Whitby Town edge seven-goal thriller at FC United of Manchester

Whitby Town joint-manager Nathan Haslam was impressed with his side’s intense start against FC United of Manchester on Tuesday, as they ran out 4-3 winners over the Red Rebels.

By Andy Bloomfield
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 3:22 pm
Jacob Hazel scored the dramatic winner for Whitby at FC United

A four-minute salvo inside the opening 10 minutes yielded three goals - two for Whitby and one for the Red Rebels - in what was a high-energy opening to the NPL Premier Division play-off six-pointer, writes Paul Connolly.

Returning on loan from Middlesbrough, Harry Green opened the scoring, meeting Jake Hackett’s near-post corner, before the hosts levelled matters from a corner themselves a minute later, skipper Jonathan Smith turning the ball home.

Two minutes later, Whitby regained the advantage when Brad Fewster tapped home inside the six yard box after Dan Lavercombe pushed Jacob Hazel’s initial effort away.

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“We were straight out of the blocks,” Haslam said.

“That was always the plan, to get on the front foot.

“We set our forward play up to go through Malik (Dijksteel) and Harry (Green). We set up to play through their weaknesses and it worked.

“Unfortunately their play from set pieces caused us problems but our forward play was very good.”

The Seasiders added a third just after the half hour mark, as Whitby nodded home at the near post from Priestley Griffiths’ corner.

FC United found a way back into the game minutes before the break, with another set piece being Whitby’s undoing.

Harry Wilson guided Donohue’s corner goalwards, with Hackett’s swiped clearance guiding the ball beyond Town keeper Shane Bland at the back post.

After the break, the hosts looked for a leveller when kicking into their own fans, finding it just ahead of the hour.

A free-kick from the left found Aaron Morris, who forced the ball home from short range.

Whitby, however, looked dangerous on the counter attack and managed to find a winner.

Fewster capitalised on a mistake from Adam Dodd, playing through to Hazel who fired home a powerful effort inside the area to send all three points back to the Yorkshire Coast.

The sixth-placed Blues are back in action at home this Saturday with a crunch clash at Warrington Town, who are just a place and two points behind Whitby, with a game in hand on the hosts.