Blues earn first win of 2024
Warrington Rylands took advantage of Radcliffe being involved in the FA Trophy to cut their lead at the top of the NPL Premier Division table to 3 points winning for the first time since beating the league leaders in December.
There was little to excite the crowd on a cold January afternoon at The Hive Arena in an open first half which saw play switch from end to end without either goal really being threatened, despite Whitby’s Coleby Shepherd having to clear a Matt Regan over head kick off the line.
Both sides traded shots off target before Rylands broke the deadlock in the 41st minute. Breaking down the right; Clive Smith drilled a low cross into the box where Mo Touray clipped the ball over an advancing Whitby goalkeeper Shane Bland. Despite Priestley Keithley’s best effort to clear he could only help the ball into the net.
Rylands started the second half brightly with Bland doing well to recover a flick the ball away after Djavan Pedro’s header had original beaten him, while Ben Hardcastle was unable to get on the end of Smith’s low cross as it flashed across goal.
The visitors started to gain the upper hand and were awarded a penalty in the 69th minute when Harrison Beeden went down in the area as Rylands were struggling to clear the ball.
Jacob Gratton drove his spot kick low to Luke Pilling’s right but the Rylands keeper kept the ball out. Five minutes later Pilling pulled off a spectacular flying save to keep out a Gratton shot, blocked another at close range and pulled off a good save to deny Bradley Fewster.
The closing stages of the game saw Whitby launch a series of high balls into the Rylands area which were headed away by an outstanding Rylands rearguard which constantly repelled their visitor’s attacks.
WARRINGTON RYLANDS: Pilling Smith Swaby-Neavin (Billie) Butler Regan Neild Hardcastle Furman Pedro Touray (Hough) German (Cockerline); SUBS: Adams Hurst
WHITBY TOWN: Bland Keithley Shepherd Bramwell (Thomas) Rowe Beeden Hawkins Gell Walker (Greaves) Gratton Doherty (Fewster); SUBS: Smith Haswell
Referee: M Langdon
Man of the match selected by match sponsors Orme Developments was Matt Regan