Whitby Town ran out convincing 3-0 winners over a much-changed Blyth Spartans at Croft Park, in their penultimate pre-season outing.
A Whitby trialist opened the scoring, before Kieran Weledji added two in the final six minutes of the game, to complete a second half onslaught.
With their league campaign getting underway at Alfreton, on Saturday, Blyth manager Alun Armstrong promoted several reserve players to his first-team squad, whilst Chris Hardy went full strength, with an eye on the Blues’ league opener at Barwell, on August 12.
Both sides looked to settle during the game’s infancy, and it looked like it was going to be Whitby who did so first, with Andy Monkhouse going close, though he could only fire his effort over the crossbar.
Blyth, however, had different ideas, with ex-Seasider David McTiernan firing a powerful attempt goalwards, though Shane Bland got across well to tip wide.
On 17 minutes, the hosts should have led.
Bland away palmed a Dale Hopson ball forward, under pressure, which fell to a Spartans trialist. He had the goal at his mercy but placed the ball wide.
If Whitby were to open the scoring in the first 45, it was going to come through David Carson, and it almost did, just nine minutes later.
Callum Martin’s smart through ball found the attacking midfielder in space, but his effort was stopped at the feet of the onrushing Shaun MacDonald.
At the other end, there was to be no sentiment towards his old club from Hopson, who made the switch to Croft Park this summer.
Just ahead of the break, Hopson danced through the Blues’ midfield, before striking from 25 yards. Bland got down well to parry the attempt, with Martin removing the danger with a last-ditch block from the follow-up attempt.
Undeterred, Whitby went straight up the other end and should have led, with the final kick of the first half.
A long ball forward from Bland found the feet of Mikey Roberts, who laid off to Carson. His low attempt, however, was saved by MacDonald.
As is often the case in pre-season, a vast number of changes from either side saw the game hit a quiet patch, though Blyth emerged from it having come closest.
A quick break from the hosts saw a trialist free on the edge of the 18-yard box, though he could only strike the crossbar with his attempt.
This sparked a reaction from Hardy’s side, and Matty Tymon fired a pair of warning shots, just minutes later.
A cut-back from Weledji found Tymon in space, though his first-time effort was seen wide, before he then sent a header across goal from a Carson cross. Again, however, it was watched wide.
The warning signs soon showed to be decisive for Whitby.
Tymon held his run well, before moving into the box and squaring to a Town trialist. He shimmied past his man into space and finished well past MacDonald.
From this point on, Whitby looked rampant and Monkhouse could have doubled the score, with a powerful low drive that forced a good save from the Spartans stopper.
The Seasiders weren’t finished and Weledji added the second, six minutes from time.
The goalscoring trialist bombed down the left-hand side, breaking into the box, and pulling back for the defender-turned-attacker. He showed class, chipping the ball over a helpless, sliding Blyth defender, before finishing on the line.
Even if Whitby were finished, Weledji certainly wasn’t.
The goalscoring trialist again found space on the left, forcing a save from MacDonald. Weledji reacted quickest and slid the ball home for his second and Town’s third, followed promptly by the full-time whistle.
Blyth Spartans: MacDonald, Cartwright (Trialist 65), I Watson, Trialist (Trialist 65), Trialist, Mullen, Trialist (Trialist 58), McTiernan (Trialist 69), Trialist (Trialist 69), Hopson (Hooks 58), Trialist.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, McGoldrick (May 46), Bythway (Trialist 79), Snaith (Trialist 79), Gell (Hume 53), Carson (Trialist 79), Roberts (Weledji 64), Tyman (Fryatt 79), Monkhouse. Subs not used: Trialist