CHRIS HARDY: Battling draw could be crucial in play-off push

Blue Review, with Town boss Chris Hardy
Blue Review, with Town boss Chris Hardy

Our draw at Stafford Rangers on Saturday could prove to be a good one come the end of the season.

If you judge the game on the first 45 minutes, it would seem to be two points dropped, but they came back into the game in the second half and we had to dig in and show different qualities to come away with the draw.

We obviously had a great chance to nick a goal in the first half when we won and penalty, and the way Dale Hopson has been banging them in, you’d have thought it was a banker.

But it wasn’t to be and we came away with a point.

I gave man of the match to Luke Bythway on Saturday.

Luke moved into the holding midfield role from his usual spot in defence, and I thought he did a great job.

The Whitby Gazette man of the match honours went to Lee Bullock, and I can see why they gave it to him too.

Everytime Lee comes into the side, he puts in a strong performance.

It’s priceless having Lee about the club, both in terms of his ability on the field and his influence off it from a management and coaching perspective.

At the time of going to press with this column, we were gearing up for our big North Riding Senior Cup semi-final clash against Middlesbrough at the Turnbull Ground.

Fingers crossed we’ll have come away with the win and a place in the final, but we’re under no illusions of the size of the task.

They’ll be a very strong team with a lot of quality and it’ll be a big task for us to beat them.

After Thursday night’s game we then go into a difficult game on the road at Nantwich on Saturday.

One of my first games in charge of Whitby Town was at Nantwich and we managed to come away with a win, so it’s a successful stomping ground for me and hopefully that continues with a result on Saturday.

Kieran Weledji is struggling with a knock he’s had for a couple of weeks now, and Saturday may be too soon for him.

Matty Tymon will be serving the second of his three-match suspension.

Danny McWilliams has a slight knock, but he should be fine to play, and we’ll welcome skipper Steven Snaith back, which is clearly a huge boost for us.

We’re not in a rush to blood new signing Ryan Caulfield.

There’s no hurry with him. He will get his opportunity before the end of the season and then the rest will be up to the lad himself.

Thanks for reading

Chris