By Liam Ryder
Chris Hardy expressed his “delight” after his sides’ hard fought victory against Nantwich Town on Saturday afternoon to give the Blues their second home win in a row.
“I’m delighted again. Three points, whether it be home or away is always an achievement. It was important to ensure that we keep the charge up the table, to get away from these areas that we don’t want to be in. It was a good three points today.”
Hardy also realised the importance of a victory on Saturday, especially with the way other results went. The positive results elsewhere, in Whitby’s favour, allowed the Seasiders to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom of the table.
“It’s a shame that we’re talking about that, but it’s a reality. It was important that we capitalised on a game that we thought was winnable and that proved to be the case.
It was a game that wasn’t for the purest. It was in difficult conditions and it seemed flat at times but we had to make improvements based on what we did in the first fourty-five and I thought we did that.
We changed the shape a little bit, bringing Hume on. We felt we could capitalise on their defending and we seemed to do that so we’re really pleased.”
Paul Connolly brought up the point about Nantwich’s goal coming from an “uncharacteristic” defensive error which the Blues boss was eager to rectify.
“Going a goal behind, we turned possession over far too quickly in the first half. We seemed to give them too much in the front foot so that’s disappointing.
We spoke about it in detail and depth at halt-time. We needed to improve on that. It wasn’t a goal of real quality, it could’ve been avoided but we showed character to get back in the game and that was important.”
Despite finding themselves on level terms at half-time, Hardy remained keen to stress the importance of keeping possession.
“It wasn’t good enough. I thought we were reactive at best but we certainly weren’t proactive. I know the conditions were difficult. The sun caused problems with visibility but it was the same for both sides.
We saw improvements in the second half, we needed to make improvements and I think we did that.”
Anthony Hume’s introduction at half-time worked as intended with the tall striker putting the Blues ahead in the second half.
“We thought that there was scope to get two big men in and around their two centre-half’s and try and get the wider men joining in on the back of that and we saw that in the second fourty-five.
The application was better in the second half. We talked about them being reactive. We had to make better decisions on the ball and the pointers that we put forward worked better in the second fourty-five.”
Summer signing, Connor Dunlavey also made the Blues’ bench which was another potential attacking option for Chris Hardy in the second half.
“There was a green light for Connor to be involved today if we needed him. I felt that with the way the game panned out, it wasn’t ideal for him to be involved.
He’s chopping at the bit now and he’s looking to get started. We’ll talk in the week about him potentially going out on loan and hopefully getting some game-time with a re-introduction in the future.”
Whitby’s initial make-shift midfield also managed to impress Chris Hardy despite two players appearing to be out of position.
“It’s something you’ve got to give respect to today in terms of the people who were playing. We went away from a recognised midfield with Monkhouse and Snaith missing.
With Kieran and Callum playing today, they were excellent. Kieran probably being the pick of the two but equally strong performances today.”
You can watch Chris Hardy’s post-match interview with Paul Connolly over on the Whitby Town Facebook page.