After defeat in Wales to fourth-placed Colwyn Bay, the Blues’ face another promotion chasing outfit in Matlock Town and 25-goal striker Ross Hannah at the Turnbull Ground this Wednesday.
23-year-old Hannah, a junior with both Sheffield Wednesday and United, has struck nearly half of his team’s 54 league goals this term and netted two hat-tricks in his last four games!
He grabbed the league’s Golden Boot last term and has top-scored for Mark Atkins’ men every season since signing from neighbours Belper Town in 2008.
The Derbyshire outfit currently sit third in the Evo-Stik Premier and host the Seasiders in the return fixture at the end of the month.
They arrive in fine form, winning all six of their games last month and extending their unbeaten run to seven with a draw against Northwich Victoria on Saturday.
At the other end, only Worksop Town and FC Halifax have conceded fewer than Matlock’s 33 in 29 games, including just four from their last seven outings.
Despite having yet to win at the Gladiators’ Causeway Lane ground, Whitby have a good record against them at the Turnbull with a four match unbeaten run going back to 2006.
Manager Tommy Cassidy is unfazed by the 23-point gap between the sides and insists his side will play to win. He told the Whitby Gazette:
“If we play like we did in the first half at Colwyn Bay for the full 90 minutes on Wednesday night, we’ll be all right.”
Cassidy will again be without skipper Tony Hackworth, who is targeting Saturday’s home game with Bradford Park Avenue for his return from an ankle ligament and heel injury.
Forward Ash Davis is still suffering from a groin strain and winger Dave McTiernan completes a three-match suspension.
If successful, it would also be Whitby’s first home win over a side from the top-half of the league this season.
Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground on Wednesday night is 7.45pm, with admission still just £7.50 for Adults, £4.50 Concessions and £2.00 Under 18s.