A well fought encounter at the Turnbull Ground saw both Whitby Town and Stafford Rangers share the spoils, as the Blues continue to improve their performances after a string of disappointing showings.
Chris Hardy made just one change from the side that lost out at Mickleover Sports, handing York City loanee Ryan Whitley a debut, replacing the injured Dan Dixon.
A scrappy first half saw neither side create much of note, though it was Whitby who fired the first warning shot.
Dan McWilliams broke into box, playing a ball across which deflected to Connor Smith. His driven attempt, however, flew just wide of Brad Caswell’s left-hand upright.
“One sugar or two?” was the conversation that had the most life going into half-time, as the press team prepared for a tea break, with the football providing little in the way of talking points.
The visitors threatened just before the break, however, being the only other action of note.
Massiah McDonald used his strength well to hold Andrew May off, letting the ball run across his body before firing a low attempt just wide from twenty yards, with Whitley rooted.
McDonald found himself becoming the focal point of Stafford’s attack early in the second half, almost opening the scoring, though his one-on-one attempt was thwarted by the legs of the Blues’ gloveman.
Whitby found life as the game progressed, the introduction of Matty Tymon providing the spark.
Callum Martin charged down the ball well, with Campbell picking up the loose ball. His deflected ball across found Tymon, who took it down and drove an effort goalwards, firing just over.
The Blues then had the ball in the net just moments later. Caswell dropped Martin’s cross, Niall McGoldrick poking the ball goalwards unconvincingly. Tymon helped it over the line, though was adjudged to have come from an offside position.
Stafford pushed despite Whitby’s growing dominance, Jack Sherratt curling over from twenty yards, but the if either side was going to win it, you got the sense that it would be Whitby.
Tymon was again involved in the action, taking down Martin’s right-wing cross, before moving into the space and turning the ball goalwards, though Caswell got down well to deny the Seasiders’ forward what seemed a certain goal.
Campbell then tried to capitalise on Whitby’s positive movement, beating one man after receiving the ball before shooting from close range. Again though, the Stafford stopper reacted well to tip wide.
The closing stages almost saw a sting in the tail for the Blues, Daniel Westwood bearing down on goal and firing, only to be stopped by an excellent Andrew May slide tackle taking the sting out of his attempt.
Whitby Town: Whitley, Martin, McWilliams, Bythway, McGoldrick, May, Snaith (c), Gell, Campbell (Risbrough ’84), Weledji (Tymon ’56), Smith. Subs not used: Hume, Monkhouse, Fryatt.
Stafford Rangers: Caswell, Griffiths, K. Westwood, Morris, Bailey (c), Brown, Craddock, Fletcher, Gregory (D Westwood ’72), McDonald (Reid ’86), Briscoe (Sherratt ’70). Subs not used: Thomas, Davies.
Whitby Town MotM: Luke Bythway