Blues stay on top as Roberts double sinks Barwell

Whitby Town report
Whitby Town report
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A goal either side of the half-time break from Mikey Roberts secured a 2-1 win for Whitby Town at Barwell, keeping them top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Blues boss Chris Hardy made one change, recalling Adam Gell in place of the suspended Dale Hopson in midfield.

Town were on the back foot for much of a quiet first half where Barwell started the stronger and skipper Brady Hickey forced Shane Bland to touch over with an awkward cross turned shot early on.

Declan Towers' sent a stooping header past the near post from Cleveland Taylor's free-kick and Luke Barlone powered over from 25 yards.

Whitby slowly started to find their feet after the half hour. Dave McTiernan fired straight at keeper Max Smith-Varnam from close range, Mikey Roberts then nodded over after rising highest at the far post, from Dan McWilliams' left wing cross.

It still came as a surprise when the Blues led on 37 minutes, Roberts going clear from Matty Tymon's flick on and chipping Smith-Varnam from 20 yards, to find the roof of the net.

The Seasiders started the second half as they ended the first and should've doubled their lead after an almighty scramble just after the restart. Roberts' 12 yard drive was charged down, McTiernan's effort after a rash attempted clearance was parried by Smith-Varnam and Tymon sliced wide point blank.

Eight minutes in, Roberts found the net for a second net, with a big slice of good fortune. A speculative drilled effort from the right-edge of the box struck Towers in the left shin, wrong-footing Smith-Varnam and finding the bottom-right corner.

As the big Barwell side laid siege, Barlone headed against the crossbar from Hickey's free-kick and Julien fired home from the edge of the box, six minutes from time, but Whitby held firm to stay at the summit for the next ten days at least.