Whitby remain without away win since October

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Whitby’s away day woes worsened last Saturday as they continue to search for a first win on their travels since October.

Third-bottom Marine came from behind to win this one, despite being reduced to ten men moments before their 86th minute winner.

Blues boss Darren Williams made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 at high-flying Buxton, a week earlier. Player-coach Lee Bullock replaced Richard Pell in the centre of defence- his first appearance since November’s 3-1 defeat to title chasers Ilkeston, and Robert Nolan made his first-ever Whitby start, up front, for James Brown.

Whitby started well and should have led when Lee Mason broke on the left edge of the box but keeper Matt Cooper saved well, while Steven Snaith’s volley was held by the Marine gloveman.

The Merseyside outfit parted company with manager Carl Macauley in the midweek prior to Saturday’s game, appointing defender Sean Hessey on a caretaker basis.

The usual new boss novelty seemed in evidence as the hosts, fresh from just one victory in 11, forced chances of their own, with Whitby keeper Shane Bland blocking brilliantly from Tom Peers.

However, it was the Seasiders who led as Lewis Codling handled in the box, seeing yellow for his trouble and Dale Hopson tucked away his fifth goal of the season, from the penalty spot, seven minutes before half-time.

But just as it seemed the Blues would go in ahead at the interval, they again conceded just before the whistle as they did in Derbyshire seven days earlier. It was Jamie Menagh’s free-kick and Liam Willis applying the finishing touch, a minute before the break.

Williams introduced versatile left-sided defender/midfielder Liam Shepherd for Bullock for the second half, but it was the Crosby club who had the better of it, only for Codling to pick up a second booking, seven minutes from time.

Instead of retreating though, the hosts pushed on and when Town failed to clear a Menagh cross, Lloyd Ellam popped up to control and slam past Bland with just four minutes left.

Shepherd stroked just wide late on, but it was Marine who held on for a crucial victory.

Bland told the Whitby Gazette: “We just gave two sloppy goals away really.

“We went one up then gave away a daft free kick on the edge of the box, we knew the lads on the wings had good deliveries on them and knew to keep them out of that area as much as possible.

“Then we conceded the free kick and we conceded a corner – there’s a bit of a scramble, I couldn’t see it and it went in, we were very disappointed to lose the game from two set pieces.”

The young goalkeeper offered no excuses for the result, adding: “You need to win those kind of games, like Saturday, we’ve got to get a result against them.

“They lost their manager and their backroom staff and you’ve got to take the opportunity to beat teams like that.”

Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan, Robinson (c), Burgess, King, McTiernan, Mason (Doran 73), Hopson, Nolan, Snaith (Brown 81), Bullock (Shepherd 46). Subs not used: Pell, Campbell (GK).

Attendance: 389.