Whitby down to bare bones for Avenue clash

Davey Southern on the attack for Whitby against Matlock
Davey Southern on the attack for Whitby against Matlock

WHITBY Town’s star striker Andy Campbell is struggling to make tomorrow’s clash (Sat 12 Mar) against his former club Bradford Park Avenue after limping off during Wednesday’s defeat to high-flying Matlock.

The ex-Middlesbrough marksman pulled up with a calf strain in the first half, with Andy Leeson, himself barely 100% fit, taking his place.

Local lad Ashley Lyth also suffered a knock to the same area, before his sending-off late in the game, leaving Town’s already thin squad, down to the bare bones.

Manager Tommy Cassidy was upset with the midweek result and his side’s continuing bad luck, describing Lyth’s red card as: “The last thing we need at the moment with a threadbare squad – another blow.”

Cassidy was also annoyed with what he says as his team’s self-destruction.

“Colwyn Bay are fourth and Matlock were third so they’re always going to be difficult games, but it’s just the way we lost, it’s us making mistakes.

“That’s the horrible thing, it was our mistakes not their creativity.”

He was also scathing about a disallowed goal moments after Whitby went ahead on Wednesday, adding: “Andy Leeson was clearly onside, but the referee didn’t give the goal because he said Davey Southern was interfering, even though he was 15 yards away.”

Twelth-placed Avenue arrive on the back of just one defeat in seven and include former Blues midfielder Tom Claisse in their ranks.

Town drew 1-1 at Avenue’s Horsfall Stadium after Nick Liversedge saved a late penalty.

After the game, then-manager Harry Dunn offered his resignation.

Dunn left the club five days later after another draw, this time at home to last weekend’s opponents Colwyn Bay.

Two positives for Cassidy are the likely return of skipper Tony Hackworth after he was stretchered off with a serious-looking ankle injury at FC United of Manchester, three weeks ago and Dave McTiernan completing his three-match suspension.

Both are likely to be involved in a match Cassidy knows is vital.

“We’ve got to recover from this and hopefully get a result on Saturday – it’s a big important game for us against Bradford”, he said.

“If we play well enough, we’re capable of winning, but we need to get the lads’ heads up.”

Kick-off is the usual 3pm with admission at the Turnbull Ground also still £7.50 adults, £4.50 concessions and £2 for under 18s.

The Blues travel to relegation rivals Hucknall Town on Wednesday (16 Mar) night.

The Notts’ outfit are level on points with the Blues but trail by three on goal difference.