BLUE REVIEW: Great relief to take our place in the next round

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy
Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy

Whitby Town manager Chris Hardy’s weekly column.

It was more a sense of relief than anything else when we won at Winsford in our FA Cup replay on Monday evening.

A few different factors made things all the more difficult for us, with the travel, logistics and playing them in their own backyard taking its toll.

Going behind so early in the game didn’t help either, but unlike on Saturday where we tried to force it at times, we stayed patient, played our own game and as a result the chances came.

We spoke about needing a reaction from the first meeting with Winsford, and I think we got that.

On Saturday, we were cruising at 2-0 up at half-time and also well beyond that point, so ‘disappointed’ is definitely the word I would use to describe the outcome.

I think that we dominated the game and controlled it for large parts but unfortunately we conceded some soft goals.

We missed a good one-on-one chance at 2-0 which would have killed the game off. Then individual errors and a lack of concentration have allowed them to pull it back to 2-2.

At 3-2 I thought we’d done enough, but they’ve scored a worldy near the end. When you only have a one-goal lead, you’re always vulnerable to that kind of thing.

That said, I think we looked a better footballing side than Winsford, and as a result I think they tried to use every trick in the book to bring us down to their level in the replay.

Without meaning to sound disrespectful, they tried to even things up by being physical and attempting to bully us.

Sometimes when you are a young, footballing side like we are, you can lack steel, and while we might not have it in abundance, we showed on Monday that we have enough.

It demonstrated another side to our game, which is a big positive for us.

These lads showed that they won’t be kicked out of games and that they will stand up to sides like Winsford, keep playing, and eventually triumph.

An FA Cup run was near the top of my list of priorities at the start of the season, so it is very pleasing to be in the hat for the next round.

Spennymoor Town away is a pretty difficult draw, but the boys are in good form and champing at the bit at the moment, so we will go into that game, and those in the mean time, confident about our chances.

Mickleover visit us on Saturday, and barring Ben Askins who is out for the long term, I’m hopeful that we will have everyone available.

It’s another game that we go into aiming to take three pooints from.