Blues aim to bounce back at Ilkeston

Whitby have three away games in eight days starting with Ilkeston on Saturday as the Blues seek to keep their surprise promotion challenge on course.

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 12:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:27 am
Whitby Town play Ilkeston tomorrow and face Guisborough in the NRCFA Senior Cup on Wednesday

The Derbyshire side were in crisis at the start of the season with a transfer embargo enforced and fixtures suspended until they could prove to the Evo-Stik League that they had the finances to pay previous debts.

The NPL Premier's 20th-placed club gave Chris Hardy's men a scare when the sides met at the Turnbull Ground, in September.

The Seasiders secured a 2-1 win after top scorer Dale Hopson struck early, but required Matty Tymon's header to seal the victory after Rory Coleman hammered in a spectacular 25-yard free-kick equaliser.

Hardy welcome back centre-half Luke Bythway, who passed a late fitness test, on Tuesday and who will come back in contention for Saturday's squad.

Midfielder Steven Snaith completes his four match suspension next Wednesday night (November 30) when Guisborough Town host Whitby, in the North Riding Senior Cup.

Whitby boast a number of former Guisborough staff, including manager Hardy, goalkeeper/coach Danny Dixon, glovemen Shane Bland and James Dawson (who is still on loan with the Priorymen), likewise defender Jamie Poole, with Dan McWilliams, Callum Martin, Andrew May, Adam Gell, Mikey Roberts, Anthony Hume and Bythway all turning out for the Northern League First Division strugglers.

With just 10 points, Steve Dowling's Guisborough find themselves bottom of the Northern League's top tier, two levels below the Blues.

Despite a return to his former club, Hardy is likely to rest several players, as he did in the League Cup recently.

Assistant Lee Bullock, striker Hume, and on loan Hartlepool United pair James Blackford and Connor Smith should all figure. Kick-off is 7.45pm and the result must be decided on the night. It's Whitby's first game in the competition since 2010.