Whitby defeat to Pikes a wake-up call, says Robbo

Graeme Armstrong holds up the ball for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield
Graeme Armstrong holds up the ball for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield
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STEVE Baxter netted twice as the Blues were humbled on Tuesday at Pickering Town, a team playing two divisions below them.

Apologetic Whitby Town skipper Mark Robinson (31), speaking on behalf of the team, refused to make excuses for the scoreline.

Keeper Ben Escritt is beaten by one of Pickering's five goals in Whitby Town's 5-2 pre-season loss'picture: Brian Murfield

Keeper Ben Escritt is beaten by one of Pickering's five goals in Whitby Town's 5-2 pre-season loss'picture: Brian Murfield

He told the Whitby Gazette: “It wasn’t just a disappointing result, it was a disappointing performance, as far as we’re concerned.

“We let everybody down, we let ourselves down, we let Darren [Williams] down, Cammy [Dave Campbell], Dennis [Wheeler], we let the whole club down, to be honest.

“We’re just really disappointed after so many good performances in previous weeks – workrate, everything, the way we kept the ball- and it totally went out of the window.”

The Pikes, managed by former Whitby Reserves boss Jimmy Reid and including his sons Arron and Tom, who’ve both turned out at the Turnbull Ground, went ahead inside 11 minutes through Baxter.

But the lead lasted just three minutes, before Nathan Mulligan netted his sixth goal in five games to level.

However, errors at the back allowed Liam Salt and Carl Stewart to send the Northern Counties East Premier outfit, who start their season tomorrow, 3-1 up at half-time.

There was no let up in the second half as Joe Danby increased the lead just before the hour and despite Mike McNaughton’s own goal moments later, Baxter’s second, nine minutes from time, wrapped up an emphatic victory.

Robinson thinks the result could be a blessing in disguise and a wake-up call for the team.

“Last season, we had a really good run of results pre-season and maybe that gave us a false sense of security going into the season – we then only got five draws in ever so many weeks, which we knew wasn’t good enough. Hopefully it’s a kick up the backside and we’ll put that right starting tomorrow.”

Whitby Town: Escritt (Liversedge 46), Wilson, Robinson (c), Burgess, White, Portas, McTiernan, Williams, Armstrong (Harmison 65), Mulligan, Lambert (Snaith 65). Sub not used: Campbell. Attendance: 146

* The Seasiders visit old Northern League adversaries Guisborough Town to contest the Mickey Skinner Trophy, on Saturday (4 Aug).

Kick-off at Guisborough’s King George V Stadium is 3pm, with the Blues completing their friendlies a week later, when Bradford Park Avenue visit the Turnbull Ground.

Robinson will be playing against his hometown club and says he and his team-mates can’t wait to make up for Tuesday’s defeat.

“Everyone wants to get back on the pitch, they just want to put the wrongs right,” he said.

“All of us said we need to go home and have a good look at ourselves in the mirror and that’s including myself.

“It was just one of those nights and credit to them - they took all their chances.”

The management have come in for criticism online for fielding trialists in derby games, including the 4-2 reverse against another NCEL side Scarborough Athletic, but Robinson called on supporters to keep the faith.

“Trust in the lads we’ve got and trust in Darren.

“We’ve got to remember the end of last season and people forget that too quickly.

“We need the fans to stick by us, because they’re a massive part and a massive help to us in our survival push last season.

“The lads really appreciate that, stick with us and we’ll get it right on Saturday.”

Pickering Town 5 Whitby Town 2