Whitby Town manager Darren Williams was disappointed with his side’s below-par display in losing at home to Spennymoor last night.
Whitby were chasing the game from the moment ex-Blue Michael Rae put Spennymoor ahead early on and Williams said: “I don’t think we retained the ball well.
“We got a little bit out of sorts and there was no structure.
“I think we could have created more and that’s where our downfall was.
“The goals we conceded were a bit sloppy too.”
Williams was, however, encouraged with the amount of opportunities created from set-pieces and the standard of some of the football played. Graeme Armstrong had the first chance of the night for Whitby when he slipped his marker but sidefooted his left foot finish wide.
The County Durham side then took the lead when Whitby trialist keeper Paul Watson upended the dangerous Gavin Cogdon who beat him to a loose ball. Rae cracked the spot kick into the bottom corner, just past Watson’s reach, with 11 minutes gone.
However, the Blues were quickly on level terms. Craig James floated in a lovely free-kick awarded after a crude foul on Nathan Mulligan and the ball was flicked into the net by versatile former Cardiff City and Bradford City midfielder Lee Bullock, who signed for Whitby last night.
Whitby wasted a great chance on 24 minutes when, from one of several free-kicks conceded by the visitors in the first half, Mulligan found Armstrong unmarked at the back post but his downward header was blocked by a combination of keeper Peter Jeffries and the heel of Armstrong’s striking colleague Craig Farrell.
The Moor had a goal disallowed five minutes later as Cogdon slipped a neat ball through to Rae but the latter was flagged offside before firing home from an angle.
But 10 minutes before the interval, the visitors were in front – and what a screamer it was. Cogdon teed up the ball on his right boot and let fly with a tremendous strike which flew into the top corner, leaving Watson helpless and bringing deserved applause from all corners of the ground.
A fairly dour second half saw few moments of quality, with lots of huffing and puffing from Whitby but little in the way of creativity as they struggled past a well organised Spennymoor backline.
Tom Portas came close with a fizzing strike from distance that warmed Jeffries’ hands and when the ball ricocheted nicely for sub Steven Snaith, he sliced wide when well placed.
It was another substitute, Liam Henderson, who wrapped up the game for the moor, scoring on the break midway through the second half. Whitby were given a late lifeline, generously too as Farrell was deemed to have been fouled five minutes from time, and he got up to wrongfoot the keeper from the spot, but it was not enough.
Whitby Town: Watson, Hassan, Robinson (c), James, Burgess, Bullock, Dixon, Portas, Armstrong, Farrell, Mulligan. Subs: Williams, Bland, Snaith, Wysocki.
Town travel to North Ferriby on Saturday (3 Aug). A supporters’ bus leaves the Turnbull at midday but it is a minibus only, so you must book by calling chairman Graham Manser on (01947) 605921 or 07966 241344.
Whitby Town 2 Spennymoor Town 3