Blues drop to third-bottom in second Easter loss

WHITBY Town dropped to third-bottom in the Unibond Premier Division after another West Yorkshire play-off chasing side grabbed victory on Monday.

Just three days after Good Friday's 3-2 loss at Bradford Park Avenue, Guiseley, thanks to a heavily disputed penalty, took all three points to leave Town in their lowest position since the turn of the year.

Manager Graeme Clark made two changes from Friday's team with Kevin Burgess, back in the defence at the expense of Sean Ross after completing a two-game ban, and brace-scoring substitute Michael Rae returning to the starting line-up in place of Tom Raw.

Guiseley, fresh from a 6-0 routing of Town's struggling rivals Worksop, were without regular goalkeepers Piotr Skiba and Aaron Ratchford- both sent-off in a 2-1 defeat to Hednesford, and both suspended for the trip up the A64. Bradford City youth keeper Matthew Convey was drafted in at short notice to debut.

An off-balance Leon Scott fired high over the top on 13 minutes, but it was Convey's opposite number, the vastly-more-experienced Dave Campbell who was busy early on, relying on winger Karl Charlton to stab off his own goal-line five minutes later to deny towering centre-half Danny Ellis.

Former Emley marksman Simeon Bambrook then slammed an angled drive across the face of goal. Good work at the other end from Danny Brunskill, then set up Rae, who drilled wide after some neat footwork on the edge of the box.

Brunskill then tested out on-loan teen Convey with an outraegeous chip from just inside the Guiseley half, but the ball dropped just wide of the rookie's right-hand post. Convey was finally called into action on the half hour mark, getting down well to clutch Scott's driven 20-yard effort.

Campbell then proved there's no substitute for experience, getting off his line quickly to save at the feet of prolific ex-Ilkeston striker Adam Muller. Meanwhile, more good Rae-Brunskill link-up play forced Convey save at the feet of the latter, with Brunskill chipping wide once again moments later, but from the relatively modest distance of 25 yards this time.

Guiseley then fired a strong warning shot across the Blues' sails when James Walshaw, so often a thorn in Town's side while at Ossett, was allowed to race clear but drilled his shot straight at Campbell who saved with his legs.

However, the hosts were again caught out two minutes before the break, this time by a fine Muller solo run. The lively front-man beat full-back Alex Janes down the Guiseley right and fired early across Campbell from an acute angle, with the ball flying into the far corner via the keeper's upper body.

It was a real sucker punch coming so close to the interval and with Whitby previously right in the game, though struggling to find the killer final ball to really test out the visitors' newest addition. Another problem was centre-half Danny Farthing, who recieved lengthy treatment after a first-half collision and was unsuprisingly subbed at half-time, with local lad Ashley Lyth on in his place.

The second period began scrappily with clear-cut chances at a premium. Combative midfielder Chris Bolder's unconvincing effort sailed high over the top just before the hour mark.

Whitby replaced the quiet Andy Thompson with pacey winger Sam Garvie, but manager Clark must've been regretting the decision when Bolder and opposite number Scott clashed once again after a number of earlier skirmishes. Referee Mr Coy from Durham failed to take control after several poor challenges from Bolder, including a likely-unsighted kick from the Guiseley man on Scott in the first half. This likely led to the two number eights going in full-blooded for a header with both desperate not to lose out. A sickening clash of heads forced both off, with the Blues now without a key midfielder after replacing one moments before- veteran assistant boss Lee Nogan took Scott's place.

On 67 minutes, Campbell's long punt up-field was nodded down by Brunskill, for Charlton to volley inches over the top. And at the other end, an opportunist 25-yard strike on the turn from James Hanson forced a fine tip over from the back-pedalling Campbell.

Garvie showed his skills and pace after tricking his way past at least one defender before seeing a powerful angled drive from the right-edge of the box deflected wide- the resulting corner was dealt with calmly by a powerful Guiseley backline.

Their stoicism was rewarded 15 minutes from time, albeit in controversial fashion. Blues' defender Richard Forster was dispossessed by a strong challenge by Walshaw, who then rounded Campbell but lost control of the ball before appearing to dive over the keepers outstretched arm. However, the nearby linesman saw something few others in the ground saw and flagged for a spot kick which was duly given by the referee.

Up stepped Anthony Lloyd, and the Lions' number two wrong-footed Campbell and slotted the ball comfortably to the keeper's right and into the net. Unusually, the Whitby keeper wasn't even booked for his alleged foul.

In truth, the away side then held out in relative comfort, though the Blues did threaten two minutes from time when more strong play from Brunskill ended up with a centre for Nogan, who half-volleyed a testing chance over the bar from 20 yards.

Whitby Town: Campbell, Burgess, Janes, Farthing(Lyth 45), Forster, Beadle, Thompson(Garvie 60), Scott(Nogan 65), Rae, Brunskill, Charlton. Subs not used: Raw, James.

Attendance: 404

Match Sponsor: Whitby & District Licensed Victuallers Association. Matchball Sponsor: North Yorkshire Law Solicitors.

Whitby Co-operative WTFC Man Of The Match: David Campbell.

Whitby Town 0 Guiseley 2