The Seasiders suffered their second defeat in four days, dropping to third, after a disappointing reversal, at top side Buxton, on Saturday.
Over 600 crammed into the Derbyshire outfit’s Silverlands ground, the site of Whitby’s ‘great escape’ when they beat the Bucks 1-0 to secure Evo-Stik NPL Premier football on the final day of the 2011-12 season.
Chris Hardy made two enforced changes as skipper Steven Snaith began a three-match suspension and right wing-back Callum Martin pulled up with a calf injury in the pre-match warm-up. In came Curtis Round for an attacking midfield role, just behind frontman Matty Tymon, with ex-captain Mark Robinson coming in at centre-half and Kieran Weledji switching to the right.
Early on, Danny McWilliams hooked a cross turned shot on the roof of the Buxton net, from near the left touchline, some 20 yards from goal. The league leaders then grabbed a slightly fortunate opening goal, with just eight minutes on the clock. It was an inswinging right-wing Jamie Green corner, partially cleared by under-pressure keeper Shane Bland, only for Alastair Taylor to squeeze home at the far post. Taylor almost doubled his and the Bucks’ tally, seconds later, but leaning back, skied a ten-yard effort. Green himself fired just over from just outside the visitors’ box.
Whitby were relying on sporadic efforts, as Dave McTiernan saw a shot from similar range charged down by a well-organised Buxton backline. Tymon poked wide from 12 yards, after good work from Dale Hopson, who fed him from the left. Hopson tried his own luck, nine minutes before half-time, and powered narrowly over the top, from 25 yards. However, it was the Peak District outfit who finished the first period on top. Five minutes from half-time, the tall figure of Danny Burns nodded inches wide from a right-wing cross, but Buxton soon found the target, for a second time, a minute before the interval. Another Green set piece, this time a free-kick, was deflected into the path of Brad Abbott, who made no mistake from point-blank range. It could even have been three before the break as ex-Worksop marksman Jamie Jackson’s backheel forced Robinson to clear off his own goal line.
Whitby were out noticeably earlier than their opponents for the second half and started purposefully, looking to force the pace. Within moments of the restart, McWilliams’ driven cross was almost slid past his own keeper by Burns at the near post, but giant Dane, Jan Budtz, smothered the loose ball well. In an effort to stretch the 6’4″ gloveman more, Hardy introduced last season’s top goalscorer, Mikey Roberts, on the hour, for Tymon. But it was Budtz’s opposite number who was breached again, as the Seasiders gave away possession on the edge of their own box, Andy May slid in, committing himself and allowing ex-Blue Niall Doran to steer between Bland and the foot of his right-hand post home, from the left-edge of the box. Big Anthony Hume replaced Round up front for Town, who looked brighter by the end with Luke Bythway, up from the back, to battle along the left byline and square for Roberts to bicycle kick onto the roof of the net.
Buxton: Budtz, Williams, Green, Ravenhill (c) (F Bembo-Leta 90), Burns, J Bembo-Leta, Doran, Abbott, Jackson (Grayson 76), Taylor (Everington 76), Walker. Subs not used: Garnett, Brooks.
Whitby Town: Bland, Weledji, McWilliams, May, Bythway, Robinson (c), Gell, McTiernan, Hopson, Tymon (Roberts 60), Round (Hume 75). Subs not used: Bullock, Park, Dawson (GK).