Whitby seek revenge after opening day fluke

Whitby Town will battle to go one better after a controversial opening day draw against this Saturday’s hosts Ilkeston.

The Seasiders visit the Derbyshire outfit who equalised in bizarre fashion, at the Turnbull Ground, back in August, during a bad-tempered clash.

The Blues were awarded a free-kick, just outside their penalty area and Kev Burgess nudged the ball for Shane Bland to take the set-piece. However, Matt Richards closed down aggressively, shouting that the kick had been taken and causing the keeper to clear hurriedly into touch. Richards then raced after the ball, throwing quickly to Antwan Russell, who lobbed a stranded Bland, from the edge of the box, this after Craig Farrell had put Whitby ahead inside nine minutes.

Soon after, Ilkeston striker Gary Ricketts crashed into Darren Williams who was managing on the touchline, but after a long pause, it was the bemused Blues boss who was sent to the main stand.

Williams admitted he may well take to the field as a player again after a strong holding-midfield showing against Marine.

“I might possibly play on Saturday”, he said, “I added a bit of security. We’ve been caught in the last few weeks and I wanted to get people behind the ball. They’ve had two great chances and Shane’s made two great saves.”

“The performance was very good,” he added. “We had the lion’s share of the game andcreated some great opportunities. The work-rate was good, everything was there. If we can be as solid this week, we’ll be ok.”

Williams is hoping to welcome back centre-half Kev Burgess: “We had to err on the side of caution on Saturday, we don’t want to rush him.”, he said. Farrell is likely to miss out after aggravating his groin injury against Marine.

“He’s getting frustrated,” Williams said.

“He’s going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, newest signing Benn Sullivan may feature if he can recover from a hamstring strain.

A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground for Ilkeston at 9.30am. There’s a dominoes drive at the Whitby Town clubhouse on Froiday (Dec 6) night, while the club hosts a quiz on Tuesday (Dec 10), both start at 8pm.