Joint-boss Nathan Haslam hails Whitby Town defence

Whitby Town joint-manager Nathan Haslam has hailed his side's defensive efforts after they kept a fifth clean sheet in nine games on Tuesday night.

By Paul Connolly
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 2:04 pm
Whitby Town keeper Shane Bland

The Blues ran out 1-0 winners over Atherton Collieries in a hard-fought clash with Atherton Collieries at the Skuna Stadium, courtesy of Jacob Hazel's ninth goal of the season, lifting them up to third in the table.

And Haslam was delighted with a fourth consecutive win for his side.

"It was a fantastic result," he said.

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"Atherton is a difficult place to go. I can't see a lot of teams picking points up there.

"The lads dug in and it was brilliant to get the three points on the board.

"It's a big hill [at Atherton]. They elected to kick uphill in the first half to come down it in the second, we knew that was going to happen. We said when we got a chance we needed to take it and that's what we did."

So far this season, the Seasiders have shipped the fewest goals in the Northern Premier League Premier Division - four - and are yet to concede more than a single goal in any of their opening nine fixtures across all competitions.

Jonny Burn was picked out particularly for his commanding display on Tuesday alongside Lewis Ritson at the back, as Whitby limited their hosts to very little in the final third.

"Defensively we've got a great foundation to build on," Haslam added.

"We're solid and we kept another clean sheet [at Atherton] so we're delighted.

"Jonny Burn's performance [on Tuesday] was inspirational to watch. It was the player we know we signed last summer. He was a man mountain.

"He's not quite fully fit yet, but he put in a great display and there's more to come from him.

"But there's competition for places back there. The amount of clean sheets we've kept this season and how few we've conceded, it's showing. If you're not performing, there's people ready to step in."

The Seasiders will travel to Prescot Cables on Saturday for the FA Cup Second Round Qualifying, looking to extend their run in the competition.

Cables sit 17th in the Northern Premier League Division One West, having only won one league game so far this campaign, but Haslam insists his side won't take their opponents lightly.

"We're expecting another hard game," he added.

"It's the FA Cup, and Prescot are going to up their game with us being a league higher.

"We won't be taking any liberties with that. We'll prepare properly and we'll be turning up there ready to put a performance in."