Honours even at windy Whitby…

Adam Yates reports from the Turnbull Ground as Marine had to dig deep to hold Whitby Town to a 1-1 draw which ensured that they spend Christmas Day in an NPL playoff spot.

Both sides had to compete with uninvited 40mph winds throughout which meant that high balls often lead to throw ins, free kicks and minimal game time in open play.

The first shot on target came via Owen Robinson which was made possible by a corner won by Sol Solomon but the attempt was easily collected by Whitby’s Shane Bland who (as well as his Marine counterpart) had a solid game in difficult conditions.

Whitby sped up the gears as the first half went on and key clearances by Joseph Ferguson and Connor Evans prevented the Seasiders from breaking the deadlock as that honour was instead left to Marine’s Louis White.

But before that goal came repeated onslaughts by Whitby and they hit the crossbar from relatively close range. Junior Mondal’s pass reached Harrison Beeden whose attempt rocked the underside and came down for a messy but eventual clearance.

As the half time approached, the Mariners found some space and the travelling support were rewarded by a familiar sight. Owen Robinson headed across the area and from outside the box, on the half volley, Louis White belted the ball in the corner of the net for the opener and that lead held firm when the referee’s half time whistle eventually arrived.

The second half began with a tactical double substitution as Connor Evans and Owen Robinson made way for Liam Nolan and Harvey Gregson to provide defensive cover for the likely onslaught of Whitby who needed to find a result to maintain a 3 month extended run of unbeaten home form.

The Seasiders used the wind to their advantage in the second half and the ball was rarely in their own half for the majority of the 45. Whitby corners and gust affected goal kicks were occurring every other minute.

They were eventually rewarded for their efforts with an equaliser but Marine may feel it was anything but.

A melee in the penalty area eventually landed to Daniel Rowe whose shot was adjudged to have crossed the line, awarded by both referee and linesman but Marines entire defence was adamant that was not the case and swarmed the officials to plead their case to no avail.

Marine now had half an hour to stop Whitby taking all three points and echoes of the defensive performance of Worksop came flooding back as Luke Hutchinson became the focal point of the game.

in terms of time management, his goal kicks (perhaps intentionally) regularly exited the field of play assisted by the wind which slowed the game down and he would soon be called into more traditional action to shot-stop a ironclad Whitby winner.

Junior Mondal found space and only the fingertips of Hutchinson convinced the ball to hit the Marine goalpost.

The shared spoils were eventually confirmed by referee Neil Howlett and the final whistle would have been seen by many of the Whitby faithful as two points lost rather than one gained.

For Marine, the draw meant that Neil Young and his players can enjoy Christmas Dinner in the knowledge that they occupy 4th place and therefore one of the all important play off spots and as none of the other sides were able to secure victory either could be an important point indeed.

Next Up – It’s our first Boxing Day home game in four years as we host Warrington Rylands in a bumper clash against the NPL’s top in form team.

Whitby Town: 1 Shane Bland, 2 Connor Smith (Nathan Thomas 62′), 3 Aaron Haswell (Bradley Fewster 75′), 4 Jamie Bramwell, 5 Daniel Rowe, 6 Harrison Beeden, 7 Lewis Hawkins, 8 Adam Gell, 9 Priestley Griffiths (Alfie Doherty 83′), 10 Jacob Gratton, 11 Junior Mondal

Subs: 12 Alfie Doherty, 14 Nathan Thomas, 15 Bradley Fewster, 16 Stephen Walker, 17 Jerome Greaves

Marine: 1 Luke Hutchinson, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe, 4 Jalil Saadi, 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Finlay Sinclair-Smith, 8 Louis White, 9 Connor Evans (Harvey Gregson 46′), 10 Sol Solomon, 11 Owen Robinson (Liam Nolan 46′)

Subs: 12 Harvey Gregson, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 14 Manasse Mampala, 15 Liam Nolan, 16 Jordan Lussey

Marine Man of the Match – Luke Hutchinson

Attendance – 433

Leave a comment