By Andrew Snaith
Whitby’s improvement continued as Northern Counties East Premier Pickering were swept aside, on Tuesday night, in the Seasiders’ second-last pre-season outing.
“I think we were worthy of the win.” said boss Chris Hardy.
“We got ourselves to where we needed to be in terms of performance, though we, possibly, gave too much of an advantage to them in the second half.”
Hardy made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Bishop Auckland, at the Turnbull Ground, on Saturday. Curtis Round returned from holiday to start in midfield, while striker Matty Tymon was also thrown in from kick-off, as Mikey Roberts was rested and Dale Hopson was unavailable.
“In the first half, we maybe should’ve been out of sight,” Hardy told the Whitby Town Football Club Facebook Group live, after the game.
Certainly the Seasiders dominated in the last outing for their old white away strip. On 13 minutes, Callum Martin’s right-wing cross brought a strong header from Tymon but an even better save from home keeper Peter Lawrie. However, the resulting corner found its way into the net. Kieran Weledji, who netted in similar fashion at the weekend and was wearing the captain’s armband, was left free to head the left-wing ball past a helpless Lawrie.
Around the half hour, came a great opportunity to double the Evo-Stik Premier club’s lead. This time it was ex-Marske United midfielder Cameron Park who was unmarked, but the ball arrived at an uncomfortable height and his forced header went wide of Lawrie’s right-hand post from inside the penalty area.
Last season’s top goalscorer Roberts replaced the skilful Round, at half-time, as Hardy tried two up front, having started with just Steven Snaith behind Tymon as an attacking midfielder/playmaker.
Regarding the forward positions, Hardy revealed:
“We’re getting close to a decision, it just needs a little bit of discussion.”
Ex-Whitby striker Sam Calvert came on for Pickering at the interval and looked dangerous with his direct running down the left, but the visitors started where they left off in the first period with plenty of possession and chances created.
Just before the hour, Martin cut in off the right and unleashed a powerful 25-yard effort that was turned away spectacularly, albeit at a good height, for a leaping Lawrie.
Tymon then brought a more impressive tip over from the busy gloveman after hammering a piledriver toward the roof of the net, from 20 yards.
Ryan Blott, another to previously wear the blue and white of Whitby, in-between spells with Scarborough, was leading the line for the hosts and brought an amazing point-blank block from Shane Bland with a strong header, following some lovely build-up play.
Hardy introduced young marksman Jordan Jewson for Park as he experimented with a third striker and within 11 minutes, Whitby had a second goal. It was neither of the attacking trio, however, but one of his celebrated wing-backs on target. Dan McWilliams netted his first-ever Whitby goal after Roberts went down on the edge of the box and the left-sided number 3 drilled a deflected free-kick through the wall and between Lawrie and his left-hand post.
Regarding Williams and Martin, on the right, Hardy declared:
“These boys are dynamic boys- they’re up and down, they’re athletes.
“They’re going to contribute on the defensive side and the attacking side.”
Speaking of the attacking side, Hardy added:
“I was impressed with Snaith.
“I think his maturity, his application was first class and I thought Matty Tymon was very impressive, this evening.
“He seemed to have the bit between his teeth and he showed quality and endeavour.
“They weren’t the only ones- there were a few good performances and positive results and positive performances create momentum.”
It was also pleasing, following his recent injury, to see Hardy’s assistant and experienced centre-half option Lee Bullock getting the last five minutes, in place of Tymon, as an unlikely frontman.
Pickering Town: Lawrie, Tilsley (c) (Ingram 80), Danby (Richardson 80), Taylor, Turnbull, Bissett (Kamara 46), Dhesi (Hirst 66), Cooper (Lingard 70), Blott, Thompson (Bennett 73), Robinson (Calvert 46). Sub not used: Wells (GK).
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Weledji (c), Robinson, May, Gell, Park (Jewson 70), Round (Roberts 46), Snaith, Tymon (Bullock 85). Subs not used: Organ-Simpson, Dixon (GK), Dawson (GK).