Whitby Town vs Grantham Town

Whitby Town 2 - 1 Grantham Town
16 Feb 2019 - 15:00Turnbull Ground

Goals from Daniel Rowe and Ashley Coffey ensured that Whitby Town walked away with three points against Grantham Town, for the first time in Chris Hardy’s time at the club.

The two goals, that both came from Whitby capitalising on poor Grantham defending at corners, gave Whitby a deserved two-goal lead going into the break.

The visitors looked more comfortable in the second period, but failed to find a leveller after Ross Barrows got them back in the game with his strike.

Chris Hardy made one change from the side that drew with Lancaster City, the previous weekend, Dan McWilliams returning to the first-team to replace Callum Patton, who dropped to the bench with a back complaint.

It was the Gingerbreads who threatened first. Jordan Aydebayo-Smith played into the path of Obara Edobar, though he could only scuff the ball wide of the mark in a good position.

Whitby hit back, however, with Coffey seeing a strike deflected wide. Rowe then got in on the act from the resulting corner, but could only guide his header over the bar from Dale Hopson’s delivery.

Grantham posed a threat going forward, and could have led after 25 minutes. Rowe’s clearing header dropped to Nathan Smith, who flicked over the head of his man and shot on the half-volley. Alex White, however, bravely got his head in the way to deflect the effort wide.

Barrows then capitalised on miscommunication in the Whitby defence to bear down on goal, but a fantastic recovering challenge from a Blues defender ensured that his shot would fire well wide.

Despite the threat from the Gingerbreads, the Seasiders were looking strong. Hopson’s low free-kick was deflected just wide by the visitors’ wall.

And it was the resulting corner that led to the opening goal. Hopson’s corner fell to White, who poked into the path of Rowe. The centre-half made no mistake at the back post and blasted into the net at the back post.

Four minutes later, that lead was doubled. Again Hopson’s corner found White, who this time teed Coffey up for fire into the net in space from 12 yards.

Going into the break, the Seasiders looked comfortable, though in the second half, the tide looked to turn in the visitors’ favour as they came out strongly.

Within two minutes of the restart, Chris Dawson forced Jack Norton into a save low to his right with a driven effort, before Grantham skipper Danny Brooks came agonisingly close to connecting with Dawson’s cross from deep, six yards from goal.

Coffey continued to pose a threat, picking the ball up from Rutherford and firing wide on the turn, but it was the Gingerbreads who were looking the more likely to score.

Dawson again caused problems for Whitby, slamming the ball off the post, and two minutes later they were back in the game.

Barrows broke into the penalty area, capitalising on Whitby turning possession over, and fired into the roof of the net across Norton.

The Seasiders pushed to restore their two-goal advantage – and had the perfect opportunity to on the hour mark.

Coffey was played into the area on the left-hand side, before being dragged down by Oliver Luto, leading referee James Westgate to point straight to the spot.

Hopson stepped up to take the penalty, but saw his effort pushed away by Sam Andrew, low to the keeper’s right.

From there, the game hit a lull, with neither side really breaking each other down as the game wore on. Aydebayo-Smith found a gap between White and Rowe, getting into the area, but could only hit the advertising board behind the goal with his shot, ensuring Whitby walked away with all three points.

Whitby Town: Norton, Smith, McWilliams, Weledji, Rowe, White, Gell, Scott, Rutherford, Coffey (Tymon ’79), Hopson (C) (Patton ’74). Subs not used: McTiernan, Bullock, McHugh.

Grantham Town: Andrew, Briers (McGovern ’55), Luto, Edobar, Ali, Tweed, Barrows, Brooks (C), Aydebayo-Smith (Ward ’67), Dawson, Smith (Chaplin ’64). Subs not used: Durkin, Kelly.

Attendance: 287

Whitby Town MotM: Alex White – A great showing from the centre-half, who looked defensively resolute and also provided two assists at the other end of the pitch.