Whitby Town extended their unbeaten run to six with a win over Nantwich Town, seeing them move to level on points with the play-off places. Paul Connolly takes us through five things we learned from the victory.
1) Whitby’s fitness levels are at peak
From start to finish, Whitby looked fit and full of energy.
A number thought that this wouldn’t have been the case, following the North Riding Senior Cup victory against Middlesbrough coming less the 48 hours earlier.
Although Adam Gell picked up a knock at the Weaver Stadium, for the most part the Seasiders came through unscathed.
Whether it is affected for Tuesday’s game remain to be seen, though Hardy has made his confidence in his side’s fitness clear, stating that he intends to name a similar side.
2) It was the most complete performance yet
From the outset, Whitby had everything about their game, much like Nantwich did, back in December.
The full-backs attacked well and performed their duties when called upon, the defence was solid, giving Shane Bland just a solitary save to make and the attack was purposeful.
The elements combined and showed the Seasiders to be dominant on the afternoon, giving cause for optimism amongst the Town supporters, who created a party atmosphere on the long bus journey home.
3) The Seasiders are finding consistency at the right time
The big complaint since the start of December has been Whitby’s lack of consistency, though with six games unbeaten, the Blues seem to now be finding some.
Throughout March, Whitby are yet to lose and are looking to complete the run for the month with a positive result against Stafford.
But, going into the run-in, it’s the perfect time for Hardy’s side to find these levels of consistency.
With just a handful of games remaining, Whitby are looking for a final push to storm into the play-offs, whilst also looking to finish as high as possible, in an attempt to secure a home game in a potential semi-final.
4) Chris Hardy has reason to smile
A running joke of Chris Hardy’s tenure has been his lack of a smile at any given time.
This week, however, Hardy’s poker face was finally broken, as he gave the cameras a smile during his post-match interview.
He had reason to smile too. Whitby had picked up one of their biggest wins of the season, putting in a top drawer performance to back it up.
Undoubtedly, the Blues boss will resume normal service post-Stafford Rangers, but the moment was good while it lasted.
5) Early goals breed confidence
Whitby’s biggest asset was the early goal.
David Carson broke the deadlock within 40 seconds, to set Whitby on their way for a big three points.
From that moment, Whitby looked to grow further in confidence and attacked with intent, looking dangerous through each forward move.
From one to 11, Whitby looked confident in their roles and style of play and bossed the game, even with the introduction of a number of dangerous attacking players for the opposition.