Five things we learned from Whitby Town v Workington
The Seasiders triumphed in a blood and thunder FA Trophy tie against Workington on Saturday afternoon to set up a second qualifying round tie at Shaw Lane Association.
Paul Connolly takes us through what we learned from the victory.
1) Defending from wide needs to be better
Despite the positives that came out of Saturday’s victory, it was clear that elements of Whitby’s play were needing work.
The Blues came up against one of the many big sides in this division and seemed to come unstuck whenever it came to the aerial challenge in the 18-yard box.
All three of Workington’s goals came from balls into the box, leading to Whitby giving themselves a mountain to climb after 11 minutes.
As the afternoon continued, Whitby continued to look nervy at the back, giving Chris Hardy something to look at going into Saturday’s clash with Matlock Town.
2) The team has fight
Despite being 2-0 down after eleven minutes, Whitby never looked like the game was getting away from them.
The setback was frustrating, and in the past the Blues would have collapsed, but there was an air of coolness around the Whitby side that saw them continue to play their own game in search of a way back into the game.
It proved to be the best strategy, and it was one that saw Whitby head into the break on level terms, with Mikey Roberts and Matthew Tymon finishing well.
Even when the side looked to have been pressed back again by Workington in the second half, they carried on battling away and found another way through late on the win the game.
3) Jack Blackford could be special
Whitby’s new signing was handed a debut on Saturday, replacing Mikey Roberts just a day after signing for the club.
The winger, on loan from Hartlepool United, showed a lot of promise, holding the ball very well and causing issues for Workington’s defence.
He also showed some excellent ball control whilst getting forward, but at times proved to be lightweight, being muscled off the ball on a few occasions.
Despite that though, the signs for Blackford’s future are very positive. In the upcoming month, he could prove to be a vital and refreshing option for Whitby.
4) Kieran Weledji had his best game in a Whitby shirt
Weledji picked up the man of the match award on Saturday afternoon, with very few complaints from those in attendance.
From the first minute Weledji caused several problems for the opposition, using his pace and power to get down the right-hand side at every opportunity.
Operating in a relatively unfamiliar position, the former Middlesbrough man even got on the scoresheet to win the tie for Whitby with a late header.
5) A cup run could finally be in the offing
Cup victories have proved elusive on most occasions for Whitby over the last five years.
You would have been forgiven for thinking that it was going to be the case again on Saturday, when Whitby got off to a nightmare start.
The fightback led to a victory and it brought an air of optimism that cup wins could become more regular.
Chris Hardy has targeted a cup run this season and with the FA Cup out of the picture, the FA Trophy has seemingly become the focus for that.
With good money at stake for victories too, the club could benefit massively from a run to ease boost the bank balance and free up more money for Chris Hardy to improve the squad further.