By Liam Ryder
Chris Hardy expressed his “jubilation” after Whitby Town came back from 2-0 down, with nine men, to draw 2-2 with Stafford Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
“We went down to nine men, we were 2-0 down at half-time. I think people watching from the sidelines wouldn’t have given the lads much of a chance really.
The numerical advantage also being lost, the writing was in the wall. They don’t know when they’re beaten. They kept driving and asking questions.”
Hardy was aware that the second half would already be an up-hill struggle, but going down to nine men made the comeback seem even more impossible to envisage.
“Going into the second half, we managed to pin them back and get level, hanging on for a much deserved point.”
The Blues boss could see that his team were unfortunate to be trailing at half-time with two moments of quality being the difference between the sides but admits his side could have managed situations better,
“There were two good finishes. We saw good finishes from ourselves last week. In terms of how these finishes come about, they won a good free-kick on the edge of the box, we could do better there.
The second one, we showed him inside and he’s picked out a bit of a pearler really. Maybe we could have done a bit more to prevent those goals but that was that and it was matter of how we reacted for the second 45.”
One disappointing aspect was the reaction of Steven Snaith, resulting in the Seasiders’ captain receiving a straight red card.
“Perry’s done a bit of a job on Steve and their both on the deck. Steve has seen the mist, I don’t think he made contact but he’s flunked something in his direction and the linesman’s seen it so it was a straight red,”
The second red card, received by Andy Monkhouse, upset Hardy due to the standards of officiating within the game.
“I thought the officiating made a game, which didn’t have bad tackles, become difficult for the referee. He was booking people when he didn’t need to which led to him having some big decisions to make later on.”
Despite being down to nine men, the Whitby Town bench felt “elation” when Callum Patton equalised in the second half.
“We said on the bench that we thought we’d get a chance. There was a bit of fortune in the goal but you’ll take that all day long.
The boys put a real shift in. In the first 45, we didn’t do things as we have been doing over recent weeks but we knew at 2-0, if we got a goal back, the momentum would change.
They stuck to the task and we’ve kept believing in what we were trying to do and how we could get back into the game. We’ve done that and well done to the boys.”
You can watch Chris Hardy’s post-match interview with Paul Connolly over on the Whitby Town Facebook Page.