Blues pegged back by Rushall

Whitby Town gained another point in their hunt for the play-offs, after Dale Hopson's second half goal was cancelled out just five minutes later, thanks to a Craig Bannister header.

Saturday, 11th March 2017, 5:38 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:11 am
Whitby Town report

Chris Hardy was forced into a solitary change from Tuesday’s win over Spennymoor Town, with player/Assistant Manager Lee Bullock slotting in, to make his first league start of the season, replacing the work-tied Luke Bythway.

It was the visitors however that looked sharper in the early stages of the game.

George Bowerman, who had put the Blues to sword for Halesowen Town in January, was Rushall’s biggest threat, and could have put them ahead on 13 minutes.

He broke into Whitby’s box and drove a low shot to the near post, but Shane Bland was equal to it, pushing wide.

Bowerman then took advantage of some poor play by Steven Snaith on the edge of his own penalty area, but when one-on-one could only shoot wide.

Whitby, however, did have chances and had a perfect chance to take the lead, not long after the half-hour mark.

Dale Hopson curled a smart free-kick into the penalty area, towards Matty Tymon, but the Blues frontman could only send his first-time effort from six yards wide.

Despite the Blues coming into the game, Rushall looked undeterred in their attempts to break the deadlock.

Bowerman again was found in space in the penalty area, by Joe Hull’s through ball, but his drive was equalled by the feet of Bland.

On the stroke of half-time, Mikey Roberts had a perfect chance to add to Tuesday night’s dramatic winner, against Spennymoor Town.

Hopson again played a beautifully weighted ball over the top to Roberts, but he could only fire wide on the half-volley, across goal.

Whatever was in the half-time oranges, it proved to slow both sets of players down, rather than perk them up, with little happening in the opening exchanges of the second period.

Rushall should have led, twenty minutes into the half though. George Bowerman broke into the box and pulled back from the byline, but skipper Aron Forde could drag wide.

However, they were made to rue that missed chance, just two minutes later. Whitby broke forward, with David Carson playing Mikey Roberts into the penalty area. His shot was fumbled by Jose Veiga, and the loose ball fell to Dale Hopson, who tapped home his 22ndgoal of the season with ease.

Town’s lead, however, lasted just five minutes.

Mickael Partodrikomo found space down the right-hand side, beating his man and picking out Craig Bannister with his cross, who headed home with ease from close range.

As the game progressed, it opened up with both sides looking to gain some sort of initiative.

Steven Snaith, despite his previous warnings, remained on the pitch and almost restored the Seasiders’ advantage, after battling with the hefty Henry Eze. Snaith managed to turn his man, but could only send a curling attempt from nothing onto the upright.

Whitby kept pushing late on, with Mikey Roberts almost adding another late goal to his tally.

Hopson's ball into the box was expected to drop to Tymon, before Roberts steamed in at the back post to head downwards, forcing a great save low from Veiga to deny Whitby all three points.

WHITBY TOWN: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, May, Bullock, Gell, Snaith, Hopson, Roberts, Tymon, Carson. SUBS NOT USED: Robinson, Dixon (GK), Fryatt, Hume, Weledji.

RUSHALL OLYMPIC: Veiga, Partodrikomo (Bottomer ’81), Whittall, Forde (c), Hull, Eze, Christophorou, Smikle, Bowerman (Singh ’64), Bannister (Luckie ’77), Cooper. SUBS NOT USED: Mugisha, Bottomer, Jackson, Luckie.

Whitby Town MotM: Adam Gell - A composed performance from the midfielder, who impressed again controlling play deep in the middle of the park.

Attendance: 308