Whitby Town boss eyes new faces after mid-table finish

editorial image

Darren Williams’ men withstood first half bombardment to end the season with back-to-back victories following a first-ever win at Norfolk outpost, King’s Lynn, on Saturday.

Finishing comfortably clear of the relegation zone, despite waiting for the penultimate match to save themselves, player-boss Williams said he was unhappy with the way his side began last weekend’s game.

“It was a poor first half, they got a right telling off at half time,” he told the Whitby Gazette. “It was a solid and better performance second half and it’s a great finish to the season.

“It just shows what we are capable of when we play and work how we can.”

It was a second clean sheet in as many weeks and Williams paid tribute to his backline.

“We defended like a team- a team that wanted to win and had a desire not to concede,” he said.

Williams made one change as Liam Shepherd returned from a one-match suspension to replace new ban victim Ibby Hassan at right-back.

A rearguard action was required from the kick-off as Lee Stevenson forced Shane Bland to tip around his left-hand post within seconds.

Moments later, Jacek Zielonka’s inspired run ended with a close range drive clipping the inside of Bland’s opposite post, this time, before rolling to safety.

At the other end, in a rare attack from the visitors, Whitby won a left-wing corner that saw Dale Hopson deliver deep for Steven Snaith to nod goalwards and keeper Alex Street to fend away at the second attempt.

On an already balmy end of season day, the temperature was further raised, eight minutes before half-time, as Lynn had three opportunities from the same move.

First, Bland parried brilliantly from Stevenson’s ten yard one-on-one, then the ex-Boro gloveman beat away Conor Marshall’s 30 yard effort, before the midfielder turned provider with a right-wing cross that Jake Jones, at the back post, glanced low, across Bland and wide.

Williams, who at one point loudly accused some players of laziness, cut a frustrated figure alongside assistant Dave Campbell, coach Dennis Wheeler and physio Paul Scott on the sideline, so it was no surprise there were some home truths for the away team at the interval.

They seemed to have the desired effect as Williams’ charges shocked their hosts within seconds of the restart.

It was another left-wing Hopson cross, flicked on by Matty Waters, that was headed downwards, across Street, from the right-edge of the box, by James Brown, for the ex-Hartlepool striker’s third goal of the campaign.

Ross Gardner replaced Waters midway through the second period, but it was another midfielder, Lee Mason, who came close, minutes later, following a mazy run that ended with the former Blyth man pulling across goal, from the left-edge of the penalty area.

Gary Setchell threw on Michael Frew, scorer of Lynn’s spectacular late equaliser in the 2-2 draw at the Turnbull Ground, earlier in the season, with Sam Mulready replacing Jones, also at the same time as Gardner’s introduction.

It was the lively Mulready who caused more problems with his movement down the left flank, but the Seasiders’ superbly-marshalled defence coped superbly.

The entire back five of Bland, Shepherd, Richard Pell, Jamie Poole and skipper Mark Robinson showing the merits of a well-marshalled defence.

Whitby now await the 2015-16 season with interest as Williams targets up to six new signings, plus Salford City, complete with Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt in the background, stand on the horizon.

Whitby Town: Bland, Shepherd, Robinson (c), Poole, Pell, McTiernan, Mason, Hopson (Raby 85), J Brown (Nolan 82), Snaith, Waters (Gardner 65). Subs not used: Williams, Campbell (GK).

Attendance: 482

Whitby Town’s club presentation night takes place tomorrow at The Stables restaurant with some food, and comedian Kevin Connolly.

The event starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets £20 each from club chairman Graham Manser on 01947 893382 or 07966 241344, or secretary John Tyreman on 605153.

Kings Lynn 0 Whitby Town 1