DARREN Williams has challenged his Whitby Town team to bounce back from last weekend’s FA Trophy humbling when they return to Evo-Stik NPL action, against promotion-chasers Ashton United, on Saturday (17 Nov).
The Blues suffered a 7-0 stuffing at the hands of Blue Square North title challengers Guiseley on Saturday, their heaviest-ever in the competition.
Boss Williams – who apologised to the Whitby supporters who travelled to Guiseley to watch their side’s capitulation – wants to see a strong reaction from his charges, against a United team who are the league’s top scorers.
He told the Whitby Gazette: “It will be tough.
“Ashton are a good side, but we have pitched ourselves against the league leaders North Ferriby already, who we drew with.
“We have to right the wrongs that happened on Saturday.
“I can only draw on my own experiences, whenever anything like that happened to me in my career, I’m looking for the next game to put it right.”
Tameside outfit Ashton, managed by Danny Johnson, currently lie second in the NPL, six points behind Ferriby with a game in hand.
They also boast the division’s leading scorer in Aaron Burns, who has 14 league goals to his name, so far this season.
Williams also revealed he’d like to bring in new blood and encouraged an injection of cashflow.
“It’s difficult,” he admits.
“We are competing against some Northern League teams who have money to burn.
“We need to get the crowds back, but we also need for someone to put a little bit of investment in.
“It’s not that players don’t want to come to Whitby, it’s just the financial situation.”
Regardless, changes are inevitable, with Williams desperate to see defender Kevin Burgess recover from his foot injury, especially with Craig James missing for Saturday and another centre-half, Alex White, inflaming his knee problem.
“We will have to see what we can do, as in shuffling around and making changes,” the Blues’ player-boss (35) said. “We have a few injuries that we’re obviously concerned about – it’ll be another test, at this moment in time.”
Whitby threw away a two-goal lead in a controversial clash with the Robins at the Turnbull Ground last season.
Then-manager Tommy Cassidy was sent from the dugout as the visitors snatched a draw from the penalty spot in injury-time.
The Football Association even went on to deduct that point, eight months later, after a registration issue regarding winger Ross Gardner.
Town did grab some measure of revenge, winning 2-1 in the return, thanks to Ibby Hassan’s late strike.
After supporters continued backing the team for the full 90 minutes at Guiseley, despite the scoreline, Williams thanked them and hailed them as “fantastic” but also assured Blues followers that the result hurt his players too.
“I’m sure they’ll be fired up for it – the lads feel it more than anyone.
“The bus back was as quiet as any I’ve ever been on. It was a massive body-blow to them.
“But it’s happened, it’s been, it’s gone, we have to make sure we put it right on Saturday.”
Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground is 3pm, with admission set at £9 adults, £5 concessions, £2 under 18s and under 16s, accompanied by a paying adult, get in free.