New Blues trio impress in Fishburn derby day

Whitby Town and Fishburn Park lock horns in a low-key friendly at the Turnbull
Whitby Town and Fishburn Park lock horns in a low-key friendly at the Turnbull

WHITBY Town manager Tommy Cassidy confirmed he’d signed three new players, all from Hartlepool United, after a crushing win over fellow Whitby side Fishburn Park in a low-key friendly on Saturday.

It took one of those newcomers, Billy Blackford, just five minutes to break the deadlock at the Turnbull Ground.

Some neat one-touch play culminated in a backheel which released the 20-year-old to drive past keeper Carl Oliver.

Moments later, Dave McTiernan ran from distance and fired past a helpless Oliver for a second Whitby goal.

Another one of the Hartlepool trio, 19-year-old Callum Martin, then forced an uncomfortable tip over with a swerving effort from distance.

At the other end, Dean Ward clipped the top of the Town crossbar with a free-kick near the left touchline, from fully 30 yards.

It was the only threat to Tom Courtney in the Whitby goal - earlier, fellow keeper Dave Campbell twisted an ankle in the warm-up, so settled for a place in the crowd.

Former Middlesbrough marksman Andy Campbell made it three with a curling effort from the edge of the box on the half hour that gave replacement keeper Paul Cull little chance.

And the ex-Cardiff City striker, set to lead the Blues’ line at 32 this coming season, found the net with a similiar controlled shot with his right foot, nine minutes later.

Both sides made the obligatory multiple changes at the break, but there was to be no change in the direction of the result. Moments into the second half, McTiernan took advantage of a defensive slip to fire home from the edge of the box.

Ryan Fletcher, a triallist from Darlington’s youth set-up, notched the sixth after battling his way down the right flank, before firing across goal and inside the far post.

Striker Jake Faichney (22), signed from Sunday League Division Two FC Fylingdales, came close after good work from Fletcher. Then, with 10 minutes left, versatile left-sided player Mark Robinson, who began last season with the Blues, before joining Gainsborough Trinity, via Boston United - almost added a seventh, with a ferocious effort from distance.

The third of three Pools signings joined the fray in the second half. Marc Ellison is another youngster with reserve team experience and plays in midfield.

Other triallists included a fourth former Hartlepool player, defender Tom Marron, who played at Evo-Stik First Division North Garforth Town last season, goalkeeper Matthew Calvert from League Two Morecambe and Rob McDermid, who netted nearly 40 goals for Kirkbymoorside in the Wearside League, last term.

After the match, Cassidy confirmed that left-back Alex White had also signed, adding: “It was a very good pitch, a lot of passing around and everyone seemed to enjoyed it.

“One or two impressed me and I was quite happy. We trained before the game on the beach - we’ve had a good 10 days’ training and it showed.”

Referring to the high tempo and one-touch football, plus the need for more additions, the former Northern Ireland star reflected: “They seemed to enjoy playing - it’s the way I want to play.

“There’s a lot of friendlies being played in the north of England and some squads have got 20 or 30 players and some of them will be squeezed out, so it’s an ongoing thing.”

Fishburn boss Allan Price senior just about managed to stay upbeat - he told the Whitby Gazette: “We didn’t pass the ball well enough and gave it away too often, but we’re still looking forward to the start of the season, despite this result.”

Whitby Town: Courtney, Leeson, White, Hassan, Burgess, Hodgson, Martin, Blackford, McTiernan, A Campbell, Robinson. Subs: Faichney, Calvert(GK), Marron, Ellison, McDermid, Fletcher.

Fishburn Park: Oliver, Locker, C Ward, N Waterfield, M Waterfield, Wilson, D Ward, Lane, Hart, Richardson, Braithwaite. Subs: Cull(GK), Organ-Simpson, Gibson, Forbes-Walker, Smith, Seaton, Blackburn(GK), McGovern.