SLIDESHOW: Late fluke floors Whitby

Whitby Town again went down by a single goal to Leicestershire side Barwell, after conceding a wind-assisted strike late in the game, last Saturday at the Turnbull Ground.

Alex Tomkinson’s 86th minute winner direct from a corner saw the visitors repeat November’s score and scorer albeit with a lot more good fortune.

Blues player-manager Darren Williams refused to make excuses however, he told the Whitby Gazette:“It’s a misjudgement rather than a fluke.

“The performance was decent and it was never going to be a great game with the conditions. We worked hard and put a decent shift in, but we didn’t work the keeper enough.

“Our balls in the first half forward, I don’t think we used our heads, it ran out of play too often, we weren’t cute enough.”

Williams made one change with striker Rob Nolan out injured. Whitby lad Sam Calvert made a first appearance since Boxing Day up front for his hometown club.

Town were again without centre-half Lee Bullock and midfielder Dale Hopson after their long-running knocks, though veteran Bullock was at least named on the bench.

With the wind blowing out to the nearby North Sea, Whitby dominated the first half with former Middlesbrough striker Matty Waters slamming wide at the far post, inside two minutes, from Calvert’s neat touch through.

Liam Castle then smothered Waters’ low angled drive, while Steven Snaith, playing his last game before a two-match suspension, out-muscled right-back Scott Lower down the Town left and drilled across the face of goal, with Calvert inches away at the far post.

Waters then headed over skipper Mark Robinson’s left-wing cross and when Town did find the net through Snaith, midway through the half, they were frustrated by one of a number of tight offside calls.

Barwell’s only chance of the half saw the impressive Danny Jenno nod onto the top of the Blues’ bar, just before the half hour.

The Seasiders’ best opportunity came a minute before the break when a beautifully-weighted Lee Mason through ball was taken in his stride by the speedy Calvert, who lobbed the onrushing Castle, only for the ball to land on top of the net.

The second half saw the Midland club buoyed by the breeze in their favour and Kieran Brehon squandered a great chance when running onto Ant Carney’s neat penetrating pass, but a weak shot straight at Shane Bland left Town relieved.

Keeper Bland was a busy man after the break, pulling off a string of saves with his legs to deny Dom Brennan, Anthony Carney and Malcolm Melvin.

Williams threw on his only strike option from the bench, former Hartlepool United frontman James Brown, as Waters made way. The Blues boss made it clear he was going 100% for the win as Town turned to their now tried and trusted 3-4-3.

However, with four minutes left, came the killer blow as substitute Tomkinson curled his right-wing corner over Bland and inside the far post.

Town’s giant centre-back Richard Pell was once again despatched up front, winning his fair share of headers but struggling to create anything clear cut.

In the final minute, Mason’s mazy run culminated in a tentative drive that nearly went in off defender Jamie Hood, as the big defender almost walk the ball in, but instead it bobbled narrowly past Castle’s right-hand post.

Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan, Robinson (c), Burgess, Pell, McTiernan, Waters (J Brown 77), Mason, Snaith, Calvert, Shepherd. Subs not used: Raby, Bullock, Williams, Campbell (GK).

Attendance: 236

Co-operative Whitby WTFC Man of the Match: Shane Bland.

Whitby Town 0 Barwell 1