WHITBY Town’s encouraging run of form continued as they took points from top five opposition for the second time in four days.
However, the battle to beat the drop took on a new twist as Buxton’s 3-1 win at Mickleover Sports put the Blues back in the relegation zone - not that this fazes player/boss Darren Williams.
Speaking to the Whitby Gazette this morning, ex-Sunderland star Williams said although falling back into the drop zone was unfortunate, he was not too concerned about it and added that other teams should be more concerned about his side’s timely run of good form.
Williams said in a conversation with FC United keeper James Spencer, the gloveman revealed he knew nothing about the second half save he made to deny Whitby’s Alex White what would have been the winning goal.
The warm spring sunshine attracted a good crowd of more than 600 for Wednesday night’s EvoStik League match against supporters’ team FC United, who are pushing hard for a promotion place via the play-offs.
In a carnival atmosphere at the Turnbull, the Blues made the better start with youngster Nathan Mulligan’s free-kick skimming the top of the defensive wall and just wide of the far post with five minutes gone. Williams then decided to have a pop with his 25-yard screamer not missing by much.
The Lancastrians took 17 minutes to register an effort on goal with Carlos Roca planting a soft free-kick straight into Blues’ keeper Nick Liversedge’s clutches.
But a minute later, the away side did threaten when, with no other options available to him, Matthew Wolfenden remained ice cool and cracked a vicious angled drive narrowly over.
In a spell in which FC United illustrated why they are towards the top end of the table, skipper Kyle Jacobs put in a cracking cross from the right and Mike Norton got to the ball before Liversedge but was unable to angle it goalwards.
At the other end, defender Kev Burgess forced a save from keeper James Spencer from a close range header and when the impressive Tom Portas’ dangerous low cross caused havoc in the United back four, Dave McTiernan’s well-hit shot was diverted over by Spencer.
At the break, Whitby knew they had a chance of taking maximum points from the visitors if they could contrive something special and the moment nearly arrived on 54 minutes. A cross from full back Ibby Hassan was only half-cleared and McTiernan’s thumping drive was superbly tipped over by Spencer.
A minute later, FC United went close as Stephen Johnson worked some space on the edge of the penalty area and his shot destined for the net took a deflection wide.
The Blues brought on the inventive Jimmy Beadle in a bid to win the game but it was former Stranraer defender, and Whitby’s man of the match, Alex White, who came closest to breaking the deadlock.
McTiernan’s first attempt hit the bar from a tight angle while Spencer recovered well to quickly block White’s follow-up.
With 10 minutes left, it looked as though FC United had stolen the points when the ball fell invitingly for Greg Stones who somehow blazed over with the goal at his mercy. It spoke volumes of Whitby’s organisation that FC United failed to really test Liversedge all evening.
Beadle wasn’t too far away with an acrobatic volley from captain Mark Robinson’s long throw late on but Whitby won’t be too dissatisfied with a point, following on from Saturday’s impressive win over title-chasing Northwich Victoria.
Whitby Town: Liversedge, Hassan, Robinson (c), Burgess, White, McTiernan, Portas, Williams (Lyth 88), Mulligan, Appleby (Beadle 71), Smith. Co-op man of the match: White. Attendance: 614.
Whitby Town 0 FC United of Manchester 0
Chester v Whitby Town preview in Friday’s Whitby Gazette