More than 1,000 pack in for Blues' clash

STRONG winds meant the first-ever four-figure Unibond League crowd at the Turnbull Ground had to settle for a goal-less draw on Saturday.

An estimated 750 fans made the trip across the Pennines to back the Manchester United supporters' club, but their first visit to the town saw them greeted with freezing gales which battered the Yorkshire coast.

As a result, flowing football was at a premium but both sides, to their credit, worked patiently to keep the ball on the immaculate playing surface prepared by groundsman Eric Wilson.

Town were bidding to extend their unbeaten league run to nine matches, but the visitors themselves were in the midst of a decent run, with just one defeat in six matches.

Indeed, it was FC United who inflicted Whitby's last UniBond League defeat when the sides met at Bury's Gigg Lane in August.

The Seasiders were unchanged from the side which ended Guiseley's unbeaten league run in midweek, however it was United who threatened first when Danny Warrender's weak effort from distance was easily gathered by Nick Liversedge.

On 18 minutes, Simon Garner's left wing free-kick was directed wide by Danny Williams arriving late at the far post.

Whitby came close for the first time when in-form Jimmy Beadle nodded narrowly over the top from a good position after a series of deflections favoured the home side.

Just before the break, Beadle, who had four goals in five outings going into the match, tried a trademark drive from range which flew narrowly off target.

The Seasiders kept up the barrage with successive corners culminating in a United defender having to clear off his own goal-line.

The second half saw Whitby start as they'd ended the first with Michael Rae using his strength to hold off a defender as he battled into the area, but could only scuff a shot straight at United keeper Sam Ashton.

Ashton's opposite number was called into action on the hour mark. It took a great reaction save from Town keeper Liversedge to keep out Jerome Wright's goalbound volley.

The rebound was then deflected past the near post by covering Whitby defender Craig Bishop.

FC looked the more likely side to break the deadlock as the match wore on and came close on 75 minutes. It was Garner who came forward from his left-back position.

The Lancastrians' number three took on and beat three or more Whitby players before miscontrolling when through on goal and allowing Liversedge to claim.

Whitby's sole change came on 82 minutes when striker Tom Raw left to loud applause and was replaced by veteran forward Lee Nogan.

However, the action was all happening at the other end and United should really have won the game with just five minutes left.

Garner's pinpoint free-kick to the far post fell perfectly into the path of skipper Dave Chadwick, who somehow let the ball skim off the top of his head from point-blank range, when any kind of firm contact would have brought the winning goal.

As it was, Adam Carden's ambitious 25-yard effort gratefully caught by Liversedge two minutes from time was the last action of a decent game considering the overhead conditions.

Both sets of supporters were also deserving of credit for providing a superb atmosphere. Many Blues followers were disappointed to see the ever-popular Danny Brunskill left on the subs' bench on his return alongside teenage winger Sam Garvie.

However, both should have the chance to cause their bosses a welcome selection headache ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy trip to Stocksbridge with a good display at Pickering Town tonight.

Whitby Town: Liversedge, Burgess, Bishop, Lyth, Forster, Beadle, Huggins, Hackworth, Raw (Nogan 82), Rae, Scott. Subs not used: Brunskill, Brumwell, Garvie, Campbell.

Attendance: 1,079

Match sponsor: Autocool Radiators. Matchball sponsor: Rainham Industrial Services Ltd.

Whitby Co-operative WTFC Man of the Match: Jimmy Beadle.

Result: Whitby Town 0 FC United of Manchester 0