassan again slide the ball off the well-trodden Whitby goal-line, Campbell hook straight into Brain’s hands and Nantwich’s Latvian left-back Alexandrs Solovjoks drill another shot from distance, narrowly wide.
Cassidy added: “It was a poor game all round and they could’ve scored another two or three.
“I don’t think we gave the keeper a shot to save.
“They’ve conceded a lot of goals lately, but he could’ve gone home, had his tea and come back.”
Whitby Town: D Campbell, Hodgson, White, Hassan, Leeson, Williams (Faichney 68), Martin (Blackford 75), McTiernan, Tymon, A Campbell, Robinson (c). Subs not used: Lyth, McDermid, Courtney. Attendance: 223
Nantwich Town 2 Whitby Town 0