Whitby Town tumbled out of the League Cup last night after a bad start saw them slip to a three-goal deficit from which they never recovered.
Town had also found themselves 3-0 down away to Darlington in the previous round of the Doodson Sport competition, before battling back to win on penalties, but on Wednesday, it wasn’t to be.
Boss Darren Williams remains positive, despite his side’s poor recent form and wants his side going into the new year in the top 10 of the EvoStik Premier, to give them a shot at the play-offs.
Inside five minutes, the Seasiders were caught on the break as the Steel City side were left with three against two and Ashley Longstaff curled past keeper Shane Bland from the edge of the penalty area.
Six minutes later and the South Yorkshiremen doubled their advantage as Kieran Walker nodded home a left-wing corner at the near post.
Warren Burrell fired straight at Bland and at the other end, Lee Mason slammed just wide of keeper Jake Eastwood’s left-hand post.
However, the visitors effectively clinched it on 20 minutes as Bland spilled Burrell’s awkward 20-yard free-kick and Longstaff stroked the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Bland then smothered Ioan Evans’ low shot and Town did find the net, after a scramble, only for Matty Waters’ point-blank finish, from a right-wing corner, to be ruled out for a foul.
The same player then directed a free header wide from six yards, after James Brown flicked on. Dave McTiernan, who had a quiet game and was substituted at the break, hooked past Eastwood’s left-hand post, when just inside the penalty area.
The Sheffield keeper then reacted well to touch over from a left-wing near-post corner.
Niall Doran replaced McTiernan for the second half and Blues had the ball in the net for a second time, within seven minutes of the restart, only for Lewis Clarkson to be penalised for offside.
Clarkson, on loan from Bradford City and making a first start for Town, then combined with Doran in a neat move, which saw the winger upended by Eastwood as he shot wide.
Just like in the Darlington game, skipper Mark Robinson was given the chance to reduce Blues arrears from the penalty spot, but Eastwood redeemed himself by saving a central spot-kick, low to his left.
Brown, on his home debut, then flicked on beautifully, before receiving the ball back from Doran, but dinked a deft shot over Eastwood and wide.
The ex-Hartlepool striker hooked just over from 25 yards, before Mason finally struck on 73 minutes, from the left edge of the area, with an angled shot across Eastwood and inside his left-hand post.
Steven Snaith, on for Clarkson, sent a 25-yard potshot narrowly wide, with eight minutes left, but the world’s oldest football club made sure, deep into injury time, with another quick break that ended with sub Joel Purkiss clipping neatly around Bland with Sheffield’s last kick.
Whitby Town: Bland, Shepherd, Robinson (c), Pell (Hassan 70), King, McTiernan (Doran 46), Mason, Hopson, J Brown, Clarkson (Snaith 70), Waters. Subs not used: Burgess, Williams.
Co-operative Whitby WTFC man of the match: Dale Hopson.
Whitby Town 1 Sheffield 4