The Blues remain top of the Northern Premier League, but lost their unbeaten home league run as bogey side Grantham completed a double over Chris Hardy’s men.
Hardy kept an unchanged team following Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Coalville. Defender Luke Bythway passed a pre-match fitness test to make the bench, while the Turnbull Ground passed a lunchtime pitch inspection, despite flooding in the area caused by Monday’s rain.
The mid-table Lincolnshire outfit started well and rattled the crossbar, inside 12 minutes, from Rhys Lewis’ 18 yarder after Adam Gell was caught in possession. At the other end, Dale Hopson released Mikey Roberts but good defending forced him to fire wide. Visiting skipper Stefan Galinski brought a good low parry from Shane Bland point blank after heading down, at the far post, from a right-wing corner and Bland smothered the resulting low cross. Within seconds, Mikey Roberts broke at pace from Kieran Weledji’s long ball and was taken out on the edge of the box. Last defender Tom Batchelor got away with a yellow card and the resulting Dan McWilliams free-kick was touched over by Grantham gloveman Kieran Preston.
Lee Shaw was then gifted the game’s opening goal, on 26 minutes, after Grantham’s number ten charged down Bland who cleared against the striker, sending the ball spiralling into the empty net. Shaw then clipped wide from close range, while Danny Meadows forced Bland to fend away a piledriver and Hopson’s edge of the box snapshot brought a good save with his legs from Preston. Grantham almost made it two though in first-half injury time, after Lewis’ impressive run down the left resulted in a terrific low cross for Filipe Barcelos to see a shot cleared off the line by Andrew May.
Just as they did in the defeat by the same scoreline, at Grantham, last month, Whitby struggled to break down a stubborn Gingerbreads backline. Roberts brought a parry from Preston after a lovely right-wing ball between centre half and left back from Callum Martin, on the hour, before the introduction of Saturday’s hero Jack Blackford at the same time as Bythway. The pair went up front in a straight swap with Roberts and Matty Tymon. But it was the visitors who won it with a breakaway goal, 16 minutes from time. It was Shaw again who popped up in the six yard box to slide between Bland and his right-hand post.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Weledji, Robinson (c), May, Gell, McTiernan (Smith 65), Roberts (Blackford 70), Tymon (Bythway 70), Hopson. Subs not used: Hume, Dixon (GK).
Grantham Town: Preston, Wildin, Storey, Batchelor, Galinski (c), Meadows, Clifton, Lewis (Hollingsworth 82), Barcelos (Dasaolu 76), Lee Shaw, Luke Shaw (Wright 85). Sub not used: Purcicoe.
Co-operative Whitby WTFC Man of the Match: Adam Gell- Composed, aware display from the defensive midfielder.
Match Sponsor: Coatham Coaches
Matchball Sponsor: Tilly, Bailey & Irvine Solicitors