By Liam Ryder
Whitby Town ended pre-season in disappointing style after going down 2-1 to South Shields at the Turnbull Ground.
A below-par Blues side struggled to deal with the attacking press of the Mariners, who were determined to end their pre-season on a high.
Chris Hardy handed a debut to new signing James Risbrough who officially signed for the Seasiders the same day after a spell abroad in Sweden.
There was a also a new name on the bench in the form of young goalkeeper, Dan Miller, who impressed Chris Hardy in recent training sessions.
Shane Bland, however, would start in goal and he found himself picking the ball out of the back of the net within thirteen minutes after striker Jamie Holmes rolled the ball through his legs, thanks to some poor defending from the Blues’ back-line.
South Shields had also found the back of the net twice before only to find themselves in offside positions on both occasions.
Positivity was soon reinstated into the Turnbull crowd when Mikey Roberts was brought down on the edge of the visitors box after a great run from midfield, three minutes after falling behind.
Ex-Mariner David Carson stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom corner, around the wall from 20 yards.
After some strong attacking play from the hosts, and nothing coming to anything, Hardy’s men would find themselves in a difficult situation when young defender Andrew May brought down Matthew Pattison inside the area, leaving referee Sam Packer with no choice but to point to the spot.
Luke Sullivan stepped up and fired the penalty into the Whitby goal, leaving Shane Bland with no chance.
Throughout the second half, the Seasiders found themselves with most of the play but struggled to break through a stubborn Shields defence who had played so well in their treble-winning season last time around.
As breaking through the defence was looking unlikely for the Blues, Chris Hardy’s side had to revert to trying their luck from range with the standout effort coming from skipper, Steven Snaith.
As the game came to a close, Whitby had tried all they could but their long-range strikes were not enough and South Shields hung on for victory.
WHITBY TOWN: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, May, Bullock, Snaith (c), Monkhouse (Gell 46), Carson, Roberts (Weledji 64), Tymon, Risbrough. SUBS NOT USED: Miller (GK), Trialist, Hume, Fryatt, McGoldrick.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell (Trialist 56), Baxter, Lough (Trialist 73), Shaw (c), Morse (Callaghan 56), Briggs (Storey 46), Nicholson (Stephenson 52), Pattison (Richardson 84), Holmes, Richardson (Trialist 73), Sullivan.
Whitby Town mascot, sponsored by John Scott Plumbing Services: Finley Keates