Late Hopson pen seals a point for Town

Blues top-scorer Dale Hopson netted a late equaliser from the penalty spot
Blues top-scorer Dale Hopson netted a late equaliser from the penalty spot
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Late drama at the Turnbull Ground ensured that Whitby Town earned a point and extended their unbeaten run to seven, with a 2-2 draw against Stafford Rangers.

Chris Hardy sacrificed Andrew May, instead opting for more physicality in Lee Bullock, in his only change from the Nantwich Town win.

It was the Seasiders who opened the scoring, in a close first half, after adopting a more direct approach.

Adam Gell sent the ball forward for Mikey Roberts to chase. The Blues striker was beaten to the ball by Adam Whitehouse, who held the ball but in process brought down Roberts in the area.

Dale Hopson, in search of his 25th of the season, stepped up from the spot, sending Whitehouse the wrong way.

The lead didn’t last long, with Brian Barton getting on the scoresheet.

A nothing ball from the visitors found its way through to the Rangers striker, with suspicions of offside. No flag was raised, with Barton rounding Bland and tapping home.

The second half spawned few chances, and didn’t kick into life until late on.

Stafford pushed men forward, and got their noses in front, on 87 minutes.

Whitby gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position. Heath swung a ball onto the penalty spot, towards the head of Kieran Morris, who headed home with space to do so.

The drama wasn’t over though, and Whitby found an equaliser just two minutes later.

Confusion in the penalty area saw the ball ricochet off a stray hand, with referee John Matthews awarding a second penalty.

Dale Hopson stepped up again, and obliged, despite Whitehouse guessing correctly on this occasion.

Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Bythway, Bullock, Gell, Snaith (c), Hopson, Roberts (Hume ‘80), Carson (May ’69), Bell. Subs not used: Robinson, Dixon (GK), Fryatt.