Blues safe after Barwell win

Whitby Town were able to celebrate securing their league status after beating Barwell on Tuesday evening
Whitby Town were able to celebrate securing their league status after beating Barwell on Tuesday evening

Whitby Town secured their Evo-Stik Premier Division status for another season after a 2-1 win over Barwell.

The Blues went into Tuesday night’s clash at the Turnbull Ground knowing that victory would ensure that they could not be relegated.

And two second-half goals ensured that Chris Hardy’s men triumphed in their biggest game of the season as they battled back from going a goal down in the first half.

After an even opening period, during which Town’s Dale Hopson came closest to breaking the deadlock when he rattled the visitors’ crossbar, Sam Hollis handed Barwell the lead.

If the Leicestershire side had just about edged the first 45 minutes, then the second half totally belonged to the Seasiders.

A decent spell of pressure, that saw Hopson denied a leveller by the linesman’s flag, preceded an eventual 58th-minute equaliser.

Mikey Roberts raced down the right towards the byline and pulled the ball back to Hopson on the edge of the six-yard box where the Town playmaker showed good composure to take a touch and adjust his feet before calmly planting the ball into the back of the net.

As Whitby turned the screw, the pressure became too much for Barwell defender Liam Kay, who earned himself two yellow cards in the space of 12 minutes and received his marching orders.

The Blues wasted no time in making the most of their numerical advantage and from the resulting free-kick the ball was cleared as far as Adam Gell in a central position some 35 yards out.

Striking the ball first time on the half-volley, Gell let fly an absolute thunderbolt that travelled sweetly into the top corner of the away goal with 63 minutes on the clock.

It was a strike fit to win any game, and a fine way to seal the victory that will keep Whitby up, as the hosts saw out the remaining 24 minutes plus stoppages with relative ease.

Full match report and reaction online and in Friday’s Gazette.