Blues hit by Ram-raid

Whitby Town endured another night to forget when they lost at fellow strugglers Ramsbottom United
Whitby Town endured another night to forget when they lost at fellow strugglers Ramsbottom United

Whitby’s woes continued with a heavy defeat at resurgent bottom club Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night.

The 4-1 loss means the Blues have now won just once in 16 league games and leaves them five points adrift of safety in the Evo-Stik Premier Division standings.

Manager Darren Williams made three changes from the side that lost 3-1 at West Midlands side Rushall Olympic, three days earlier.

Right-back Callum Martin returned with Richard Pell absent and Town adjusting to a back four, fit-again French midfielder Thibault Charmey replaced Liam Shepherd, while Lee Mason’s work commitments meant a return for Matty Waters up front.

However, it was the Rams’ on-loan Oldham Athletic strikers Jack Tuohy and Jordan Bove causing all the problems and they went ahead inside six minutes.

Max Harrop’s pass looked to have found Tuohy in an offside position, but the flag stayed down.

Keeper Shane Bland then looked to have claimed the ball, only to drop it back into Tuohy’s path, the forward slotting into the empty net.

Charmey’s bad luck then returned, this time he was forced to hobble off with an Achilles problem, Shepherd taking his place.

Harrop then chipped a free-kick inches over the Whitby crossbar from the edge of the D, but soon after, an even better lob was to double the home side’s advantage.

On the half-hour, Town were caught out again, Bland barely six yards off his line, but former Curzon Ashton midfield man Alex Meaney somehow got the ball up and over the ex-Middlesbrough gloveman from the edge of the area.

Tuohy then came close, eight minutes before the break, amid complaints against marker Kieran Weledji for a possible foul, the teenage number 10 swivelled and shot inches wide of Bland’s left hand post from 12 yards.

With Williams’ team talk still ringing in their ears, Town emerged for the second half with renewed intent.

Just two minutes in, Martin’s first-time driven cross from the right was slid goalwards, at the far post, by Mikey Roberts, only for goalkeeper Grant Shenton to save with his legs.

Bland did likewise to deny Bove at the other end, before a killer third goal, seconds later.

The Town keeper managed to parry a right-wing cross, only for Harrop to pick up the loose ball and pick out the unmarked Sam Grimshaw to nod home at the far post.

Undeterred, Whitby shot back and Prince Hayward was caught the wrong side of Roberts and hauled down the Seasiders’ top scorer.

Roberts dusted himself off and sent Shenton the wrong way from the spot.

This seemed to boost the visitors and within two minutes, Ryan Brobbel drilled a right-wing cross for Roberts, who rounded Shenton, only for Ryan Gibson to punt away, with strong suspicions the ball was already behind the goal line.

Town protests were ignored and Brobbel then had a chance, volleying low with Shenton diving full length to clutch and the busy keeper denying the same player, in similar style, seconds later.

Playing on the break, the hosts, re-invented under new boss Garry Vaughan, finished the contest, 16 minutes from time.

Substitute David Kuba-Kuba crossed from the right for Tuohy to drill under Bland.

In the closing stages, Ramsbottom were reduced to 10 men as Bove was dismissed for clashing with Adam Gell on the halfway line.

But it was too little too late against the strugglers who follow up draws against promotion chasers Blyth Spartans and Mickleover Sports with a first win of the season.

Williams gave a late debuts to new striker Matty Wyke, a former Middlesbrough prospect, and midfielder Josh Keogh.

Speaking after the game, Williams told the Whitby Gazette: “The performance was very good, at times. We created chances and should have scored more.

“The goals conceded were not good enough and individual mistakes cost us the game after we started really well.

“We are a good side going through a tough time with mistakes and injuries but I will turn this around.”