Dave McTiernan’s spectacular first strike of the season helped Whitby Town to a 2-0 win at FrickleyAthletic on Bank Holiday Monday.
An equally eye-catching Jason Yates own-goal helped Town to their fourth double of the season.
Darren Williams’ men secured four points from their two Easter games with this derby success and had to do it without hot-shot Craig Farrell, for most of the match.
The Blues’ player-manager said it was precautionary when the striker limped off following a groin pull early on.
“You want to keep him on the pitch, but you’ve got to be thinking long-term.” Williams stated.
“I thought young Steve Snaith did a fantastic job, he held the ball up and bullied the Frickley centre-halves.
“It was always going to be scrappy.
“We played some good stuff at times, we were more direct and more creative in the areas we shouldve been. When we got hold of the ball and ran at people, we looked very dangerous.”
The Town boss picked an unchanged side for the relatively-short trip to South Elmsall, though might’ve been regretting his choice, as the former Colliery club started strongly.
No-one outside the top-nine have won more home games than the West Yorkshire outfit’s eight and they showed why, when only a brilliant full-length Nick Liversedge reaction save denied Jake Picton, inside eight minutes.
Snaith replaced Farrell on 13 minutes, but the action remained at the other end and only Jamie Wootton will know how he nodded wide from a great position, at the near-post.
Liversedge then smothered a 12-yard shot from the same player, as the hosts continued to look much the brighter.
On a solid but bobbly surface, Whitby took their time to get going. When they did, Kev Burgess saw his headed strike disallowed for a foul on keeper Jamie Green, while McTiernan’s stooping header set up Nathan Mulligan, whose goalbound drive was deflected over the crossbar by a covering defender.
Green then produced a stop to rival his opposite number when somehow getting across to push wide Mulligan’s free-kick, as it flew towards the top-left corner of the net.
McTiernan then saw a snapshot from the edge of the box blocked by Green, but the stocky stopper could do nothing to prevent Town’s terrific opening goal.
A corner was cleared only as far as McTiernan, around 20 yards from goal, with the midfielder instinctively steering the ball, first-time, into the roof of the net.
“It was a great finish”, Williams enthused. “He’s been on the verge of scoring and I know he’s been desperate to put one away- I’m happy for him.”
It was certainly a good time to break the deadlock, with just five minutes of the first-half remaining.
However, it was Frickley who again started the better, after the break.
It took an important touch from Liversedge to brush away James Burgess’ awkward cross-shot, while Graeme Armstrong did create a bright opening, but scuffed well wide from the edge of the box, at the other end.
The visitors need not have worried though as they wrapped up the points, with 20 minutes remaining.
The tricky Shane Henry got down the left flank and drilled across the six-yard box, where Yates somehow stumbled the ball into his own net, with surprising power.
However, instead of celebrating, Henry stayed on the ground, having to be helped off the field by Williams and physio Kenny Bolton, with what turned out to be an ankle problem.
As a result, travelling Town fans got another chance to see newcomer Glen Lane on Henry’s left flank.
But Frickley weren’t going down without a fight- Liversedge blocked well again from the unlucky Picton, then denied right-back Joe Wilcox, as the ball pinged around the Blues’ box.
Wilcox then curled narrowly wide, before substitute Gavin Allott should have pulled one back for the home side, with 10 minutes left.
The towering frontman had many scratching their heads on how he could be Athletic’s top scorer as he somehow blasted high over the bar when one-on-one with Liversedge.
Picton fired straight at the outstanding Whitby keeper, two minutes from time, before Mulligan almost had the last word, but Green held the ball well, from another powerfully-struck free-kick.
Whitby Town: Liversedge, Hassan, Robinson(c), Burgess, White(Purewal 86), McTiernan, Portas, Henry(Lane 71), Farrell(Snaith 13), Armstrong, Mulligan. Subs not used: Corker, Campbell(GK).