Town ready for Boxing Day cracker against rivals Blyth

Whitby Town v Blyth Spartans preview by Andrew Snaith

Whitby Town v Blyth Spartans preview by Andrew Snaith

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Over 50 years of rivalry continues on Boxing Day at the Turnbull Ground when third-placed Blyth Spartans visit Whitby Town, who sit fourth.

The Northumberland outfit slipped above the Seasiders, on goal difference, at the weekend, to really set up this historic North East clash.

Since the two clubs’ first meeting in 1964/65, Blyth lead 42 wins to 41, with Whitby winning just one of the sides’ last five encounters.

That was in Boxing Day 2014, when big centre-half Richard Pell, now ironically back at Blyth, scored the only goal in a last-gasp victory, in front of nearly 600 people at the Turnbull.

Blyth enjoyed a 2-0 win over Barwell, completing an early-season double over the Leicestershire outfit.

Spartans haven’t lost in the Northern Premier League since the 3-0 reversal at Warrington Town in October.

Managed by ex-Middlesbrough striker Alun Armstrong, Blyth finished second last season, losing out in the semi-finals of the play-offs, at home to Workington. They haven’t lost away, in the league, since 24th September.

Chris Hardy’s Whitby is likely to feature an unchanged 16, with only striker Anthony Hume having played previously for Blyth.

Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground, on Boxing Day, for the final game of 2016, is 3pm.

Admission is £10 for Adults, £6 for concessions, £3 Under-18s and free for under 16s, who are accompanied by full-price paying adults.

Supporters can still buy tickets for the Whitby Town christmas draw from the Co-op on Friday and during the Blyth Spartans Boxing Day clash at the Turnbull Ground.

The draw will be made in the clubhouse, after the game, at 6pm. The raffle has a £500 top prize.