Town hold on for point against resurgent reds

Town bombard the Workington goal during their 1-1 draw at The Turnbull Ground on Tuesday night. Pictures: Brian Murfield.
Town bombard the Workington goal during their 1-1 draw at The Turnbull Ground on Tuesday night. Pictures: Brian Murfield.
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Whitby Town’s unbeaten home run continues despite them being pushed back for the whole of the second half by a talented Workington side on Tuesday evening.

The Blues were good value for their half-time lead, but were relieved to end up with a point after their visitors produced a much-improved display after the break.

Town began brightly and re-called striker Mikey Roberts came close on seven minutes, firing wide from distance.

The Whitby forward’s opposite number big Nathan Waterston then did likewise from an acute angle, before the visitors caused all sorts of problems in a real scramble.

It was a left-wing corner met with a neat near-post header from Scott Allison and Joe McGee turned goalwards, only for Dan McWilliams to nod off the Whitby goal-line and Shane Bland to save with his legs from Matt Douglas.

The Workington pressure continued and Bland was forced to punch away from a testing free-kick and dived forward to smother Allison’s determined run and powerful low shot.

Whitby slowly started to find their feet and Kieran Weledji flashed an inviting ball across the face of goal, from the right wing, after powering forward from his own half, forcing goalkeeper Aaran Taylor to tip away low to his right.

The Blues then won a free-kick near the left touchline, some 20 yards from goal, around the half-hour.

Dale Hopson swung the ball to the near post where centre-half Luke Bythway nodded a downward header into the bottom-left corner of the net.

The Seasiders should have doubled their lead within five minutes after a slick move saw Roberts release Weledji down the right.

The defender’s pinpoint cross was headed towards the roof of the net by Matty Tymon, only for Taylor to brilliantly push over the crossbar from point-blank range.

Workington rallied and Wilson’s ferocious 25-yard drive struck team-mate McGee, while successive corners culminated in Allison’s low shot passing Bland’s post, with the Blues gloveman just about covering.

For the hosts, Roberts misdirected a diving header from six yards and the sides went into the interval with the score at 1-0.

The second half saw the away side really press both the accelerator, and their hosts.

Wilson saw his snapshot slid clear by Bythway, while at the other end, Taylor had to backtrack before claiming Hopson’s ambitious 30-yard chip.

Workington came agonisingly close to levelling seven minutes after the re-start.

The lively Conor Tinnion ended a bright run by clipping the top left corner of the bar from 18 yards, Bland punching away the rebound, and two quickfire follow ups were charged down on the right-edge of the penalty area.

Tinnion saw another effort blocked by the brave Blues backline, now sitting right on the edge of their own box.

McGee then sent yet another strike from distance inches wide of Bland’s left-hand post.

Workington were causing problems down the left flank and finally levelled, after good work from Tinnion.

A David Symington cross from that side, which was slid home at the near post by Waterston just six yards out.

The Reds pushed on but continued to fire wildly from 20 yards, testing the Turnbull Ground’s perimeter fencing and the windows of surrounding properties, as much as Bland’s goal.

Hopson, Town’s top scorer from midfield limped off eight minutes from time, Curtis Round taking his playmaker role.

But the Workington threat still loomed large and twice Allison headed wide, when well placed, from left wing crosses, before going down theatrically as Bythway dispossessed him in the penalty area.

The Cumbrians will be left wondering how they only picked up a single point as Whitby looked leggy, particularly after the break, but held out for a hard-fought point which keeps them fourth and unbeaten at home, this season.

BLUES BUS: Fans wanting to cheer the Blues on at the Skelmersdale game on Tuesday night can travel on a supporters’ bus, leaving from the Turnbull Ground at 1.30pm.

Contact chairman Graham Manser to book a seat on 07966241344.

Town are holding a quiz night on Wednesday at the clubhouse, 8pm start.

On Friday October 28, there will be a Halloween Party at the Turnbull Ground in aid of Whish.

For further information, contact Claire on 07917031800.

DON'T MISS: Two page spotlight on Town in this week's Gazette, including reports from Buxton and Workington, plus boss Chris Hardy's column.