Burgess earns Blues a pivotal point

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WHITBY Town followed up Wednesday’s pivotal win at fellow strugglers Hucknall with a deserved draw against another Midlands club, play-off chasing Chasetown, thanks to Kev Burgess’ second-half leveller.

Boss Tommy Cassidy was delighted with his side’s efforts but felt they could have had more than a point.

“We should’ve won it - we were the better side in 90 minutes,” he said.

“I thought we played very well - the effort they gave me was brilliant.

“This team is 10 points clear of us and there’s no way they were better than us.”

However, a result seemed a long way away on nine minutes when the West Midlands outfit took the lead.

Good one touch passing saw the FA Trophy quarter-finalists dance through the visitors’ defence before Ben Jevons slid a falling volley beat Dave Campbell from just inside the box.

Tony Hackworth, playing as the lone striker for Whitby, should have evened the scores on 24 minutes when he strode clear but drilled unconvincingly straight at the legs of keeper Darren Acton.

Moments later, at the other end, Jevons beat Campbell to a long ball but fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

The lively forward was nearly made to regret his miss soon after when Jimmy Beadle held the ball up well on the left edge of the area before playing in Dave McTiernan, who dribbled inside and slammed against Acton’s right-hand post with the keeper beaten.

Chris Batchelor then slammed a ferocious effort narrowly over the crossbar from 25 yards after more good build-up play from the Seasiders.

The hosts always looked dangerous on the break and Richard Davies powered just over, before Whitby came agonisingly close to finding the equaliser.

A minute before the break, Batchelor lashed in another powerful drive from distance, that Acton did well to parry inches wide of Beadle following up.

As the interval approached, Chasetown again threatened when John Branch overlapped down the right but the full-back fired across goal and just wide as Leon Scott slid in to block.

Despite the hosts making two changes at the start of the half, Whitby took the initiative and started the stronger.

On the hour, good hold-up play on the edge of the box from Hackworth, with his back to goal, allowed Beadle to run on but slice well wide.

The visitors’ accuracy improved on 66 minutes but it took a centre-half to show them the way to goal. Burgess, who began his career up front at Middlesbrough’s Academy, reacted quickest when McTiernan flicked on Alex White’s left wing cross to bicycle kick past Acton from 12 yards.

Both sides missed gilt-edged chances to win the game in the last 10 minutes. For the home team, Danny Smith nodded wide at the far post and was soon replaced by Ramone Stephens - the scorer when the sides met at the Turnbull Ground.

Joe Cornforth then poked horribly off target after more strong hold-up play from Hackworth, before Cassidy looked to ensure his side held out as Ashley Lyth replaced Batchelor in a defensive move, five minutes from time.

However, it was one of Chase’s introductions, Andy Westwood, who came close with a minute remaining, heading fellow sub Stephens’ cross wide.

But in the final minute, Whitby had one last golden opportunity to win it when Scott found himself one-on-one with Acton, but the former Tamworth gloveman got down well to block.

Yet there was almost a big injustice with the last kick of the game, when despite a Chasetown handball, referee Mr Bingham awarded the hosts a free-kick but Campbell smothered low down from Jevons, to earn his side a point.

Whitby Town: Campbell, Leeson, White, Hassan, Burgess, Cornforth, McTiernan, Batchelor (Lyth 85), Hackworth (c), Beadle, Scott. Subs not used: Southern, Lambert, Hodgson, Courtney. Attendance: 405