Blues aim to build on victory

Whitby Town defender Ben Askins has suffered another injury setback
Whitby Town defender Ben Askins has suffered another injury setback

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy is demanding that his side build on their first win of pre-season when they entertain Bishop Auckland on Saturday.

After a trio of defeats, the Blues grabbed their opening victory of the summer when they overcame Marske United 2-0 on Tuesday evening.

And the Town chief is eyeing more of the same when the Northern League Division One outfit visit the Turnbull Ground for a 3pm kick-off.

“While results are not the be all and end all in pre-season, it’s certainly important to get into the habit of winning games, so I was pleased with the victory over Marske,” Hardy said.

“There have been a few periods of decent football from us in previous games, but we produced a consistent level of performance on Tuesday night, which is why we won the game.

“We controlled the tempo from start to finish and dominated both possession and chances.

“We are looking for a continuation of this when we play Bishop Auckland as performing consistently is the key for us.”

A trip to Pickering Town follows Saturday’s clash with Bishop Auckland, and the club are providing transport to Mill Lane for the game which kicks off at 7.45pm.

The bus departs the Turnbull at 5pm and places are limited, so anybody wishing to book a seat must contact chairman Graham Manser on 07966241344.

One Town player who definitely will not be involved at Pickering, or for the forseeable future, is centre-half Ben Aksins.

The former Doncaster Rovers man, who joined Whitby on a permament deal ealier this summer, pulled up during the warm-up before last weekend’s game at Guisborough with what appeared to be a tear to his left hamstring.

He was still recovering from a previous problem and, as a result, was being used sparingly by Hardy in pre-season but now faces months on the sideline.

“We’re waiting on a scan to reveal the full extent of Ben’s injury, but we fear it is quite a serious one,” Hardy added.

“I think he is looking at quite a long spell on the sidelines. Hopefully we’ll have him back playing during the second half of the coming season, but until we know exactly how bad this injury is, we can’t say too much more than that.

“Ben is a player with great credentials and it’s a big blow to lose him. We are already assessing our defensive options as we look at how we can cover his absence.”