Bland's delight at Whitby Town milestone appearance
Shane Bland made his 250th appearance for Whitby Town in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Hyde United, an incredible achievement for someone who is still only 25.
Throughout his two spells at the club, Bland has been a popular figure amongst Blues’ supporters and has been a standout performer in every season played at the club.
Following the game at Ewen Fields, Bland spoke of his delight at reaching such a big milestone while also taking time to reflect on the impressive triumph over the Tigers.
“It’s massive achievement for myself,” said Bland.
“I think it’s really good to get to that milestone at my age.
“The performance at Hyde topped it all off for me and the lads were superb to get such an impressive victory.
“We knew it would be a difficult game as conditions were tough so we had to dig in at times but it was wrapped up well as Paul Blackett scored late on.”
The Town shot-stopper was also happy with the performances of his defenders who protected his goal well, particularly in the second half of the game.
While also doing their expected jobs, the defensive line-up also began to create Whitby’s attacking transitions which led to Blackett being played in on goal on several occasions.
“We knew that we had to defend the balls being put into the box,” Bland stated.
“We also had to block crosses out wide before they came into the area but this was only really in the second half as they hardly got into our half in the first period of the game.
“Overall we defended really well and we know that if we do that consistently we’ll be winning games so I’m really happy with how they performed.”
The goalkeeper did especially well in the second half as he had a difficult time with his kicks due to the windy conditions getting hold of the ball in the air.
Despite this, Bland controlled them to the best of his ability and was faced with little problems in the end and the Seasiders saw out the victory.
“It was difficult,” Bland admitted.
“In the first half we knew that we just had to knock things on to get our two strikers in behind and I thought we did that really well which is pleasing.
“In the second half we knew it would be a lot tougher as the conditions were pretty bad and they got even worse when the rain came as it’s in your face.
“It wasn’t pretty but we came away with the three points and a clean sheet.”