AN alarming second half slump by Whitby Town saw them go from a goal up to being swept aside by 10-man Bradford Park Avenue on Wednesday night.
Horrified boss Tommy Cassidy has now promised changes for Saturday’s home match against Mickleover Sports, branding the performance against Avenue as “an embarrassment.”
The visitors almost netted as early as the second minute as Matty James’ close-range shot looked to be looping into the top corner of the net, only for keeper Tom Courtney to brilliantly claw the ball to safety.
Three minutes later, Whitby man of the match Callum Martin almost put his side ahead in spectacular fashion when his shot from distance deflected on to a post.
But Tommy Cassidy’s boys didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock.
A deep floated ball into the box on 12 minutes was met by ex-Fylingdales FC hitman Jake Faichney who headed home for his second goal of the campaign.
Worse was to follow for Avenue when defender James Riley was rightly sent off for tugging back Andy Campbell, who had got free into a goalscoring position from Alex White’s superb pass.
The West Yorkshire side were reduced to efforts from distance which offered no threat to the Whitby goal, and the Blues looked far likelier to score.
Indeed, Martin went tantalisingly close with a vicious angled drive from Ibby Hassan’s lay-off which whistled inches wide with keeper James Coates beaten.
Skipper Mark Robinson was desperately unlucky on the stroke of half-time as he smashed a 25-yard free-kick on to the bar with ex-Sunderland man Darren Williams firing the rebound just wide of the near post.
Blues fans had every right to feel optimistic at the break after watching their side dominate large chunks of the first half.
But they hadn’t reckoned on the 10 men producing a second half display as impressive as Whitby’s was woeful in an incredible turnaround.
Alarm bells started ringing when a flurry of Bradford pressure culminated in a pinpoint right wing cross being headed home by James.
Sub Richard Marshall them almost embarrassed Courtney when his harmless looking cross looped over Courtney and back into the grateful keeper’s hands via the back post.
But as Whitby lost their shape, rhythm and confidence, it was no surprise when Aiden Savory outpaced the back four to slot home and put the visitors in front midway through the half.
Cassidy brought on Matty Tymon and Billy Blackford for Martin and Faichney in an attempt to freshen things up but the mistakes continued and the ideas seemed to dry up as the fightback left the Seasiders all at sea.
Captain Rob O’Brien made the game safe five minutes from time with a simple sliding finish after he pounced on more indecision at the back.
And Marshall capped off a miserable night for Whitby by adding a fourth deep into stoppage time.
Whitby Town: Courtney, Marron, White, Hassan, Burgess, McTiernan, Martin (Blackford 73), Williams (Leeson 63), Faichney (Tymon 71), Campbell, Robinson (c).
Whitby Gazette man of the match for Whitby Town: Callum Martin.