Keeper’s fears as Whitby edge towards drop zone

Whitby keeper Shane Bland looks dejected after Wednesday's defeat'picture: Brian Murfield
Whitby keeper Shane Bland looks dejected after Wednesday's defeat'picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town player-boss Darren Williams admitted his side need to “pull our fingers out” after dropping to within four points of the Evo-Stik NPL Premier’s relegation zone in midweek.

Tuesday night’s results left the Blues nervously looking over their shoulder following a disappointing run of just three wins from 16 games.

A disgruntled Williams agreed the Seasiders had a “relegation battle on our hands now” ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Halesowen Town.

“We are underachieving and have took our foot off the pedal,” he added.

“I’m not happy at all.”

Town meet the West Midlands club for the first-ever time, this weekend, at the Turnbull Ground, with a maiden trip to their Grove ground just two weeks later.

Promoted through the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South play-offs last season, the Yeltz, as they are known, won the FA Vase in successive seasons between 1984 and 1986. They count Watford forward Troy Deeney among their former players.

Halesowen’s current crop include ex-Coventry City striker Iyseden Christie and they sit relatively-safely in the top half of a tight Premier Division, so far, this term.

Blues keeper Shane Bland agreed with his manager.

“We’re on a slippery slope at the moment,” he said.

“We are underachieving from the position we were last season, it is very disappointing.

“It’s quite frightening that we are in that position.”

The Blues are also in action on Monday night (, away to Curzon Ashton, who sit sixth, going into the weekend programme and beat the Blues 1-0 at the Turnbull, in August. But Bland prefers to focus on Saturday’s clash and feels home advantage can assist Whitby.

“Coming back from two long away trips, we want to put a really good performance on, hopefully the shed’s rocking, we can grind out a result and get three points.

“I’ve always said, since I joined the club, when there’s a big support, in the shed or in the stand, getting behind us, pushing on, it does make a difference.

“If the support is there on Saturday, it would be massive for us and hopefully we’ll put on a good performance for them.”

Kick-off at the Turnbull is 3pm.

Easter draw tickets will also be on sale from the new ticket hut at the ground.

A supporters’ bus to Curzon Ashton on Monday leaves at 2.30pm.

A dominoes drive takes place in the club house on Friday at 8pm, and there is a quiz on Wednesday (Mar 11), also at 8pm.