Davey Carson’s 14th minute penalty proved enough for Whitby to win a match with much more goalmouth action than the scoreline suggests.
Skipper Michael Townsend was adjudged to have pushed Carson in the back as the pair contested Danny McWilliams’ left-wing cross, at the far post. Carson then kept his nerve, despite Declan Towers tying his laces on the penalty spot, and Luke Bythway having to clear some tape from the same area, to send Liam Castle the wrong way from 12 yards. Castle had pulled off a superb full-length save, low to his left, to keep out Carson’s goalbound piledriver from distance, moments earlier.
Ryan Seal nodded across the face of goal from close range, but wide, for Barwell. Jake Heath then extended Shane Bland, in similar fashion, from 25 yards, but Bland was also up to the task. At the other end, Carson broke, beating one man and rounding Castle before going down, but referee Chris Keightley, this time, refused to award a spot kick.
Just before the break, the lively Matt Stenson forced Bland to block sat his near post, with Lee Stanley nodding wide a free header from the resulting Tom Bates corner.
Early in the second half, Bland held tame efforts from Seal and Stenson, with Castle doing likewise after McWilliams’ neat break and shot, after cutting in from the left.
Stenson came close to levelling when his goalbound header from a right-wing cross was nodded off the line by surely the smallest man on thefield, Kyle Fryatt. Whitby then broke with three on three, only for James Risborough to turn wide.
Risborough then went clear again on the hour, but chose to square to Carson, who had his shotr charged down and Fryatt was denied from the loose ball.
Big Kieran Weledji replaced Risborough up front and should have made it 2-0 on the break, but powered an angled shot wide. With 15 minutes left, Fryatt beat Nigel Julian down the right and turned back across goal, but Weledji’s shot lacked power and Castle just about held onto the wet ball, low down.
Bland punched away two-handed from a high ball, with Towers turning over the rebound when well place, while Weledji again went clear, after a great touch from Fryatt, but Castle saved with his legs one-on-one. In injury time, the impressive recalled Adam Gell fired wide when well placed after another superb Whitby break.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Bythway, McGoldrick, May, Gell, Snaith(c), Risborough (Weledji 62), Carson, Fryatt. Subs not used: Bullock, Wood, Dixon, Miller.
Barwell: Castle, Percival (Towers 7), Nisevic, Stanley, Townsend (c), Julien, Bates (Whitmore 84), Heath, Perry, Seal (Barlone 67), Stenson. Subs not used: Gilchrist, Edgington.