Blues worries increase after Ashton loss

Jamie Poole climbs highest to win a header as Whitby Town lost at home to Ashton United. Picture: Brian Murfield
Jamie Poole climbs highest to win a header as Whitby Town lost at home to Ashton United. Picture: Brian Murfield
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Whitby Town’s relegation fears were increased as they slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to Ashton United, on Tuesday evening.

The loss was the 21st-placed Blues’ fourth in a row, and leaves them deeper in the mire, with rivals Marine also winning at Skelmersdale.

Ashton take the lead at the Turnbull Ground as Martin Pilkington's strike loops over Shane Bland

Ashton take the lead at the Turnbull Ground as Martin Pilkington's strike loops over Shane Bland

Chris Hardy’s men struggled to get to grips with Ashton’s powerful approach in the first half and a deflected strike from Martin Pilkington looped up and over keeper Shane Bland to give the visitors a 25th-minute lead.

Whitby fared better in the second period, but failed to create much pressure on the away goal before Pilkington struck for a second time with two minutes to go to wrap things up.

“On reflection, this evening saw an opening 45 minutes where we struggled to come to terms with a powerful, direct opponent and a headwind in our faces,” boss Hardy said.

“Going into the interval trailing by one goal we knew we had a chance of turning this result around and the second 45 saw a much better performance from the boys.

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy, right, and player-coach Lee Bullock look on as the Blues slip to their fourth defeat in a row

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy, right, and player-coach Lee Bullock look on as the Blues slip to their fourth defeat in a row

“We made a fist of things after the break, but unfortunately were unable to break Ashton down and in the closing stages they scored their second to kill the game off.”

The Seasiders return to Evo-Stik Premier Division action on Saturday when they visit Barwell, 3pm kick-off.