RFC up in February as late goal decisive

Whitby celebrate a late winner.
Whitby celebrate a late winner.

Whitby RFC clinched back-to-back promotions after a dramatic finish to Saturday’s second division game.

It looked like the champagne would have to be put on ice after the Whitby side were being held 2-2 at Snainton with time running out.

Missing the ever-impressive Mikey Kilpatrick and top-scorer Paul Jobling leaving the field through injury early doors, boss Ste Mothersdale said it looked being on of those days.

Paul Jobling’s last action before leaving the field was curling a corner in which the Snainton keeper gathered and after what seemed like a foul from Dave Welham, he dropped with the ball behind the line to give Club a fortunate lead on ten minutes.

Five minutes later, it was 2-0 with Purvis and Richardson combining well before laying the ball out wide to Damon Craig, whose inch perfect cross was met by Marc Usher who headed home.

At the other end, Gale saved well when Snainton were one- on-one.

The second half began and when Club lost Benn Sullivan with a knock, Snainton deservedly pulled one back.

A free-kick wasn’t dealt with at the back post and was prodded home.

Club were searching for that crucial third – Richardson, Purvis, Craig all hit shots from distance but disaster struck in the 86th minute when Snainton levelled.

Sloppy defending at the near post from a free-kick allowed the ball to be superbly volleyed home and looked like denying Club promotion for at least another week.

But the Whitby side dug deep and found that bit of magic. Phil Spencer was played in down the left he beat his man to the by-line and pulled back to Damon Craig, who smashed home through a crowded box to spark wild celebrations with the last kick.

Mothersdale told the Whitby Gazette: “I’m really proud of the lads today. We didn’t play well at all and Snainton deserved a point at least.

“We got a bit of luck but we created that with our hard work and pulled it out the bag.

“As soon as they levelled, our eagerness to get forward and get the winner so late is something I’ve drummed in – to go to the end and win.

“It was Dave Welham who carved out the first goal, who I built the team around.

“My first signing, Marc Usher, scored the second and longest-serving player Damon Craig scored the goal that took us to the top flight so I’m absolutely delighted.

“Usher was man of the match and Craig also played well. We have four games left where we will do our best to try to win the league.”