Boss swoops for Lane ahead of deadline

Whitby Town celebrate one of their two wins at Chorley this season
Whitby Town celebrate one of their two wins at Chorley this season

Whitby Town player-manager Darren Williams has returned to former club Sunderland for left-back Glen Lane.

The versatile 18-year-old can play on either side of defence or midfield and had been with the Premier League side since the age of nine, making 26 appearances for their under-18s and turning out against the Seasiders, last summer.

Williams revealed: “He’s a really good player and gives us a fair bit of scope, which is great to go into the final stage of the season.”

The 35-year-old Blues boss, who made 200 appearances for the Black Cats himself, is also looking to bring in more players before this week’s transfer deadline, adding: “We’ll try to get them sorted.

“It’s proving a little bit difficult, at the moment. If it doesn’t come off before the deadline, we’ll try and do something for the start of next season.”

Eighth-placed Chorley, who’ve won their last five games since a 6-1 home thumping from Rushall, visit the Turnbull Ground in the first half of an Easter double, this Saturday.

Town have beaten the Lancashire outfit twice already this season, with a 3-1 FA Trophy win at their Victory Park HQ and a dramatic 3-2 success at the same venue, three days after Christmas.

Williams can’t wait to get one over on his old Premiership rival Garry Flitcroft, who manages the former Conference club.“Obviously, we’re not taking anything for granted, Chorley have picked up some decent points over the last so many weeks,” he said.

“Garry Flitcroft’s a friend of mine and he wont want me to do the treble over him this year.

“I’m sure he’ll have [his] lads wound up.

“It’ll be a tough game, as it always is against Chorley.

“It’s always a good game of football too, but we’re looking forward to it, there’s an opportunity for us to do the treble and it’ll be great if we can do.”

Forward Graeme Armstrong (30) has netted twice against the Magpies and also fancies another crack at the weekend, with his ankle injury healing nicely, following two week’s rest.

“Chorley are quite a strong, physical side”, he said. “[We’ve had] two good results and two good performances, so hopefully we’re a bit of a bogey side for them.

“I trained on Saturday and Tuesday night, so i’ll hopefully be fully fit. We don’t like games being off at this stage of the season, but it was a blessing in disguise it being off [last Saturday] and for some of the rest of the lads.”

This week, the Northern Premier League announced a one-week extension to the season which means the Stafford Rangers away game, postponed on Saturday, will now take place on the first weekend of May, rather than this coming Thursday.

“[I’m] pleased because it takes away the strain of having the game - it would’ve been Saturday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday again, but it puts clubs in a situation where they have to pay an extra week’s salary as well - all in all from a game point of view it lightens the load a little bit,” Williams reflected on the extension.

Attention then turns to Frickley Athletic on Easter Monday, with a supporters’ bus leaving at 11.30am. There is a quiz in the social club on Wednesday, 8pm. Town are hoping to also welcome back centre-halves Alex White and Kev Burgess, after both trained this week, despite knee and back problems. Skipper Mark Robinson and midfielder Dave McTiernan are expected to shake off their ankle injuries, with Arjun Purewal playing through his shoulder pain.

The Blues draw their Easter Raffle after the Chorley game, in the clubhouse. If you want to buy tickets, contact organiser Eddie McNamee on 079698 12375 or email eddie.mcnamee@btinternet.com.

Admission is £9 adults, £5 concessions and £2 under 18s on Saturday, with under 16s admitted free with a paying adult. Kick-off on Saturday and Monday is 3pm.