Guisborough Town 2 Whitby Town 1
Substitute Steven Roberts’ deflected free-kick helped Guisborough Town end Whitby’s three-year domination of the Micky Skinner Trophy.
Awarded in memory of the two sides’ former player, the Blues have enjoyed all recent success between the teams, most recently winning 2-1 a year earlier thanks to goals from Steven Snaith and Craig Farrell.
However, Snaith lined up in a Guisborough shirt after joining the Northern League outfit as part of the deal that saw Callum Martin and Adam Gell move the opposite way.
Martin made his first appearance of the summer, at right-back, for the visitors, who handed a trial to Harrison Davies, a tall left winger previously with Marske United and Sunderland RCA.
Lee Mason’s inclusion from the start was the only changed from the side which began Friday’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United of League Two.
But it was Guisborough, playing their football two levels below the Seasiders, who led inside four minutes when midfielder Peter Bulmer curled into the top-right corner of the net, from 20 yards.
Whitby won a string of corners but struggled to create a string of chances with lone striker Mikey Roberts cutting an isolated figure up front, turning wide Whitby’s best chance from six yards.
Nine second half changes saw a trial for Danny Lloyd in the centre of the park, but it was two other substitutes who combined for Whitby’s equaliser, three minutes into the restart. Connor Gardner, brother of fellow Blue, Ross, got down the left flank and pulled from the byline for Matty Waters to slide past ex-Seasiders keeper Nick Liversedge.
At the other end, Shane Bland, himself having had a loan spell at Guisborough, kept Whitby in it with saves from Roberts and Danny Earl.
But there was little the former Middlesbrough gloveman could do 13 minutes from time when Roberts’ low 20-yard free-kick deflected its way against the inside of his left-hand post and into the net.
Liam Shepherd’s awkward skidding set piece from similar range was smothered by replacement keeper Danny Dixon before the woodwork denied Whitby and Waters a second equaliser of the night.
The lively frontman slammed against the upright from distance before Earl was denied in similar fashion, on the break.
Guisborough Town: Liversedge (c), Roddam, McWilliams, Carling, Sukar, Snaith, Bythway, Smith, Earl, Steel, Bulmer. Subs: Crust, Bailey, Helm, Blake, Jackson, S Roberts, Dixon (GK).
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, Robinson (c), Hassan, Bullock, McTiernan, R Gardner, Gell, M Roberts, Mason, Davies. Subs: Braithwaite, C Gardner, Lloyd, Waters, Blackburn, Poole, Shepherd, Keogh, Raby.
Whitby Town look forward to two great home spectacles in three days as Conference North giants FC United of Manchester and League One giantkillers Bradford City visit the Turnbull Ground.
United, Saturday’s opponents, won Whitby’s Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division last season while Bradford City set about knocking champions Chelsea out of the FA Cup, on the way to a quarter-final appearance.
Less than two years earlier, Phil Parkinson’s side reached the League Cup Final, beating Arsenal and Aston Villa on the way.
Town player-coach Lee Bullock, a former City player, told the Whitby Gazette: “It’s a great chance for the local area to come and watch their club up against a team that will definitely be challenging for promotion to the Championship.”
Despite City’s Football League status, United are expected to bring a big crowd with a possible 1,000 gate predicted for Saturday’s clash following 818 and 810 attendances on their last two visits.
It is the first time the club formed by Manchester United supporters have come to the Turnbull Ground on a Saturday in summer.
Kick-off on Saturday for the United game is 3pm with Bradford City’s first team arriving on Tuesday, for a 7pm kick-off.
Both games are just £6 adults, £3 senior citizens and £2 under 18s. Under 16s accompanied by a paying adult will be admitted free.
Season tickets will once again be on sale from the club shop.
Prices start at just £40.