Whitby aiming for highest finish since 2006

Darren Williams will take his Whitby Town side to their best placing since 2006 should he take them up one more place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

The Blues welcome ailing former Conference side Stafford Rangers to the Turnbull Ground on Saturday in their final match of the season.

The game will see regular admission charges suspended for the day as fans ‘pay what they want’.

Williams, whose 11th-placed charges can finish as high as eighth, depending on other results, has asked fans to dig deep as next season’s chances may depend on it.

“Please give a decent amount because we’re building for next season,” he said.

“It’d be fantastic to have a big crowd on the day, it’s great to be at home for the last match.”

The Blues boss’ first task will be to replace 19-year-old keeper Shane Bland, who leaves in the summer to enrol on a US art scholarship at Savannah College, Georgia.

“It’s a great offer for him,” Williams said, joking that the gloveman may be allowed to take a penalty if Town were to be awarded one in his final game. “He’s only made two or three mistakes in the whole season and to get 15 clean sheets as a young kid in a league with some great strikers, is outstanding.

“It’s a great achievement for the club overall, for Shane and the lads in front of him.”

Bland’s predecessor Nick Liversedge is on the books at Premier League newcomers Burnley.

Town are also doing the business up front this year.

Their 7-0 Easter goal glut, at Blyth, took them to 80 league goals for the season and a formidable +17 goal difference, the best outside the NPL’s top five and the Blues’ best since their 1998 promotion season, should they avoid defeat on tomorrow.

Blues fans Andy Lever and Devan Robson are walking the 19 miles from Skinningrove to the Turnbull on Saturday morning to raise money for the club. The duo will be collecting at the game, which is a 3pm kick-off.

Any business interested in sponsoring a prize for the Christmas Draw should contact me on 07969 812375.’

There is a dominoes drive in the clubhouse tonight, starting at 8pm.

The Stafford game will be followed by the Blues’ end of season presentation night with casino tables in the clubhouse and free entry.

Supporters can also sign a special flag from the club for departing keeper Bland.

Bland was sponsored by users of the Whitby Town website forum www.whitby-town.com/forum.