Celtic tie is Blues’ reward for FA Cup win

Jamie Clarke meanders his way through the Droylsden defence'picture: Brian Murfield
Jamie Clarke meanders his way through the Droylsden defence'picture: Brian Murfield

WHITBY Town’s reward for their dramatic last-minute FA Cup win over Droylsden is a tough trip to Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic in the third qualifying round on 6 October.

Boss Darren Williams admitted it wasn’t an easy draw but said if the Blues tackle the game with the right attitude, they can go there and grab a result - just like they did pre-season against another side from the league above.

“We convincingly beat Bradford Park Avenue who are a very good side when we were gearing up for the new season,” he said.

“For me, Stalybridge are just another team.

“Hopefully I will get down to see them against Guiseley and it’ll be a great opportunity to have a look at them and see first hand what they’ve got.

“They’re in a nice position in their league but the FA Cup throws up some bizarre results on occasions.”

Blues were well in control at 3-1 against Droylsden, also from the Conference North, on Saturday until a freak 25-yard own goal from defender Ibby Hassan threatened to turn the tie on its head.

“We were coasting and I don’t mean that disrespectfully to our opponents,” said Williams, “but then Ibby lobbed the ball back and into his own goal and it put us on the back foot.

“You had to see it to believe it - Nick’s not the smallest of keepers.

“The way games have gone for us, we’ve been playing well but conceding late on and that was in the back of the lads’ minds.

“We conceded another off a scramble for 3-3 but I always felt we would get another opportunity as it was such an open game.”

That was exactly what happened as Nathan Mulligan, who earlier opened the scoring for Whitby, hit an 89th minute winner to sent the Turnbull into raptures and set up the clash at Stalybridge.

It extends Whitby’s unbeaten run to five games.

* Whitby v Droylsden match report and more pictures in Friday’s Whitby Gazette