FC United lose 1-0 by the seaside at Whitby
- Unbeaten run comes to end after encounter with Whitby FC
- Closely-fought match but home side had the edge over the Rebels
A crowd of more than 600 watched as FC United’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end as the Reds lost out 1-0 away to Whitby Town.
A single goal from the seasiders’ number 10 Brad Fewster sealed FC United’s fate as they struggled to respond to early pressure.
The Rebels didn't use the ball as well as we have seen them do at times this season, and Whitby broke well from the defence with clinical counter attacking play.
The pressure was piled on from the start by the home side and FC really didn’t have the rub of the green early on.
The early booking of FC’s Curtis Jones set the tone for the night at the Turnbull.
In early exchanges Sam Burns was the bright spark for FC, pressing from the front. Whitby managed to weather the storm and started to pile pressure on the Rebels defence using long balls into the strikers.
Whitby had their first big chance in the 16th minute as Brad Fewster forced Dan Lavercombe into a smart save to tip it onto the crossbar and smother the drop-down.
It was just two minutes later that Whitby opened the scoring, and it was good play down the middle from midfielder Priestly Griffiths, that left a chance for talisman Fewster, and he made no mistake tucking the ball neatly under Lavercombe.
Worrying news for FC came in the 29th minute when Adam Dodd was forced off with an injury, and had to be replaced by Joe White. The injuries and knocks from this game should be telling of the physicality of it, with each side not willing to give the other an inch.
Whitby worked more chances in the first half, but they lacked that deft touch in the final third to tuck them home.
The best chance for FC in the first 45 came in added time as Michael Donohue pinged a peach of a ball across the park to Nathan Dyer, who did well to work the chance cutting in from the left-hand side, but the cross come shot blazed just over the bar.
The second half proved to be a much better performance from the reds, as they forced the Whitby ‘keeper into a few smart saves but couldn’t find a breakthrough.
The fightback from FC lacked one thing: goals.
Neil Reynolds later said FC could have played for 100 more minutes, and they wouldn’t have found the net, which summed up the lack of luck in front of goal.
FC were in all the right positions but for some reason or other it just wouldn’t go in.
Aaron Morris looked to have FC United’s best chance of the game in the 79th minute following a slick attacking move, but his shot deflected for a corner. Nevertheless, FC kept knocking on the door and weren’t about to lie down.
Yet again it was long balls causing FC trouble. Dan Lavercombe was called into action again making a terrific save to prevent Jacob Hazel doubling the seasiders’ lead as he got down smartly.
As the full-time whistle went, it marked a chance missed for FC to make it 5 in 5, and the reds left feeling that they really could have got something from that game based on that second-half performance.
Speaking after the game, FC manager Neil Reynolds said: “Our back three got pulled about and lost its shape, but listen, I’m not going to criticise lads that are young and that are learning but they have to get accustomed to it.
“We work on the three, we work on the four, and for us it’s what works best.
"We thought it would work to pull them about today, it worked in Poland and it worked for spells tonight.
"I’m not going to give away my tactics, but I’ve got bodies back for Saturday and we might just look to rest and rotate a few.
“I think we look tired in the middle of the park. I think Potts has played back-to-back, back-to-back games now and maybe his passing execution wasn’t what it should be today.
"I thought we huffed and puffed at the top end, but it wasn’t good enough. We put it down to an off night but it’s one loss in five so that’s pleasing.
“We had attacking options, and maybe on another night, on another pitch them boys score goals. We have to really quickly put this behind us.”
Last nonight’s man of the match has to be Dan Lavercombe - he made a smattering of top tier saves across the full 90 minutes, showing his ability and really did keep the Reds in the contest.
Next up for FC, it’s a visit back up to the east coast as they take on Marske United on Saturday.