Blues lost out on £3,250 as Evo-Stik First Division South promotion favourites Shaw Lane bridged the one-division gap, in the FA Trophy, last weekend.
Lane have spent well, building a squad full of former NPL Premier experience, featuring a formidable former Derbyshire contingent, with Buxton and Matlock Town well represented. Whitby, without injured defender Luke Bythway, recalled right wing-back Callum Martin and brought in available-again skipper Steven Snaith, for Adam Gell, in midfield.
The visitors started well, Dave McTiernan’s rising 25-yarder flew over the top, then Matty Tymon was flagged offside as he found the net. Lane threatened on 18 minutes when Kelvin Lugsden helped Adam Byrne’s free-kick onto the Whitby crossbar from the edge of the box. Shane Bland then held Lugsden’s brother Kieran’s low effort from distance.
Gavin Allott used to fire in goals for Frickley in the Premier Division, but it was the towering marksman who turned provider, on 25 minutes, to lay off for Jack Tuohy to steer into the bottom-right corner, from 18 yards. Soon after, Jack Beesley headed a great chance wide from 12 yards and centre-back Spencer Harris drilled narrowly past Bland’s right-hand post, from twice the distance.
Tuohy then forced Bland to parry low to his right, with Kieran Weledji deflecting Allott’s follow-up wide. Ten minutes from half-time, Allott volleyed just wide of the keeper’s left-hand post.
Lane began the second half as they ended the first, with Kelvin Lugsden nodding past the near post from a right-wing cross, before Allott struck the bar for a second time, with a close-range header.
Whitby had a great opportunity to draw level, just before the hour, when Mikey Roberts took advantage of his marker’s slip, to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Jon Stewart, but decided to lay off for Tymon, only to allow defenders to get back, cover and divert the striker’s eventual shot wide.
The lively Byrne brought a brave block at his feet from Bland and Allott nodded over from the rebound. With 15 minutes remaining, Blues boss Chris Hardy replaced McTiernan with tricky on-loan Hartlepool forward Jack Blackford. However, it was the away side who netted, seconds later, as Allott found space after a neat build up, keeping his composure to slot past Bland from close range. Blackford tried a long, mazy run, soon after, but sliced just wide and Beesley made sure of the result, with seven minutes remaining. A far-post left-wing cross was headed goalwards by the frontman, the shot was blocked, but came back out for him to force home point-blank for 3-0.
Hardy threw on big Anthony Hume, for Dale Hopson late on, but things went from bad to worse when Snaith- just back from a one-match ban, saw red for a late halfway line challenge. It looked a fairly innocuous sliding collision, but the referee thought otherwise and perhaps influenced the home reaction, brandished a straight red card. This could have huge repercussions for the Seasiders with the influential middle of the park man missing four games including Saturday’s first-ever trip to Coalville Town.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, May, Weledji, Robinson, Snaith (c), McTiernan (Blackford 75), Roberts, Tymon, Hopson (Hume 90). Subs not used: Bullock, Dixon (GK), Gell.