WHITBY Town player-boss Darren Williams hasn’t given up on reaching the Northern Premier play-offs, despite Wednesday’s 4-2 defeat, at the hands of leaders North Ferriby United.
“It’s only 12 points, we’ve got a couple of games in hand on teams up there,” he said. “It’s a bitter blow but we’ve just got to get on with it.
“We’ve got the remaining games to play and we’ll just see how it goes.”
Williams, who believes FC United of Manchester, Witton and Hednesford all look better than Ferriby, wants Saturday’s visitors, Ilkeston, to suffer the backlash from Town’s midweek reversal.
“That was disappointing and wasn’t good enough”, he said.
“I’m looking for a massive reaction.
“From a defensive point of view, you can’t play square, especially when you’ve got two lads up top with pace.
“You’ve got to give each other, cover and help your team-mate out - we didn’t do that. We’ve got to get back to basics and be hard to beat, because we’ll always score goals – we’ve got people in the side who can do that – but if we’re not defending right it’ll only end up one way.”
Ilkeston FC are two places and four points above the Blues, in 12th.
The Robins led 2-0 at half-time, when they visited the Turnbull, in the FA Trophy, last October, only to lose 4-2, after goals from Steven Snaith, Tom Portas, Graeme Armstrong and Ash Corker. The club reformed in 2011, winning promotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North, last season.
In their previous guise - Ilkeston Town - they won just once at Whitby, in the 2009 League Cup, while losing their other five trips.
Blues physio Kenny Bolton admitted Town picked up “a couple of little niggles and knocks, but nothing too major”, after Wednesday, but added: “The only one we’re really worried about is Macca [Dave McTiernan].
“It’s a little click in his ankle, but he said it feels all right, after we got some ice on it and a little bit of compression.”
The Seasiders take on another side they’ve traditionally excelled against, on Tuesday night.
Lincolnshire outfit, Grantham Town, host the Blues, after January’s scheduled clash between the teams, was postponed. Blues have won all three meetings with the Gingerbreads, including their maiden league success of the season – a 2-0 victory in October, with Nathan Mulligan blasting both goals.
The fourth-bottom East Midlands side have just one league win from 13, and even that came against bottom-club Eastwood Town, on New Year’s Day.
A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground at 2.30pm on Tuesday for Grantham, with places still just £10 each and booked via chairman Graham Manser on 07966 241344.
Saturday’s home game kicks off at the usual 3pm. Admission is £9 adults, £5 concessions, £2 under 18s and under 16s go free, when accompanied by a paying adult.
The March issue of the Blue Army Fanzine will be available in the Whitby Town Club Shop, priced £2.50.
* THERE is a quiz night at the Whitby Town social club on Wednesday at 8pm.