By Andrew Snaith
Town boss Chris Hardy will bring new signing James Fairley into his squad for the New Years Day trip to Workington, hoping he can make an impact and help end the Blues’ 16-match winless run.
The Seasiders are without a victory since a 1-0 success over Barwell, at the Turnbull Ground, on September 30th, but the versatile Fairley arrives with an impressive reputation.
“The best way to describe James is an attack-minded player with pace to burn, who can play a number of different positions in the offensive third,” Hardy revealed.
“The opposition 18-yard box is somewhere we’ve struggled this season so we’re hoping he will do the business for us.
“This transfer isn’t because he’s been out of sorts. He’s been giving good performances in a title-challenging Marske United side. He’s a kid who has aspirations to play higher.
“As a manager you always have a hit list of sorts and he’s always been a part of that hit list.
“He’s fit, he’s been playing football, it’s just a matter of getting the timing right.”
25-year-old Fairley, who can play up front or out wide, has also figured for Bishop Auckland, where he started the season and Guisborough Town.
Hardy admitted he is concerned about another postponement and may well pick a team to suit the pitch conditions, on Monday, with rain hitting much of the country in the last few days.
“It will be nip and tuck.” he told whitby-town.com.
“Given the time of year and given the forecast, as we speak, I don’t think we can expect any better [than last season at Workington].
“Workington are a very stereotypical side for this league. If you put a heavy pitch on there, as well, it’s certainly a leveller.”
The Blues will be without Dan McWiliams who suffered a muscle strain in Boxing Day’s defeat to Farsley Celtic, while his fellow full-back Callum Martin is rated at 50/50. Providing he shrugs off his recent flu bug, frontman Anthony Hume is expected to return to the squad.
Kick-off is 3.00pm, with a supporters’ coach leaving the Turnbull Ground at 9.15am. Seats are still just £10 each. There is also live coverage on Whitby Town Radio with Paul Connolly.
There is a pitch inspection at 8.30am.