Whitby Town unbeaten run goes on

Whitby's Craig Farrell (right) stretches to block a Buxton clearance'picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby's Craig Farrell (right) stretches to block a Buxton clearance'picture: Brian Murfield

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Whitby Town drew their fourth match out of five, on Saturday, despite Dave McTiernan’s second-half header, once again, putting them ahead, at Buxton.

The unbeaten Seasiders have led in four games this season, drawing the other 0-0, but individual errors have cost them dear, with Lee Bullock the latest to be caught out.

Despair for Whitby as Buxton snatch away their lead and deny them two points'picture: Brian Murfield

Despair for Whitby as Buxton snatch away their lead and deny them two points'picture: Brian Murfield

Darren Williams opted for the same starting 11 that drew both Bank Holiday games last week and the visitors had a couple of early openings.

Veteran keeper Andy Warrington smothered Graeme Armstrong’s tame 12-yard effort, before Armstrong came closer with a header narrowly wide, from Nathan Mulligan’s seventh-minute free-kick.

At the other end, Grant Black crossed for former Frickley frontman Lee Morris to nod wide, while Armstrong forced a full-length Warrington stop, with a downward header of his own.

On 17 minutes, neat one-touch play from the hosts ended with Leon Osborne chesting down and Craig King firing low, but bringing a comfortable save from Shane Bland.

Buxton force an equaliser past Whitby keeper Shane Bland'picture: Brian Murfield

Buxton force an equaliser past Whitby keeper Shane Bland'picture: Brian Murfield

The Peak District hosts suffered a blow on 27 minutes when on-loan Chesterfield centre-half Jack Broadhead, was replaced by left-back Charlie Johnson, with the diminutive Jamie Green moving inside.

Town looked to take advantage, improving as the half wore on.

McTiernan’s inswinging left-wing cross was flicked on by Kev Burgess, but just too high even for towering Richard Pell, arriving at the far post.

Then Tom Portas had an ambitious 30-yard shot caught by Warrington, while Adam Rundle’s pinpoint centre was headed across goal by Mulligan, but Warrington got down well to clutch ahead of Armstrong.

The busy 37-year-old gloveman, who played alongside Williams, on debut, in York City’s famous 3-0 League Cup win over Manchester United, in 1994, was called upon again, moments later.

Portas beat Derek Niven on the right-edge of the box, before lashing in an awkward drive that the veteran did well to tip round his right-hand post.

Mulligan’s snapshot on the run was then deflected just wide, and Buxton threatened once more, just before half-time, though Ash Palmer’s controlled 18-yard bicycle-kick was straight at Bland.

Whitby remained on top, into the second half, as Armstrong’s shot on the turn and McTiernan’s follow up were twice charged down by the legs of Palmer, while Pell came close with a stooping close-range header.

Buxton introduced their leading all-time goal-scorer Mark Reed, for Morris, on the hour, but the first strike was at the other end as Town grabbed the lead, on 67 minutes.

Portas was cynically blocked off in full flow by Black and Mulligan’s resulting free-kick saw McTiernan beat Warrington in the air, to head home from six yards.

Shane Henry replaced Rundle on the left flank, but it was Williams’ other change that would bring scrutiny - the impressive Pell had been replaced by Bullock, around the hour mark and it was the new man who made a crucial mistake, with 14 minutes left.

A routine right-wing ball from Black was misjudged by Bullock, who headed straight up in the air and Reed nipped in to nod past Bland.

This boosted Buxton who bossed the closing stages - King blasted three efforts off targets, with the closest being a powerful snapshot that flew a couple of yards wide of Bland’s right-hand post.

When he wasn’t teeing up King, Osborne lashed in a couple of shots himself, but there was an air of desperation as he failed to hit the target.

Buxton: Warrington, Black, Green, Istead (c), Broadhead (Johnson 27), Palmer, Stevens (Thornhill 75), Niven, Morris (Reed 59), Osborne, King. Subs not used: Wilson, Stanway(GK).

Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan, Robinson (c), Burgess, Pell (Bullock 60), McTiernan, Mulligan, Portas, Armstrong (Snaith 87), Farrell, Rundle (Henry 75). Subs not used: Dixon, Cook (GK). Attendance: 284

Buxton 1 Whitby Town 1