Whitby Town win first silverware of season

WHITBY Town took their first trophy of the season after defeating Scottish club Gretna on penalties over the weekend. Harry Dunn gave debuts to four trialists and all three new signings, as well as welcoming back a former player.

The Blues, having travelled to the Scottish borders, started strongly though found a clear cut opportunity hard to find.

Andy Leeson's start up front, while primarily done to give the full-back some football with plenty of other defenders in the squad, showed Town's lack of genuine forwards.

Lewis Hardman, who played for the Blues under Lee Nogan as a defender after leaving Darlington, turned out in midfield. New signing Darren Craddock occupied Hardman's usual right-back role.

Another of the newcomers, winger Callum Brown, a former York City trainee shone on the left flank and shocked keeper Alex Mitchell on 12 minutes.

Brown's unleashed a volley out of nothing from near the touchline some 12 yards out, which slammed off the outside of Mitchell's near post.

Dunn made no fewer than six changes at the break, with Dave MacTiernan and Nick Liversedge both figuring.

Matt Ramage, a full-back from Guisborough and giant 6'5" centre-half Steve Oakley, a teenager from Wearside League Coxhoe got a first run out in the Whitby blue.

Leon Scott, another addition at the interval, was fortunate this was an exhibition game after a badly timed lunge through the back of a home forward that could easily have brought a red card in a competitive fixture.

Gretna, now reformed after going bust in 2008 following a whirlwind progression to the Scottish Premier Division, bossed the last quarter of the match.

The East of Scotland League outfit, now plying their trade two levels beneath the Third Division proper, were involved in their fifth friendly compared to Whitby's first and it showed.

A string of point-blank chances were created, but, luckily for Town, missed by Stuart Rome's men.

Eventually the 90 minutes ended goal-less, with extra-time by-passed and a penalty shoot out taking place.

The hosts put two spot-kicks wide, with only Scott unsuccessful for the Seasiders. Tony Hackworth, Dave MacTiernan and man of the match Jimmy Beadle, were all on target to seal a 3-1 victory and ownership of the Mickey Skinner Trophy.

After the match, Harry Dunn was happy with his side's display, but picked out a few new players for praise.

"I thought Callum (Brown) did ok first half and Big Oakey did well in the second. Mind you, they all did fine considering Lewis Hardman had a foot injury and Sean Lambert was unwell, they were always going to just play 45 minutes.

Dunn also confirmed the club hope to sign well-organised 29-year-old ex-York and Hartlepool United left-back Mark Robinson, who played the first half on Saturday. "Mark certainly looked the part today and we've made him a good offer.

"We still need at least one striker and someone in the centre of midfield but the most important thing today was not to pick up injuries and to improve our fitness.", added Dunn.

Whitby Town: Campbell D(Liversedge 45), Craddock, Robinson(Ramage 45), Hassan(Oakley 45), Burgess, Hardman(Scott 45), Lambert(MacTiernan 45), Beadle(c), Leeson(Hackworth 45), Campbell A, Brown.

Attendance: 138