Whitby Town ‘mist out’ in FA Cup drama

Dave McTiernan fires in Whitby Town's equaliser in Wednesday night's replay'picture: Brian Murfield
Dave McTiernan fires in Whitby Town's equaliser in Wednesday night's replay'picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town slipped out of the FA Cup to Northern League opposition for the second successive season after a poor display on a foggy night at the Turnbull Ground.

Wednesday’s replay showing “wasn’t a performance” in the words of angry player-boss Darren Williams.

Whitby keeper Shane Bland looks dejected after Wednesday's defeat'picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby keeper Shane Bland looks dejected after Wednesday's defeat'picture: Brian Murfield

“I didn’t say anything to the players at the end, I couldn’t.” he said. “For me, it’s disappointing, obviously as a manager, as a player, I’m disappointed for the people who turned out and the club as a whole.

“It’s a hard one to swallow – to say I’m disappointed is an understatement.”

Williams made one change from the side that drew the original tie at Shildon, on Saturday, with right-back Ibby Hassan available again and Matty Brown dropped to the bench with Lee Mason back in his preferred midfield role.

The visitors, fifth in the Northern League First Division, after just one defeat so far, lost striker Paul Connor in the opening five minutes, but had the quality of ex-Blue Michael Rae to replace him.

Rae tested Shane Bland early on, with the young keeper clutching the ball off a slick surface low to his left.

At the other end, Steven Snaith nodded over at the far post from Mason’s right-wing cross, while Bland had to gather a wet ball at the second attempt from Billy Greulich-Smith’s low drive.

As Shildon settled, Ben Wood brought another save low to his left from the ex-Middlesbrough stopper and moments later, the visitors had a penalty.

Lee Bullock slid in and was adjudged to have caught Greulich-Smith barely a yard inside the box. Rae stepped up but a weak effort was clutched, low to his left again, by Bland. The 19-year-old parried Emms’ awkward effort from the edge of the area before Town lost Dale Hopson to a foot injury, with the versatile Matty Waters taking his midfield spot on 27 minutes.

The Railwaymen steamed in to take the lead on 29 minutes. It was Rae’s driven left-wing cross that was poked in at the far post by Greulich-Smith. Craig Farrell hammered a central 20-yard free-kick high over the bar, before Emms produced a better effort from further out that Bland had to push wide.

Greulich-Smith nearly beat Bland on the turn from the fringes of the box but fired inches over, but Town found a way back in minutes before the break.

This time, the Blues broke quickly and Farrell laid back for Dave McTiernan to beat two players before slotting between Lewis Graham and his left-hand post.

The hosts then almost caught Shildon with a real sucker punch seconds before half-time. Hassan went on a foray forward from full-back and slammed a 30-yard piledriver barely over the bar. Rae had another great chance to strike for Shildon, two minutes into the second half, but hooked straight at Bland one-on-one after intercepting an awful Whitby ball infield. At the other end, Farrell badly miscued an attempted close-range sidefoot from Mason’s right-wing cross, before Mason skipped past two defenders and clattered the bar from the edge of the box.

So it was a little against the run of play when Rae finally found the target on 63 minutes, volleying a driven left-wing cross past Bland as he fell to the ground from 12 yards- Whitby, as on Saturday, were slow to close down the marksman. Within seconds, Rae should have wrapped things up but slammed well wide when again faced with just Bland to beat.

Richard Pell replaced the injured Lee Bullock in the centre of defence, while Brown came on for Mason in midfield. Shildon should have finished the Seasiders off, five minutes from time, only for Ben Wood to drag wide with Rae facing a tap-in unmarked at the far post.

As Williams threw Pell up front with three minutes remaining, Snaith sent a first-time 20 yard shot wide and right at the end, a loose ball dropped invitingly for Farrell at the far post but Graham pulled off his only save of the night to block bravely.

Attendance: 266