Whitby Town secured arguably their biggest three points of the season so far in the most dramatic of fashions, with Mikey Roberts’ last minute winner securing a 2-1 win for the Seasiders to lift them to sixth. Paul Connolly takes us through five things we learned.
1) Football finally won through
In recent weeks, the height and physicality of teams has become the main talking point for supporters, however this changed with the Spennymoor victory.
Eric had the pitch in good condition, with heavy patches kept to a minimum- something that would have been far from the case, had the game been played on Saturday.
Whitby were able to get the ball down and stamp their mark on proceedings, causing Spennymoor struggles at times, when the ball was moved around them with ease.
2) 4-2-2-2 gives Carson and Hopson more freedom
Although some were sceptical of a move away from the tried and tested 3-5-2 that Hardy was previously operating with, it proved to be a wise move against the Moors.
Both Dale Hopson and David Carson looked effective for Whitby over the course of the ninety minutes, driving the play through the middle of the park and creating numerous opportunities.
With the hard work of Steven Snaith and Adam Gell behind, breaking up Spennymoor phases of play across the even, the pair were allowed to control Whitby’s slick play.
3) Mikey Roberts is back with a bang
Finally, the goal that everyone was waiting for arrived.
Mikey Roberts certainly wasn’t making life easy for himself in a Blues shirt, but the breakthrough goal had to come, and it did so in dramatic fashion.
His late winner sealed potentially the biggest three points of the season, and hopefully kick starts his season, going into the play-off running.
The celebration showed exactly what it meant to Roberts and his side, with a mass of players making their way to the corner to revel in the delight.
If Roberts can push on and rediscover his fine form of last season, Whitby will have a vital weapon to punish teams with as the closing stages of the campaign approach.
4) This result must be a catalyst
It’s all well and good winning games of this nature, but the simple truth is, the Seasiders have to make it count now.
With games coming thick and fast, Whitby need to keep their mentality focused and use the result as a foundation to create momentum.
If the side can follow the victory up with another two home wins, then the play-off picture looks brighter than it did pre-Spennymoor.
5) Graeme Armstrong would still make this Whitby side
Despite now being 33 years of age, Armstrong again looked to be a bright spark for the visitors, on his introduction.
The ex-Whitby talisman, who netted thirty in his last season at the club, won most aerial battles during his short time on the pitch.
Armstrong tussled with Rio May and Luke Bythway and lurked with intent around the six-yard box, though could not capitalise on a number of poor deliveries from wide positions.
It goes without saying that he would be a major asset to Chris Hardy, be it from the bench or as a starter, and one that perhaps could have been a missed opportunity in summer following his release from Darlington.