Whitby Town blow two-goal lead

0
Have your say

Whitby threw away a two-goal lead for the second time this season, despite a different shape to Saturday’s side.

Player-boss Darren Williams had picked the same starting line-up for the past four games, but brought in debutant goalkeeper Mark Cook, defender Lee Bullock and winger Shane Henry, in a rare wing-back formation, for the first-ever visit of league-newcomers Barwell.

Kev Burgess gets forward and gets in an attack for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield

Kev Burgess gets forward and gets in an attack for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield

Williams was without midfield dynamo Tom Portas, due to a hamstring injury, with full-back Ibby Hassan hamstrung by a works conference.

The Blues supremo was perhaps persuaded to change system because of Barwell’s height. Williams revealed beforehand he’d be consulting friend and Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft about dealing with the Leicestershire side.

Any advice seemed to be working early on as Town started the stronger.

Adam Rundle’s edge-of-the box drive was well-saved, low to his right, by Liam Castle, after Craig Farrell used the offside Graeme Armstrong as a clever decoy to get in down the right and square for Rundle.

Barwell net from the spot against Whitby Town'picture: Brian Murfield

Barwell net from the spot against Whitby Town'picture: Brian Murfield

However, Armstrong was very much in-play on 21 minutes, when he put Whitby ahead. Rundle supplied the inswinging right-wing corner and it was the ex-Blyth striker who wheeled away after nodding past the angry Castle on the line, with the keeper feeling he was impeded.

Cook then blocked brilliantly, low to his left, one-on-one, from Luke Barlone, after Town’s back three lost possession. The former Harrogate keeper repeated his heroics later in the half, to deny Scott Lower.

Castle then got in on the act, at the other end, somehow blocking Farrell’s stooping header, with his legs, point-blank, after a speedy break from Henry.

Soon after the interval, Farrell turned provider, his free-kick was deflected into the path of Armstrong, who buried the ball as Barwell demanded an offside flag that never came.

Whitby's Graham Armstrong gets to grips with a Barwell opponent'picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby's Graham Armstrong gets to grips with a Barwell opponent'picture: Brian Murfield

Cook pulled off a fine double stop, catching the ball at the second attempt, before the visitors made it 2-1, with shades of Worksop last week, after Whitby were once again undone with a quick break.

Five-goal predator Danny Newton hit the left flank then squared for Connor Gudger to walk home.

The East Midlands outfit then levelled from the penalty spot, 13 minutes from time, with roles reversed.

It was Lower who went to ground in the Blues’ box, under Mark Robinson’s challenge, after a long run and Barlone who sidefooted home the resulting penalty.

It could have been worse for the Seasiders too, as Cook just made Kev Burgess’ backpass only to then smash his attempted clearance against Rich Lavery who panicked and headed downwards weakly straight into the keeper’s gloves.

In the final seconds of the fifth minute of injury time, Gudger blasted into orbit from spitting distance of the goal-line. Late on, Cook made way for teenager Shane Bland, after twice requiring lengthy treatment for heavy knocks when defending corners.

This is the fourth time already, this season, that Town have led but failed to win. The Blues also continue to chase their first home victory of the new campaign.

Whitby Town: Cook (Bland 90), Henry, Robinson (c), Burgess, Pell, McTiernan, Mulligan (Williams 81), Bullock, Armstrong (Snaith 76), Farrell, Rundle. Subs not used: Evans, Dixon. Barwell: Castle, Lower, Gudger, G Hadland (Albrighton 68), Hood, Lavery, Brehon, S Hadland (c), Barlone (Brown-Hill 86), Byrne, Newton.

Attendance: 262.

Whitby Town 2 Barwell 2