Class act FC United breeze past Whitby

FC United's Thomas Greaves puts his side ahead in the 4-0 win at Whitby Town on Wednesday night'picture Brian Murfield
FC United's Thomas Greaves puts his side ahead in the 4-0 win at Whitby Town on Wednesday night'picture Brian Murfield

Champions-elect FC United of Manchester virtually sealed the EvoStik League Premier Division title in front of a bumper 810 crowd at Whitby.

The runaway leaders got off to the perfect start while some supporters were still filing into the ground in separate queues.

The lively Thomas Greaves was away quickly on to a defence splitting pass and rounded Blues keeper Shane Bland, before rolling the ball calmly into the net with just seven minutes on the clock.

Whitby rallied well after that early setback with Dave McTiernan curling an effort at goal and Lee Mason thumping a decent hit just wide.

While there was not too much to choose between the two rivals, FC United were closing their hosts down and forcing mistakes. And it came as little surprise when they doubled their lead seven minutes prior to the interval.

Greaves wriggled away again and was clipped by Liam Shepherd for a penalty, which was slammed down the middle of the goal by Jerome Wright for 2-0.

A third arrived moments later to give FC United a deserved, if flattering lead. Skipper David Birch’s shot brought a terrific save from Bland but Greg Daniels pounced to slot home from close range.

The Blues re-emerged from the half-time break looking eager to find a way back into the game, but James Brown’s effort was fairly routine stop for keeper David Carnell.

Veteran frontman Jamie Clarke tried catching the United gloveman unawares at the near post – while most others were expecting a cross from the left, Clarke blasted the ball towards the near post but Carnell got down to force a corner.

Whitby were trying their best to make a game of it, but their opponents, looking every inch a side due to progress up the non-league pyramid, refused to give anything away

With time running out, the visitors found time to embellish the scoresheet further as Rory Fallon sealed the game with a minute to go.

He shrugged off a challenge to turn and fire clinically into the bottom corner past Bland.

United were a whisker away from making it five with the last kick of the game as sub Callum Byrne rattled the underside of the bar with a shot from the edge of the area, but referee Marc Edwards promptly blew his whistle to put the home side out of their misery.

FC United go seven points clear at the table top with two games in hand over second place Ilkeston FC, while Whitby remain four points clear of the trapdoor with six to play, making their Easter programme more crucial than ever, if they want to stay in the league’s top flight.

They will get fewer tougher tests than this.

Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan, Robinson, Burgess, Pell, McTiernan, Mason, Hopson (Waters 83), Clarke, Brown (Calvert 75), Shepherd (Brunskill 65).

Attendance: 810.

Whitby Town 0 FC United of Manchester 4