Whitby Town player-manager Darren Williams has called on fans to pack the Turnbull Ground for the club’s Christmas double, next week, starting with the traditional Boxing Day clash against old rivals Blyth Spartans.
Town and their former Northern League adversaries have 39 wins apiece since first meeting in 1964-65 and Williams wants home advantage to count on Thursday after a string of poor home attendances.
“I’m completely miffed”, he told the Whitby Gazette.
“We’re doing well, within touching distance of the play-offs and while results at home haven’t been great, performances have been.”
“It’s our derby game, each set of fans wants to get one over the other and it’d be nice to get more people through the door,” the ex-Premier League star added. “Not just from a financial point of view, but from the team’s point of view. I’m disappointed for the lads as we’ve been playing well.”
The Blues, who trail fifth place by five points, picked up just their second home league win against Droylsden, though they’ve also only been beaten twice at the Turnbull, after a raft of draws.
Fresh from back-to-back wins, the Seasiders start their busy festive campaign tomorrow at second-bottom Stafford Rangers, keen to dole out more of the treatment given to Droylsden, last weekend.
Town have a good record against the former Conference club with three wins and a draw from four past meetings. Defender Ibby Hassan scored a memorable 30-yard screamer against the West Midlands outfit, in a 4-0 win at the Turnbull last April, with the Seasiders completing a double with a 1-0 victory in the return amonth later, thanks to Mark Robinson’s penalty.
But despite their hosts’ lowly position, Williams is adamant there can be no complacency from his side.
“There are no easy games”, he said.
“Teams pull out results no matter where they are in the league. You have to earn the right to win games. It’s a big ask of the lads, but it’ important we try and get more points.”
Williams won’t be drawn on speculating how many points would take a play-off place, however.
“If you give yourselves a target points tally, then that can negatively affect the players.”, he said. “We’ll just take each game as it comes and we want to win every game.”
The Blues boss will have midfielder Dave McTiernan available again after a three-match suspension and Craig Farrell is battling to recover from his groin injury.
“Faz is on the fringes again.”, Williams revealed. “So it’s all looking good, though I want to stick with the side that’s winning games.”
A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground for Stafford this Saturday (December 21) at 8.30am.
Places are still just £10 each.
Admission remains £9 for adults at the Turnbull Ground on Boxing Day, it’s £5 concessions and £2 under 18s.
Under 16s get in free, when accompanied by a paying adult. Kick-off for both games is 3pm, with the Blues also at home 48 hours later, on Saturday December 28, when Matlock Town visit.
There is a dominoes drive in Whitby Town clubhouse on Friday (20 Dec) at 8pm.